As the search continues for missing American-Israeli backpacker Amichai Steinmetz, a 24-year-old veteran of an elite unit in the Israeli Defense Force who went missing more than six weeks ago after setting off on a trek in the foothills of the Himalayas, his family and friends are stepping up their appeals for funds to underwrite the effort to find him.

From a Web site established to provide updates and harness the collective goodwill of people around the world, the family has requested any assistance individuals in India and Israel might be able to offer. While the Chabad-Lubavitch center in Manali has provided volunteers through much of the search, the family stepped up the campaign by enlisting professional teams and Indian trackers.

The family placed an advertisement in the latest edition of The Jewish Week asking for help.

According to Rabbi Yehuda Kirsch, who spent July and August in Manali as part of the summer rabbinical visitation program operated by Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, searchers originally were combing a triangle between the northern Indian towns of Khiriganga, Khalga and Bunbuny. Several weeks later, further investigations revealed that Steinmetz may have in fact headed to glaciers further north.

Those wishing to help can visit by clicking here.

Chana Kroll and Tamar Runyan contributed to this report.