The day after an Arab gunman infiltrated the Mercaz Yeshiva in Jerusalem, murdered eight students and wounded eleven, the front page of the Chicago Tribune showed a mother prostrate in grief. The mother was not related to any of the eight victims. It was the gunman's mother. Similarly NPR coverage of the March 6 attack presented information about the gunman, Ala Abu Dheim, and some of his grievances, but nothing, not even the names of the victims. A search of online information about the students produced more slander (They were not really students. The yeshiva was a hotbed for "violent fanatics" and "zealots.") than personal details. Such reporting grants the terrorist the humanity that it denies the victims of terror.
A group of individuals is attempting to remedy this gap in reporting by the REMEMBER ONE project. They are sending short biographies and photos of each of the Mercaz victims to churches and synagogues across the country and asking each rabbi, minister, or priest to share one of the student's biographies, and by that reading "see the faces of the victims, hear their parents' cries and let their stories touch our hearts." The REMEMBER ONE project is seeking more participants to reach its goal of creating awareness among the non-Jewish as well as the Jewish community of the human loss of terror.
Perhaps the parishioners and congregants at these services will connect to the victim's humanity, and the next time they read a news report about a terrorist attack and learn nothing about the victims, the experience in the REMEMBER ONE project will move them to ask "why not."