My name is Yaakov Mandell. But my friends call me Koby. I am 13 years old. I was born in the United States and lived in College Park, Maryland. In 1996 my parents, Sheeri and Seth, decided we should make aliyah to Israel, taking along myself and my siblings Daniel, Eiliana and Gavi.
We live in Tekoa, Gush Etzion, near the West Bank. I just had my Bar Mitzvah, and I know that my father, a Rabbi, is very proud. My friends and I love the Judean Desert. It is the land of our forefathers and it is filled with incredible old caves. Monks used to use these caves for deep meditation, and we love exploring these natural wonders. Sometimes we just sit around a bonfire and enjoy nature!
On May 8, 2001 my friend Yosef Ishan and I decided to skip school. We told my mom and dad we were headed to Jerusalem for a demonstration after class, but we actually went for a hike in the desert – even though we knew we might get in really big trouble with my parents. During our hike we crossed paths with at least three Palestinian terrorists and our journey was abruptly ended. We were captured, bound, stabbed and stoned to death. The terrorists smeared our blood on the cave walls where they left our bodies. We were found the next morning but our bodies were so mutilated we could not be identified by site. Dental records were needed in order to confirm it was us. No terrorist has yet been held responsible for mine or Yosef’s death. My name is Koby Mandell. I am 13 years old. And I am one of #TheFallenFaces.Learn more about Koby Mandell here.