Popular Orthodox Teen Orphaned by Yom Kippur Crash

Orly Ohayon Heads To Physical Rehab After Mom Is Killed


By Anne Cohen

Published September 30, 2013, issue of October 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Orly Ohayon is a “popular” observant Jewish teenager who grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., where her Israeli immigrant parents settled decades ago.

The 16-year-old girl is now an orphan after the tragic Yom Kippur accident that killed her mother and left her with serious physical injuries. She was released last week from the University of Florida Health Hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Jacksonville, Fla.

Esther Benzohar Ohayon was born in Casablanca, Morocco and immigrated to Israel in 1969. In 1975, she and her husband moved to Jacksonville to be closer to his sister and brother, both Florida residents. Yehuda Ohayon passed away in 1999.

Esther Ohayon remained an active member of the community after her husband’s death, teaching pre-school at the Jacksonville Jewish Center for 8 years.

Orly Ohayon is an active member of the National Coalition Synagogue Youth, the international youth program run by the Orthodox Union, on both the regional and national level.

“She’s very popular,” said Rabbi Yaakov Fisch of Etz Chaim synagogue, the Orthodox congregation attended by Orly Ohayon and her mother.

Esther Ohayon was buried last week in Israel, where her three older children live. She was a grandmother of four.

After the deadly crash, Orly Ohayon’s friends built a sukkah outside the hospital in hopes of raising her spirits.

The teen will continue her recovery at the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville. According to Fisch, her siblings have flown in from Israel to be with her.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.