Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

American Grad Student Killed in Tel Aviv Terror ‘Loved Everyone’

Taylor Force, the American graduate student killed in a Tel Aviv stabbing spree, was remembered at a memorial service in Israel as someone “who loved everyone regardless of their race, religion and creed.”

David Simpkins eulogized his friend and former West Point classmate in a ceremony Friday at Ben Gurion Airport before Force’s body was returned to his family for burial in the United States. Force, a student at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management, was on a school trip to Israel when he was killed March 8 in the popular Jaffa Port area.

Simpkins, who moved to Israel, said Force was “a perfect example of a U.S. Army officer: He was humble, optimistic, hard-working, handsome, and he genuinely loved everyone regardless of their race, religion and creed,” according to Haaretz.

Former Knesset member Dov Lipman, who made aliyah in 2004, organized the ceremony and read a letter from Force’s sister, Kristen, on behalf of the family, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“Please convey our deepest appreciation to the Israeli people and government who have been so compassionate and thoughtful during the worst moment of our lives,” the letter read. “Taylor was our world and our lives are forever changed, but knowing Israel mourns with us is comforting.”

Members of the U.S. military serving in the area attending the service were led by Lt.-Gen. Frederick Rudesheim, the U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and Deputy U.S. Ambassador William Grant. Force served in Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lipman said in a Facebook post: “May Taylor’s family be comforted by the collective hug from the people of Israel and may his memory be a source of blessing for all.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.