Body of Missing Montreal Jew Found

Published: March 4th 2010

Alexandre Bitton

Following a month-long effort by ZAKA, the body of Alexandre Bitton has likely been found in Haiti. ZAKA’s spokesperson told Walla News on Thursday that a body had been found in the Hotel Montana in Haiti, and in its pocket was Bitton’s passport. INN reported that the body has been forwarded to a UN facility in order to identify it as Bitton’s.


Bitton, a Jew from Montreal and father to a young boy, had arrived in Haiti on the day of the earthquake and was doing business with a local businessman. At the time of the earthquake he was in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. His business partner was the last one to have seen him. They met at the hotel lobby, where Bitton had problems with the check-in process. His business partner helped him out and then they separated ways. Ten minutes later the earthquake struck and the five-story, 140-room hotel collapsed. Bitton’s business partner, who survived the earthquake, did not know what room he was in.


ZAKA had announced a month ago that they would not give up on the search for Bitton and, in conjunction with the US delegation, worked in order to rescue bodies from the rubbles of the Hotel Montana. Every body that had been found by the US delegation was forwarded to ZAKA for identification.


During its stay in Haiti, the Israeli delegation made every effort to locate Bitton. A rescue team dug a tunnel underneath the hotel rubble in order to locate the hotel computer and find which room Bitton had stayed in. Unfortunately this effort had not been successful as the search was stopped due to concerns for the team’s safety.


ZAKA told INN following the finding of the body that it “saw great importance in this holy mission. ZAKA’s mission is to make every effort, even if it means travelling to the end of the world, in order to give a Jew a proper burial.”

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