Widespread Search for New Jersey Student Missing in Israel

PHOTO: Aaron Sofer, 23, a Lakewood, N.J., resident, went missing Aug. 22, 2014 while hiking with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, police in Israel said.

An extensive search is underway for a student from New Jersey missing in Israel, police told ABC News.

Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood went missing Friday while hiking with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest, Israeli National Police spokesman Micki Rosenfeld said. The ultra-Orthodox student was in Jerusalem studying at a Jewish religious school.

Dozens of volunteers have joined the search for Sofer but, at this point, there’s no trace of him. His friend is not suspected, police said.

The search involves police units, dogs and helicopters.

Authorities say they are investigating all potential motives in Sofer’s disappearance.

A young Palestinian boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was burned to death in the Jerusalem Forest in July, but there has been no anti-Israeli motivated crime against an Israeli or Jew in the forest for more than 20 years, Rosenfeld said.

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