During a brief service led by Rabbi Ari Kaiman at dusk, congregants, neighbors, friends, acquaintances and Van Gelderen family members held candles, sang and prayed for the 25-year-old’s safe return.
After heartfelt thanks for the guidance and concern shown by the rabbi, Leon Van Gelderen spoke about his missing daughter. With difficulty, he told of the schools she attended, her religious observance and her loyalty to family and friends.
He said Jenna has a learning disability, is trusting and gullible, and could be taken advantage of by people, including boyfriends. He also said some things that end up in the media aren’t true.
“May G-d bring Jenna back to us,” he said, “and may the authorities do what they can.”
Her mother, Roseanne Glick, asked the crowd to visualize a protective bubble around Jenna and see her brought home safely.
Rabbi Kaiman symbolically sounded the shofar to call her home.
The 25-year-old was last seen Friday, Aug. 18, and last heard from early Aug. 19. She was housesitting at her parents’ Druid Hills home.
According to postings on the Facebook page “Help Find Jenna Van Gelderen,” she drove her mother’s red 2010 Mazda and had a passenger with her when she returned to the home garage the night of Aug. 18. Jenna had used her debit card that night at Wendy’s at 1940 Piedmont Road, at Texaco at North Decatur Road and DeKalb Industrial Boulevard, at Chevron at Cheshire Bridge and LaVista roads, and at Chevron at North Decatur and Clairmont roads.
Van Gelderen is 4-foot-11 and 140 pounds with long, dark hair. Her dark-blue 2010 Mazda 6 sedan, Georgia license plate PWH-5902, also is missing. The family asks anyone with information to call Leon Van Gelderen at 404-966-8565 or the DeKalb County Police at 770-724-7475.
Update: A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Jenna’s return. Email information to email@example.com.