Local Jewish community still stands united with hostages in Gaza

Local Jewish community stands with hostages in Gaza

Local Jewish community stands with hostages in Gaza

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It’s been four weeks since Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and took more than 240 people hostage.

Locally, the Jewish community and its supporters continue to stand in unity.

The leader of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester just returned from Israel, where she met with family members of some of the hostages. She says the world can’t give up on them.

“While the country is in mourning, everybody has sprung into action in a way that I’ve never seen before, and it’s remarkably inspiring,” Meredith Dragon said.

As Israel continues to pick up the pieces, the lives of those hostages still hang in the balance.

“Needless to say, they feel hopeless. They feel scared and sad for their loved ones and they left us with a message, and that message is, please do everything possible to continue to remind the world our loved ones are held in captivity by terrorists and we have to keep it front and center.”

Dragon spent her time in Tel Aviv.

“The entire country has band together regardless of religious affiliation, regardless of their religious background, to help get people through and there is a spirit of resiliency and hope and love that the country is working together to take care of the people who lost loved ones,” she said.

Back at home, Israeli hostages were rememberd at the Jewish Comminity Ceter FFriday.

The “Empty Chair… Broken Hearts” installation represented all of the hostages.

One of them is Alon Ohel. Pittsford esident Ron Newman knows his family.

“They’re worried sick. He was a peaceful young man who went to a peace concert and was kidnapped, and he’s still missing,” he said.

His – and the plight of so many others – needs to remain top of mind, Dragon said.

“There’s is so much grief, and there’s so much mourning at the same time there’s also a tenacity that we’ll get through this. We’ve gotten through things like this before and that we’ll survive and hopefully all of our hostages will come home safe and alive.”