OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — An annual celebration at the Jewish Community Center took on a deeper meaning Sunday.

Eight days after a terrorist attack left thousands dead and many more missing in Israel.  

From the stage to under the tents, the things that represent and showcase Jewish culture were on full display as thousands of people bundled and showed up for their community.

But it was the last ceremony—a moment of reflection and support to their brothers and sisters in Israel—that will be remembered most.  

“So many people we know that are standing in harm’s way right now, so the feeling of helplessness, what can you do? People come together,” Jay Lewis, the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, said.  

“The horrific attack that we saw by Hamas on Israel. I felt like it was really important to show and support our Jewish community and folks that are impacted by this,” Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids said. 

Rep. Davids also made it clear tonight that any anti-Semitic rhetoric is never okay.  

“To make sure it’s clear that antisemitism is not acceptable and it’s not something any elected official should be supporting.”

“This is a really amazing day to learn about all of the different ways that our community exist and all the different ways to get involved with our community,” Ethan Helfand, the Director of Jewish Experiences at the Jewish Community Center, said.  

Helfand is helping to spearhead a letters to Israel campaign, where people right here in our backyards can send notes of support and gratitude to the men and women of the Israeli Army as they go into battle. A battle for their sovereignty.  

“Now more than ever, our brothers and sisters in Israel that are protecting our homeland need our support and simple things. Since we can’t be there, we can send our support.”

As the night was concluding, it was announced that someone here in Kansas City Donated $1 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.  

100 percent of that donation will go directly to urgent humanitarian needs in Israel. If you would like to help, you can click here.