OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Rabbis led a solidarity gathering for Israel at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, Monday evening.
“Tonight we come together to try to use words of the Jewish tradition for this unspeakable tragedy,” Rabbi Stephanie Kramer, The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah said before several other rabbis joined her in prayers in both English and Hebrew.
A deadly attack on Israel Saturday killed more than 900 and injured at least 2,600. War has since been declared on Hamas, with several hundred more killed by Israeli Defense Forces in airstrikes in Gaza.
“This was an unprovoked terrorist attack on the Jewish people,” Gavi Geller, executive director of JCRB/AJC, said.
People in Overland Park gathered to pray for hostages held captive and to mourn those killed, singing a traditional Hebrew prayer sung at funerals.
“To hear the prayers, to see some of the tears, to see the hugs between perfect strangers, those are the things that tell me this is really, really hitting a lot of the people in their hearts,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said, who sat in the audience along with Kansas City City Manager Brian Platt.
“It’s just hard to think about what’s going on there. That’s our family. Those are our brothers and sisters that are being taken that are dying for what?” Carolyn Goldwasser said.
For the Goldwassers and 600 others inside, The Temple and 800 more online, Monday was a night of healing and togetherness.
“This is what our Kansas City Jewish community does, this is our strength. We are all feeling the pain, the loss, the horror of what’s happening in Israel,” Jay Lewis, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, said.
“If we could be there now, we would be. That was my first inclination. I wanted to be there. I needed this because I wanted to be with the people,” Goldwasser said.