Seniors at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh and Jewish Home Assisted Living in River Vale held vigils Monday in response to the horrific attacks in Israel and to pray for seniors kidnapped and victimized by Hamas and all Israelis. Carol Silver Elliott, the Jewish Home Family’s president and CEO, Aryeh Markowitz, administrator, Jewish Home at Rockleigh; and chaplain Rabbi Jerome Berkowitz were among the speakers.
Over 200 residents of Franklin Lakes and neighboring communities gathered on Monday evening at the Goldman Chabad Jewish Center for an Israel solidarity and prayer rally. The rally-goers — adults, teenagers, and even some younger children — heard messages of resilience and action and saw video messages and musical renditions of prayers for Israel. Close to $100,000 was donated at the event in support of the IDF and Israeli communities ravaged by the terrorists as well as to a fund established by local Israeli families from Wyckoff, Glen Rock, and Franklin Lakes and administered by the Chabad (donations are accepted at aidtoisrael.com).
Hundreds of community members packed the amphitheater at the Hilton Woodcliff Lake for Valley Chabad’s “Stand Up For Israel” rally in response to the horrific attacks in Israel. The event was hastily arranged by Chabad after Simchat Torah ended Sunday evening. Rabbi Dov Drizin told about his nephew Ariel, who left his young wife to put on his uniform and serve in the IDF to defend the Jewish people. He shared a message of unity in strength in “our darkest hour” and was joined by Rabbi Yosef Orenstein who led the gathering in recitation of psalms and prayers for those lost and still in captivity. Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo and Councilman Richard Schnoll lit a memorial candle for those murdered and a “living candle” for those in need of recovery and soldiers.
People of all ages were in attendance, including a large group from Valley Chabad CTeen program, whose leadership board is planning a series of awareness events to give young people the tools to fight rampant lies and misinformation about Israel.
Constantine Kuperman of Woodcliff Lake, who attended with his wife, Liz, and their three children, said, “This event was uplifting and gave us much needed unity and strength.”
Northern New Jersey community rallies to support Israel
We Stand With Israel,” a community solidarity gathering for Israel, was held on Tuesday night at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. More than 5,000 people came together to show their support for Israel and to take comfort in community; hundreds more had to be turned away, officials said.
The rally represented many organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, the Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey, the Israeli American Council, Jewish National Fund USA, the Jewish Home Family, J-ADD, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, StandWithUS, the North Jersey Board of Rabbis, and the JCC of Northern New Jersey.
The speakers included New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin; Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36); Rabbi Binyomen Krohn of Young Israel of Teaneck, president of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County; Rabbi Jennifer Schlosberg of the Glen Rock Jewish Center, president of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis; JCC CEO Steve Rogers; JFNNJ CEO Jason Shames; JFNNJ President Dan Shlufman; Itay Milner of the Israeli consulate; and lone soldier and Tenafly High School graduate Naama Levy, 21.
Local people among the missing
As of press time, we know that young people from New Jersey are among the Americans missing in Israel.
Governor Phil Murphy, who was at a vigil in Hoboken, said that Edan Alexander, who had graduated from Tenafly High School, joined the IDF, and was near the Gaza border when the invasion began, is among that group.
The state’s attorney general, Matthew Platkin, told the crowd at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades on Tuesday night that at least two New Jerseyans were missing.
There are reports that one of them might be Laor Abraham, who was at the rave party that Hamas invaded and where it committed many atrocities.