Westchester Stands with Israel
On Tuesday evening, October 10, 2023, Westchester residents sadly participated in a rally organized by Westchester Jewish Council at TIC and via livestream in support of Israel. Over 1200 people attended in person and another 1200 via livestream. The need to listen, hear others and share grief was palpable. Rabbi Annie Tucker of TIC offered introductory remarks and William Schrag, President of Westchester Jewish Council served as facilitator of the program. UJA’s Tara Slone-Goldstein spoke. She was followed by the President of the Westchester Board of Rabbis, Rabbi Evan Hoffman, who offered a Mishaberach for soldiers serving. AJC’s Chief Advocacy Officer Belle Yoeli was a very effective and moving speaker. She stressed, “there is no moral equivalence”. Majority Leader of the NYS Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, spoke and was followed by State Senator Shelley Mayer and Vedat Gashi, who is Chair of the County Board of Legislators. George Latimer, our County Executive, said, “Hamas and Iran are seeking the obliteration of Israel”, and “Israelis have worked for 75 years to build a land that is more inclusive than those around them”, “… the cause of Israel is just”. Itay Milner, from the Israeli Consulate was then followed by Rabbi Menachem Creditor spoke and then sand with his guitar about building a world with love. Benjamin Siegel, a 16 year old junior at Scarsdale High School who is Israeli, brought everyone to tears as he told of his beloved scout leader Yanei who was just killed. “He is gone; murdered by evil”. Reverend Erwin Lee Trollinger of the Calvary Baptist Church said, “we must stop making hate normal”. Shachar Liran-Hanan, A leader of an Israeli delegation of 10 temporarily in the US spoke brilliantly. “This was not an attack, it was a massacre.” “If we won’t be safe in our own home, the Jewish people will have no future”. A reservist, Nimrod Ziv , said a prayer and then talked about his friends who were murdered. Council Officer Arlene Kleinberg asked people to contribute to the Israel Emergency Fund of UJA, to reach out to elected officials, reach out to those in Israel with virtual hugs, stay informed. She delivered a message from President Herzog thanking all those in North America for our support.