Advocates erect empty Shabbat tables in support of hostages taken by Hamas

by | Oct 28, 2023 | Religion

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In the weeks after Hamas terrorists rampaged towns in southern Israel, leaving hundreds dead and taking more than 200 hostage, Sheila Katz traveled to Israel to be with a friend who had five family members believed to be kidnapped. While she was there, they learned two had already been killed.“I committed to people that I met there and here that I would spend every day speaking up until their family’s home, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, told Religion News Service.
On Friday (Oct. 27), she addressed a crowd of people gathered in front of a massive Shabbat table erected near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The table’s chairs set empty. Fliers were distributed throughout the crowd, each with the name of a person missing since the Oct. 7 attack that left at least 1,400 dead, sparking an ongoing retaliatory Israeli assault on Gaza.
Katz’s organization is among a number of Jewish groups — including the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which set up the D.C. event — that are working to raise awareness about the plight of U.S. citizens and Israelis taken hostage during the recent attack by Hamas along Israel’s bor …

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