On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a brutal and coordinated attack on the people of Israel. These acts triggered memories of far too many episodes of aggression and terror against Jewish people over many centuries. The atrocities had not been seen since the Nazi Holocaust and more recent acts by ISIS. The Roanoke Jewish community is grieving. Many of us have friends and family in Israel.
Regardless of politics in Israel or in the United States, nothing can justify attacks on innocents and noncombatants. Hundreds, including American citizens, were slaughtered or taken hostage back to Gaza. This is not just an Israeli or Jewish problem, and is an affront to all of us.
Our local Jewish community, represented by Beth Israel Synagogue, Temple Emanuel, and the Roanoke Jewish Federation, stands firmly united in condemning these barbarous acts of terrorism. We thank religious and civic leaders in our community, as well as all decent people, for their demonstrations of support. We ask for your continued prayers for our brothers and sisters in Israel.
We are also sensitive to the suffering of the Palestinian people who have been subjugated for many years by a brutal regime which built a terror network, rather than developing a more democratic and prosperous society.
As Virginians and Americans, we can urge our representatives to enable Congress to deal with the needs of Israel, and to meet any challenge to our own national security.
Please join us in showing your support for Israel and our local Jewish community. For resources which can be immediately directed to on-the-ground efforts in Israel, donate directly to the Roanoke Jewish Federation or to our partner, the international humanitarian aid organization IsraAID.
President, the Roanoke Jewish Federation
President, Beth Israel Synagogue
President, Temple Emanuel