More than 500 people – including a slew of community leaders and dignitaries – packed into the Greater New Haven Jewish Community Center’s Vine Auditorium in Woodbridge on Tuesday, Nov. 20 to voice their strong support for Israel. Organized by the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater New Haven, the “We Stand With Israel” rally was held in the midst of the recent conflict between Israel and the terror group Hamas – even as hundreds of rockets were lobbed into Israel from Gaza, many of them picked off in mid-air by Israel’s astounding Iron Dome rocket interception system.
“The enemies of Israel are the enemies of America, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal told those gathered. “It is in our national interest that we stop a nuclear-armed Iran. It is in our national interest that we stop Hamas and its reign of terror.” Blumenthal’s sentiments were echoed by Senator-elect Chris Murphy, currently the U.S. Representative from Connecticut’s 5th District.
Also among the evening’s speakers were Rabbi Dana Bogatz of Congregation Sinai in Milford, who serves as chair of the New Haven Board of Rabbis; Rev. Kenneth Fellenbaum of Wildermere Beach Congregational Church; Israeli Young Emissaries for Greater New Haven, Yuval Barkan and Assaf Ben Kish; Dov Horowitz, IDF Parachute Reservist Dov Horowitz, and Dr. Dan Oren of Woodbridge who was visiting in Tel Aviv the previous week when “Red Alert” sirens forced him to run to a bomb shelter.
The evening also raised more than $100,000 for humanitarian needs brought on by the conflict. Specifically, dollars will go toward treatment for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to relocate the disabled, elderly and children in the rocket strike zone.
Photo credit: Irv Grabstein