Over One Thousand Rally for Release of Israeli Hostages

More than 1,000 people gathered in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire on Sunday for the “Israel in our Herts” rally, calling for the immediate return of 134 Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The event was made possible through the generous support of the United Synagogue, Liberal Judaism, the Movement for Reform Judaism, the Israeli Embassy, the Board of Deputies, and StandWithUs.

A diverse array of prominent speakers addressed the crowd, including Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, Reverend Hayley Ace of Christian Action Against Anti-Semitism, Board of Deputies CEO Michael Wegier, Rabbi Gershon Silins from the Liberal Synagogue Elstree, university student Hannah Curtis sharing her experience of anti-Semitism on campus, and Hertsmere Borough Council leader Jeremy Newmark. The rally was a true cross-communal effort, also partnering with CAAA, UJS, and the Hertfordshire Jewish Forum.

Sharon Lifschitz, daughter of 83-year-old hostage Oded Lifschitz, issued an emotional plea for the captives’ release. “We don’t have time left,” she said, referring to her elderly father’s deteriorating health. Oded and his wife Yocheved, 85, were kidnapped on 7th October while transporting Palestinian patients from Gaza to Israeli hospitals, a cause they have long advocated for as peace activists.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis vowed in an impassioned speech, “The hostages will remain at the forefront of our minds until the last one comes home. We will cry out to leaders of the world to bring them home.” Reverend Ace stated, “I stand proudly with Israel and the Jewish people.”

The event featured prayers for peace and concluded with the singing of Israel’s national anthem “Hatikva” (The Hope) and Britain’s “God Save the King.” One of the organisers Josh Moont said it was vital to bring diverse groups together “to show our unwavering support for Israel and to not let the world forget about the plight of the 134 hostages.”

Vigils have been held weekly since 13th October by organisers determined to keep pressure on leaders until all the captives are freed and returned safely to their families. The broad coalition of supporters remains committed to this cause.

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