Federation in the news: The Daily Hampshire Gazette 10/10/23

Grieving together: Jewish community gathers in Amherst, Northampton to share emotions, show solidarity with Israel

Mara Hahn received a text from her nephew, who lives in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on Tuesday saying that he had already been in and out of a bomb shelter twice that day.

Then another text came from a friend, an Israeli who lives in America, saying they know someone living at Be’eri, a kibbutz in southern Israel that had been the site of a recent massacre by Hamas, with more than 100 Israelis killed.

“How do you plan a funeral for 100 people?” Hahn said. “It’s just unimaginable.”

Hahn, president of the Jewish Community of Amherst synagogue, was one of several hundred members of the Jewish community in the Pioneer Valley who gathered together Monday night to show solidarity and share their emotions and trauma over the ongoing attacks in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the attacks on Israeli citizens by the Islamic nationalist and militant organization, which controls the Gaza Strip.