MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds came together Wednesday at the Memphis Jewish Community Center on Poplar Avenue for a solidarity gathering in support of Israel.
Conflict in the Middle East has left Memphis’ Jewish community reeling from the death and destruction.
As the death toll rises on both sides in Israel and the airstrikes continue, hundreds came together for solidarity at a gathering hosted by the Memphis Jewish Federation.
Inside the solidarity gathering, we heard everything from personal stories to prayers urging people to remember that now more than ever it’s important to stand with Israel.
“I have family who, while they are physically safe in the moment, traumatized,” said Rachel Shankman with the Jewish Federation Community Relations Council. “We need the community — Jewish, non-Jewish, every race — to stand with us so that people in Israel understand we are really united in this moment of their greatest need.”
The room was filled with emotions of fear, terror, disappointment, and heartache as a woman living in Tele Aviv shared a first-hand account.
Leaders from the state capital to city hall — from the layman to law enforcement — lit symbolic candles and pledged support as prayers for peace continued.
“My friends from the IDF have lost family members and their family are broken. We are here in solidarity to stand with you,” said Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis.
“We’ve seen what these terrorists have done and we need to stand up and say we’re with Israel,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
The Memphis Jewish Federation has now put out a call to action for people to donate to provide emergency needs. For information on how you can help, click here.