West MI Jewish Community Unites in Support for Israel



Hamas, an Islamic militant group, launched a surprise attack on Israel, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and leaving thousands wounded. Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan held a gathering to remember the casualties. Israeli officials have declared war on Hamas in response to the attack.

Grand Rapids Temple Emanuel Memorializes Israeli Lives Lost to Hamas Attack

A memorial was held at Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Sunday, honoring the hundreds of Israeli lives lost over the recent weekend due to an unexpected attack by Hamas, an Islamic militant group. Michael Shadick, the rabbi of Temple Emanuel, called the attack “evil” and an indescribable tragedy.

Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading Israeli officials to officially declare war. The conflict has resulted in over 1,100 fatalities and thousands of injuries on both sides. Read more about Israel’s official declaration of war on Hamas here.

Shadick described the attack as one of the darkest moments in Jewish history post-Holocaust. Many congregation members express concern for their family members currently residing in Israel.

Amidst the conflict, Michael Harris’ wife traveled to Israel to care for her mother. Harris, who served in the Israel Defense Forces for 15 years and holds a doctorate in public policy, resides 20 miles from Gaza. Despite the constant threat of rocket attacks and the presence of terrorists, Harris maintains that his family is relatively safe, and that they have adapted to the challenging circumstances.

Harris criticizes Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel as a significant failure, expecting the Israel Defense Forces to retaliate strongly. “Israel needs to strike Gaza so robustly, that Hamas will be permanently incapacitated,” said Harris.

Shadick echoes Harris’ sentiments, advocating for the support of the Jewish community in West Michigan as Israel defends itself. He emphasizes the importance of Israel as a safe haven for Jews, making the ongoing events particularly distressing for the community.

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