Hostages of Hamas Remembered in Striking Memorials in South Orange


In addition, a Havdalah for Healing & Hope on Oct. 28 brought prayers for peace for all children of Abraham.

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Two exhibits and one event at South Orange’s Spiotta Park this past weekend put the focus on innocent victims of recent terrorist attacks in Israel.

On October 27, a group of local moms put together an exhibit to “shine a light on the children that were taken hostage.” The exhibit featured a set of children’s shoes and a balloon beside a picture of each child who was abducted. A second exhibit on October 28 featured strollers and balloons with the photos. Later that day, a “Havdalah for Hope and Healing,” led by local rabbis, elected officials and other religious leaders, denounced terrorism and offered prayers for peace. While leaders said they were not there to be political or direct the Israeli government to take any action, they did ask that “all care be taken to avoid all civilian casualties” and called for the release of all hostages.

“Most of all, we are here to pray for peace,” said one rabbi. “Shalom. Salaam. Peace for the people of Israel. Peace for the innocent civilians in Gaza. Peace for the region and for the Jewish community and all of our minority communities here in the United States and around the world. We are here to pray for peace for the children of Abraham … who need to learn to live together in peace.”

The following statement is from organizers of the two exhibits, who have named themselves “BringThemHome SOMA”:

Empty strollers, Broken hearts

On October 7, Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel, killing over 1,400 civilians and taking over 240 hostages, while broadcasting their cruel actions live. Among the hostages are 30 children, toddlers and infants.

As local SOMA parents, waking up to this news has been unbearable. While we haven’t been directly affected by Hamas’s heinous crimes, we ache for those who have and cannot stop imagining if these were our children. We imagine a child the same age as our sons or a child with the same name as our daughters and we will not rest, we simply cannot, until the children and their families are back.

We have created the empty shoes and stroller exhibits in South Orange to express our heartache and to support our fellow parents in Israel and those who are being held hostage. This is part of efforts worldwide to raise public awareness and  #Bringthemhomenow.

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