Hundreds of people from all backgrounds joined in solidarity and empathy for Israel at the gathering in Downtown Buffalo.
Hundreds of people from all backgrounds joined in solidarity and empathy at the gathering in Downtown Buffalo at the iconic Niagara Square in front of City Hall, which was illuminated Blue and White. The event was opened and emceed by Rabbi Mendy Labkowski.
Congressman Nick Langworthy, amongst the strongest supporters of Israel in the US House of representatives, addressed the crowd:
“As the state with the largest Jewish population of New York, we will always be proud to stand with Israel. We must make no mistake that America stands with Israel now and forever.
“I am outraged by some of my colleagues in the United States Congress who refuse to stand behind our ally and the Jewish people at this moment. There is no moral equivalent between Israel defending itself and Hamas attacking and killing innocent Israeli citizens. Those who refuse to recognize this are fueling anti-Semitism and pure hate.
“Hamas must be eliminated. Hamas must be eliminated just like Isis. Hamas is Isis. They are just as barbaric and depraved, and we cannot rest until they are eradicated.
“I am looking forward to getting back to work with my colleagues in Congress to provide whatever aid that Israel needs and to make meaningful policy changes to fortify our nation’s response to attacks just like we saw last Saturday.
“The Jewish people have proven over history that they are resilient, and survival is written in their DNA. But they are not alone. Anti-Semitism and hate have no home here. And together, we will work to ensure that freedom and peace prevail and that good wins over evil.”
The Mayor of Buffalo, Mr. Byron Brown was represented by Mr. Howard Grynspan, a child of Holocaust Survivors.
Tehillim was led by Rabbi Dovid Labkowski. Kel Malei Rachamim was recited by Chazzen Charlie Shuman, ‘The Zaide of Buffalo’. Mi Sheberach for all the wounded and captives was recited by Mr. Goan Erez, Program Director of the Buffalo JCC. The event included a video address of the Rebbe, and the 12 Pesukim recited by local Jewish children.
Rabbi Laizer Labkowski inspired the crowd, including a call to action for men to don Tefillin, women to light Shabbos candles, all to join our weekly Torah Study class, and to increase acts of goodness and kindness amongst other Mitzvos.
Prominent community members, including Mr. Alan Rosenhoch, Mr. Michael Berger, Mr. Reuven Kapchan, Mr. Uriel Halbreich, and Mr. Avishai Afek, addressed the crowd.
Shabbos Candle kits – sponsored by Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein in conjunction with Jewfadz and Rabbi Menachem Schmidt – were distributed to Jewish Women and girls in attendance and were encouraged to light the coming Friday.
The event received much press coverage and was under strong security by various law enforcement agencies, including the Buffalo Police, New York State Police, Erie County Sheriffs, and Homeland Security.
Full event livestream replay: