Israeli President Isaac Herzog, South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, and other prominent Jewish leaders speak in an extraordinary solidarity rally for our brothers and sisters in Israel, organized by Merkos 302.
On Wednesday, November 15, Chabad Headquarters hosted Israeli President Isaac Herzog, South African Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, and other Jewish leaders for Uplift: Messages of Direction and Hope. Coming at a time when many Jews feel heartbroken, isolated, and alone, tens of thousands of Jews worldwide tuned in for the hour-long program of encouragement and direction.
“These are extreme times,” President Herzog said at Chabad’s online rally. “We’re reminded of the darkest times in our history,” he said, “but however great the hatred, our spirit is stronger.” “Unity is our secret weapon,” he added.
Hosted by popular Chabad teacher and mentor Rivkah Slonim from Chabad Binghamton University, Uplift aimed to give world Jewry a powerful source of hope and optimism at a time of intense tragedy; tens of thousands of Jews worldwide tuned in for the live broadcast on Chabad.org.
“So many of us are feeling fear, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness,” Slonim said. “We’re not mitigating that, nor the tragedy that befell our people. But we’re also seeing unity and heartstopping generosity—highlighting that helps us heal.”
The event melded heartfelt prayer and words of resilience and encouragement. Brazilian IDF Veteran Mr. Niky Pelosof led participants in Psalms, and a class of Hebrew Day School children led the rally in reciting the Shema. The program featured uplifting video messages from Israeli soldiers on the front lines and a keynote address from Rabbi Sholom Moshe Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington, NY.
Uplift showcased the impact Jews worldwide are making through generous donations, acts of solidarity, and timeless mitzvah acts—rally-goers heard from Rabbi Levi Mendelsohn, director of Lev Chabad and Chabad’s Emergency Response in Israel.
“People in Israel don’t leave home if they don’t have to right now,” Mendelsohn said. “But morale is high. Knowing that people worldwide stand with us and are doing mitzvot in solidarity with us means a great deal.”
Rabbi Mendelsohn shared his experience working to support wounded civilians, soldiers, and their families in Israeli hospitals around the clock and discussed his work to bring cheer to the thousands of Israeli children currently living as “refugees in their own land.”
In an address to world Jewry, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice-chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch—Chabad’s educational arm—urged participants to demonstrate Jewish resilience by embracing the unique light the Jewish people bring to the world.
“We’ve all witnessed the greatest atrocities of our time,” Rabbi Kotlarsky said. “And the Rebbe taught us that at moments like these, we must uplift ourselves and light up the world. Let’s do a mitzvah for those who gave their lives, the hostages, and all those in harm’s way. Let’s show the world we’re here to stay, and nothing will keep us from shining our light.”
The event concluded with a call to action inviting people to join the worldwide campaign of Mitzvahs For Israel on OneMitzvah.org/Israel
Watch a replay: