100th Day of October 7

Tags: Federation, Blog, Israel

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When my kids were in kindergarten, they had a 100-day project. The assignment was to create an art project that counts 100 of something to understand what 100 looks like.

Today is the 100th day of October 7.

Today we know 100. 100 days since terrorists viciously attacked Israel and murdered over 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 others.

100 days since everything changed.

Over the 100 days since October 7, more than 190 Israelis have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, traumatized, injured – Jew, Arab, and Christian, all religions and backgrounds alike. 100 days of advocating and praying for those still being held hostage to be returned home.

During this time, the Jewish people have been demonized by a terrorist enemy and their followers throughout the world raising the level of hatred of Jews to levels not seen since the Holocaust. To Hamas and their supporters, those living in Israel and in Gaza are not people – they are military assets. None of our lives are worth anything.

Our hearts go out to the innocent Palestinians who have been killed because of Hamas’s terror.

For the past 100 days, we have leaned into the pain and trauma. Images are seared into our memory that flash us back to an earlier time – a horrific scar in our people’s memory – the Holocaust. Our oldest Holocaust Survivors of concentration camps were branded with numbers, and watched and learned that this time in Gaza, our kidnapped children were branded.

We have heard stories and met survivors of October 7. Today, we have an obligation to retell these stories. We have an obligation to advocate for the hostages to be returned to their homes. We have an obligation to put names and faces to the numbers. We have a responsibility to Kfir Bibas, who turned one just over a week ago, and his 4-year-old brother, Ariel.  They are our family and they are still being held hostage with over 130 others in Gaza.

And in Cleveland, we have our own fight. As hate groups are invited to speak at area high school clubs, and young adults on campus and speakers at public forums are subjected to intimidation and bullying by haters, we need to stand even stronger together.

Together we will win - ביחד ננצח

What else does 100 look like? Tens of thousands of Jewish Clevelanders and our friends and extended family across Cleveland – standing together, working together, and supporting each other. We know how to come together in Cleveland and we know how to stand up for what is right.

Together we will win - ביחד ננצח

Thank you for all of your support of our community and the Jewish people. Thank you for stepping up to support each other in ways big and small. Thank you for not hesitating to volunteer, to give, and to participate. You are making a real difference.

As the 100th day of October 7 also falls on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, let me leave you with this quote from Dr. King, who was an unapologetic friend of Israel and the Jewish people:

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, March 26, 1968)

Together we will win - ביחד ננצח

May the memories of those murdered by terrorists be for a blessing that inspires us to act.

Am Yisrael Chai,

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

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