SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) —It is the seventh day of the Israel-Hamas War, which has killed thousands of people.
Here in the United States, Jewish congregations are mourning and praying for their brothers and sisters who’ve lost their lives.
“This is evil. This is just pure evil. Coming in and creating chaos,” says President of Mt. Zion Congregation Jacob Forstein.
The Israel-Hamas war hits close to home for the Mt. Zion Congregation, with many having friends and family in Israel.
“All of us are trying to reach out to individuals that we know, that live in Israel or have contacts in Israel, and all trying to see what we can do, if there’s anything that we can do, and send our love and support and prayers. Because it’s a terrifying time over there,” says Forstein.
For Jews in the United States, the unrest is evoking strong emotions.
“Fearful– It’s just another attempt of another organization, or another group of people trying to eliminate Jews because of hatred,” says Forstein.
Today there were concerns that hate would arrive in the US.
A former Hamas leader has been calling for protests to deliver a message of anger in support of Palestinians.
In response, Mt. Zion is taking additional security measures.
“We have done everything that we can to secure our facility and our congregation. We work closely with the FBI, Homeland Security, to Sioux Falls PD,” says Forstein.
However, he says it’s important for all of us to remember that there is a huge difference between Hamas and Palestinians.
“I see a terrorist organization taking advantage of some really unfortunate people and trying to exploit them for personal gain,” says Forstein
“At the end of the day, there’s mothers on both sides that are weeping because of the terror that is happening,” says Forstein.
Forstein is asking for people to keep Israel in their thoughts and prayers.
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