As darkness fell last night, over 300 Westporters lit Jesup Green with candles.
In the chill October air they stood shoulder to shoulder in support of Israel, and prayed for the safe return of hostages held by Hamas.
They gathered, Rev. Heather Sinclair of the United Methodist Church said, for “comfort, support and reassurance,” and in “sadness, grief, anger, fear and frustration.”
Rabbi Yehudah Kantor of Chabad of Westport and Weston noted, “Some rise up in arms. We rise up by linking arms.”
They sang the Israeli national anthem, and America’s.
They observed a moment of silence. And then, spontaneously, they sang “Am Yisrael Chai.” The words mean: “the people of Israel live.”
The vigil was non-partisan. No politicians spoke.
But the words of the multi-faith clergy — and the size of the crowd — spoke volumes.
(From left): Rabbi Greg Wall of Beit Chaverim, Rabbi Michael Friedman of Temple Israel and Rev. Heather Sinclair of the United Methodist Church, before the vigil.
Organizers of the vigil distributed flyers of many of the 200 hostages held by Hamas. Like other Westporters, Lauren Soloff and Wes Malowitz (above) have relatives and friends in Israel.
Staples High School seniors Jeremy Rosenkranz (left) and Eitan Eiger.
Andrew Colabella, during the national anthem.
(From left): Police Chief Foti Koskinas, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Bill Mitchell. Westport Police provided security for the event.
(All photos/Dan Woog)