Nothing could deter dozens of Westporters, who gathered before dawn yesterday morning at The Conservative Synagogue.
They waited for 2 buses to take them to Washington, for a nationwide March for Israel.
Then they waited … and waited … but the buses never came.
Undaunted, they decided to drive. They figured out drivers, loaded their belongings, and — in 38 cars — headed south.
They arrived a few hours later. Danielle Dobin reports:
“The crowd of almost 300,000 fell completely silent as the families of hostages kidnapped by Hamas shared their painful experiences. Everyone present recommitted to bringing the hostages home. I hope people will take the time to listen to the powerful remarks of Rachel Goldberg, the mother of someone abducted from the music festival.
“An invading army of terrorists purposefully kidnapped people from their homes, from a concert, babies from their cribs … and some Americans are cheering this or sanitizing it with words like ‘justified resistance’ is hard to fathom. Standing up to oppose this is why we needed to drop everything to be present yesterday.
“This was a profoundly patriotic crowd. American flags were everywhere — woven into people’s hair, printed on shirts and hats, worn as capes, waving on flagpoles. There were also many, many Israeli flags.
“Attendees proudly showed their faces. No one was masked.
“Jews, Christians and Muslims marched. Some folks were ardent supporters of Netanyahu and others were vocal detractors. Republicans and Democrats spoke. Everyone put aside their differences to demand the release of the hostages, declare their solidarity with the state of Israel, and to decry the proliferation of antisemitism on college campuses.
“My brother and I met multiple large groups of non-Jewish Israel supporters from the Midwest and beyond who flew in just for the demonstration. Their expressions in the photo below capture their energy.
“The buses scheduled to bring us gathered at the Conservative Synagogue failed to show up. We don’t know if this was a result of incompetence by the bus company, or if it can be attributed to antisemitism. We mostly piled into cars and drove down in big groups. There was a vibrant contingent of Westporters present, from school-aged children to grandparents.”
Danielle Dobin (2nd from left), and friends.
Danielle Dobin also sent this photo, from the Metro …
… while (below, from left) Rabbi Zach Plesent, Adam Blau and Bryan Bierman of Temple Israel gathered …
… and Arthur Hayes added this ,,,
From left: Arthur and Lisa Hayes with their son James, a Staples High School freshman. (Photo/Arthur Hayes)
,,, and Temple Israel executive director Bryan Bierman sent this: