Edmonton prayer vigil calls for Hamas to release the Israeli hostages

The Jewish Federation of Edmonton and JNF organized a vigil on October 25 at the Alberta Legislature to call for the return of over 220 Israeli hostages that were kidnapped by Hamas.The event concluded with the singing of "Hatikvah." Photo by Paula Kirman.

(AJNews) Close to 300 members of the Edmonton Jewish Community and their friends and allies braved the cold to attend a sombre vigil at the Alberta Legislature Grounds on October 25. The purpose of the vigil was to raise awareness of over 220 hostages that are being held in Gaza by Hamas terrorists following the brutal October 7 massacre in Southern Israel and to call for their safe return home.

Close to 300 people attended a vigil at the Alberta Legislature on Oct. 25 calling for Hamas to release over 220 hostages that were abducted to Gaza on Oct. 7. Photo by Jewish Federation of Edmonton.

“We are asking for the 222 hostages to be returned to their families safely,” stated Jewish Federation of Edmonton CEO Stacey Leavitt-Wright.

Prayers were recited for the safety of the hostages and a silence fell over the crowd as one by one, the names of the hostages were read aloud by people representing the various Jewish organizations in Edmonton. It was both emotional and heartbreaking. Almost everyone in the community has a personal connection to someone who was murdered, wounded or abducted that day.

Community leaders as well as rabbis from Beth Israel, Beth Shalom and Temple Beth Ora were in attendance as well as several politicians and dignitaries including Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.

Printed images of the hostages were distributed to the first 200 people who arrived at the vigil and people were welcome to bring Israeli flags to show their solidarity.

The evening concluded with the singing of a few Hebrew songs and Israel’s National Anthem “Hatikvah” (Hope).

The vigil was co-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Edmonton and JNF Edmonton Region.

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