Contact Form

    News Details

    Vigil to be held tonight at Los Angeles temple for Hamas attack victims
    • October 8, 2023

    A local vigil will be held Sunday night for victims of Saturday’s Hamas attack against Israel, which has claimed more than 600 lives, with dozens of Israelis being held hostage.

    The “Vigil for Israel” is being co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and The Board of Rabbis of Southern California and is set for 8 p.m. at the Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive.

    “Together we will pray, sing for, and honor the memory of the … innocent Israelis who have tragically been murdered and pray for peace and the safe return of those who have been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists,” organizers said in a statement.

    The gathering will also be live streamed at  More information is available at

    Meanwhile, Los Angeles area police agencies have increased security and patrols around Jewish institutions in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica following the attack.

    Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist group, founded in 1987, that disputes Israel’s right to territory in the West Bank.

    Early Saturday, group forces fired thousands of rockets into Israel as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated several locations, catching the country off-guard as the weeklong Jewish festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of the Tabernacles, came to an end.

    Israeli authorities said a second round of rockets were fired Saturday evening and struck multiple locations inside Israel, including in Tel Aviv.

    In addition to the casualities, Israel said at least 100 of its soldiers and civilians were captured and taken to Gaza as hostages.

    Israel retaliated early Sunday and observers estimate as many as 400 Palestinians have been killed in the retaliatory fighting, with thousands more wounded.

    The fighting came on the 50th anniversary of the so-called “Yom Kippur War,” Oct 6-25, 1973, when Israel was attacked by a coalition of Arab states.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his nation in a televised address Saturday, “We are at war. What happened (Saturday) has never been seen in Israel. We will take mighty vengeance for this black day.”

    The Jewish Federation has decried the attacks and pledged its support for Israel.

    “Once again, on a holy day of the Jewish calendar, Israelis have come under attack,” an organization statement said. “The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles stands in solidarity with our beloved homeland. We are working with our partners in Israel and across the globe to ensure the people of Israel have our full support and all necessary resources.

    “Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will stand together — as we always do.”

    The Federation set up an emergency fund to support the victims, which can be found at

    Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA provided their perspective on the decades-long land dispute in a statement to City News Service:

    “Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA wish to stress that it is imperative to understand that Palestinians have suffered under occupation for decades, and resistance is a response to the daily violence, dehumanization, and colonization that Palestinians face.”

    The Muslim Public Affairs Council echoed those sentiments in a statement Saturday in Washington, D.C.

    “To truly understand what is happening, we must look to the source of the problem; an ongoing occupation in violation of international human rights law that has left the Palestinian people, in particular Gazans, stripped of their basic rights and human dignity,” the council said. “By actively, and often violently, preventing their pursuit of a self-defined identity, national autonomy, and global recognition, Israeli occupation and the world’s continued silence has offered Hamas and other groups the political vacuum needed to propel themselves into positions of leadership and justify their violent attacks.”

    The U.S. State Department said U.S. citizens seeking to get in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Israel should visit or call 888-407-4747.




    ​ Orange County Register