By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Students Attend U.N. Rally in Support of Families of Hostages

Approximately 50 Yeshiva University students and faculty members joined hundreds of New Yorkers Oct. 24 for a rally outside of the United Nations in support of the family members of hostages held captive by Hamas who had come to speak at the U.N.

The rally, a line of people stretching for five blocks along First Avenue, was filled with New Yorkers holding Israeli flags and large posters of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas. Rally-goers lined First Avenue for several hours, singing and chanting “bring them home,” until the families left the United Nations.

At 8:00 a.m., prior to the rally, a Shacharit service was held at the Isaiah Wall, with Wilf and Beren students joining Ramaz students and New Yorkers. The wall was later filled with ‘kidnapped’ posters.

The families of eight of the more than 200 Israelis held hostage by Hamas came to the U.N., including the parents and relatives of 49-year-olds Liat Benin and Aviva Atzili; 22-year-old Idan Alexander; 19-year-old Itai Chen; 23-year-old  Hersh Goldberg; 22-year-old Omar Neutra and 63-year-old Keith Shmuel Siegal and his wife, 62-year-old Aviva Siegal.

Transportation for Wilf students was reimbursed by the Office of Student Life. Beren students walked to the rally.

“The rally was a very unifying experience,” said Brandon Melamed (YC ‘25). “Seeing how we all spanned several blocks outside of the UN building, singing and praying and chanting together felt very powerful, especially since we were there to greet the parents of some of the hostages as well.”

“We needed to go,” said Yedidya Schechter (YC ‘24). “There are family members in real and deep pain. The least we could do is to show up and give over our love and care. That love will hopefully strengthen those suffering.”

A group of students traveled to Kingston, New York the following day to be menachem avel [comfort] Maurice Shnaider, whose sister and brother-in-law, Margit and Yosi Silverman, were among those murdered by Hamas. The Silvermans’ children, Shiri and Yarden Bibas, along with their children, 4-year-old Ariel and 9-month-old Kfir, were kidnapped by Hamas.


Photo Caption: The Isaiah wall, during the rally, filled with posters of the names of those kidnapped by Hamas.

Photo Credit: Sruli Friedman / The Commentator