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Heschel High School Attends Rally Marking 100 Days Since Oct. 7

Nearly 100 days after the tragedy of Oct. 7, the Heschel School, along with approximately 2500 other people, congregated outside the United Nations to stand in solidarity with the 132 hostages remaining captive in Gaza and to demand their immediate return. High schoolers gathered together at school in the morning, and took public transportation or walked to the rally. 

The rally began with singing dedicated to the hostages. Many held Israeli and American flags and posters with the faces of hostages. Volunteers distributed hats and pins with the slogan “Bring Them Home,” hoping to spread awareness. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer both spoke, calling for the return of the hostages. Yair Moses, father of hostage Gadi Moses, shared his emotions and frustrations. Hamas released his 78-year-old mother Margalit from captivity in Nov., but his father remains captive. They were taken from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7. Margalit suffers from a breathing condition at night, and Hamas stripped her breathing device from her, leaving her in critical condition; she remains in recovery. Yair also spoke about his inability to eat or sleep, knowing his father is still in Gaza. 

Hila Rotem Shoshani traveled from Israel to speak at the rally. Hila is 13 years old and was taken hostage from Kibbutz Be’eri along with her mother and friend. She gave the first speech by a former captive in the U.S. 

“Life as a hostage in Gaza is not life, it is hell. I came all the way here to ask the whole world to help us bring back all of the hostages,” she said. 

In response to Hila’s speech, a student who wishes to remain anonymous said, “Every day in Talmud class we dedicate our learning to a hostage in Gaza. I remember weeks ago dedicating the class to Hila and her mother Raaya. To hear from her in person after being freed was extremely moving. In a way, it gave me hope, but also reminded me of all the other individuals still in Gaza with a story to tell.”

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