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Jewish Leaders Mark 100 Days of Israeli Hostage Crisis

Harriet P. Schleifer, Chair, and William C. Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, released this statement on the occasion of the 100th day since the Hamas terror attack of October 7, 2023, which falls on Sunday, January 14, 2024:

“October 7 began as a normal day in Israel—worshippers prepared to celebrate Shabbat and Simchat Torah. The peace of that Sabbath and holiday was shattered by Hamas’ vicious slaughter of 1,200 Israeli men, women, and children in towns near the Gaza Strip. This weekend marks 100 days since October 7, a grim milestone that recalls our duty to the victims, their families, and especially the hostages, of which well over 100 are still being held by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.

The plight of the hostages moves American Jewry in particular — the hostages have now gone 100 days without their families, without a proper meal, without a shower, perhaps even without having seen the sunlight, as many are imprisoned in Hamas’ tunnel dungeons. We will labor to “set free the captive, and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust,” as our tradition instructs us. We continue to demand the unconditional and immediate release of every hostage.

The Jewish people remain at war — our watchword is, to quote the Israeli chant, ננצח ביחד (Together We Will Win). Even as we witness an alarming rise in antisemitism, we have seen incredible unity in world Jewry since the barbarous Hamas attack. Nearly three hundred thousand American Jews and their allies rallied for Israel’s war effort in Washington, DC in November. Our communities have raised funds and dispatched doctors, social workers, and other aid to the hardest-hit communities of southern Israel. The Jewish people remain at war — a just war of self-defense to remove an existential threat — and we will continue until victory.”

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