Stark display honors Israeli hostages at Jewish Federation of Greater Naples
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Hundreds of empty chairs display photos of captives abducted, seized, killed in war with Hamas

NAPLES, Fla. - Floridant -- As the Israeli war with Hamas soon enters its third month, the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples has erected a temporary installation of hundreds of empty chairs displaying photos of the 240 hostages seized by the terrorist group, including those killed and remaining in captivity.

The installation, which will be removed this week, is a tangible reminder of the atrocities committed on Oct. 7 in the greatest act of global violence against Jews since the Holocaust, said Jeffrey Feld, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

"We must continue to ensure that the world – and our local community – remains aware of the atrocities committed against the people of Israel," he said. "Such barbaric violence cannot be allowed, whether here in Southwest Florida or the world over."

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Yellow ribbons on the 240 white folding chairs designate the 100-plus hostages released from Gaza during a week-long ceasefire that has since collapsed, most of them women and children, ranging in age from 4 to 85.

Black balloons on the chairs honor kidnapping victims who were killed in captivity, including Ravid Katz, 51, who died while protecting his wife and infant. Katz's 70-year-old mother Efrat was also killed by her captors. Captives who have not yet been identified were denoted with Israeli flags on their empty chairs.

The public commemoration marks the Federation's most recent response to the outbreak of war in Israel.

An emergency relief fund established almost immediately after the terror attacks has generated substantial community support, Feld said, while an early October community rally to stand with Israel drew an overflow crowd to the Nina Iser Jewish Cultural Center.

The Federation also hosted hundreds of Christians and Jews from across Southwest Florida in late November to take a public stand against a rising tide of global antisemitism through a new local Partnership of Christians and Jews convened by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

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About Jewish Federation of Greater Naples

The Jewish Federation of Greater Naples is the thread that runs through the fabric of the Jewish Community, its organizations and services, connecting the Jewish community. The Federation creates a sense of community for thousands of Jewish residents in Greater Naples and its surrounding areas by creating and supporting programs to further Jewish learning, identity, pride and culture. Federation meets the challenge of providing for the needs of our Jewish brethren, wherever they may be, from young children and families to seniors. For information, visit jewishnaples.org (https://www.jewishnaples.org/), call 239-263-4205 or email info@jewishnaples.org.

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Source: Jewish Federation of Greater Naples
Filed Under: Religion

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