Photo credits: Frank Storch
On Sunday October 29, 2023 a spirited crowd of approximately 1000 massed in the plaza in front of Penn Station to express their support for Israel and the IDF; to demand the release of those being held hostage in Gaza; and to thank the United States for standing with Israel. Holding signs, flags and banners, Baltimoreans from 28 shuls, synagogues, temples and organizations set aside their religious and political differences to proclaim publicly and with one voice:
– That the atrocities perpetrated on October 7 were not committed by militants, extremists, or freedom fighters, but by terrorists whose ultimate aim is to kill Jews, destroy the State of Israel, and spread their murderous ideology;
– That they wholeheartedly, and without reservation, support the right of the State of Israel to defend itself, and pray for the safety of the brave soldiers of the IDF, who at this very moment are risking their lives to protect not only the State of Israel, but all Jews throughout the world;
– That they thank President Biden and the many other elected officials who expressed their sympathy to the victims of the October 7th pogrom, unhesitatingly described the perpetrators as evil, and committed to provide Israel with the resources it needs to protect its citizens;
– That they denounce the universities and colleges which have allowed their institutions to become hotbeds of anti-Israel propaganda and antisemitic propaganda, the moral relativists who equate Israel and Hamas, and the journalists who report as true the lies and blood libels spewed by terrorists;
– And finally, that they are confident that the State of Israel will survive this moment of crisis, and that with the help of Shomer Yisroel, HaKadosh Boruch Hu, Israel will remain what it has been since its founding 75 years ago: a safe haven for the oppressed and persecuted, a source of pride for the Jewish people, and a moral beacon for the entire world.
The crowd was addressed by Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro (Moses Montefiore), Rabbi Shmuel Silber (Suburban Orthodox), Rabbi Eitan Mintz (B’nai Israel), Caren Leven (BZD), Alexandra Levine, Jewish liaison & community faith leader, City Councilman Yitzy Schleifer, City Council President Nick Moseby, State Senate President Bill Ferguson and rally organizer Jay Bernstein. Prayers for the captives, and for the State of Israel, were recited by Rabbi Yisroel Motzen (Ner Tamid) and by Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi (Har Sinai – Oheb Shalom). Performing songs were Chazzan Yoni Rose (Beth Tfiloh), AKA Pella (Dovi Ziffer, Zevi Daniel and Moshe Abramson) and Eli Cohen.
In addition to Councilmen Schleifer and Mosby, and Senator Ferguson, the following elected officials attended the rally: City Councilman Zeke Cohen; County Councilman Izzy Patoka; Former Mayor Sheila Dixon; Delegate Sandy Rosenberg; Delegate Dalya Attar; Delegate Mark Edelson; Stephanie Levy on behalf of Congressman David Trone; and Sheriff Sam Cogan.
The organizers thank the Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore City Sheriff’s Department for their presence and professionalism at the rally.