Vigil Held at Des Moines Synagogue in Wake of Attacks

Rabbi Neal Schuster speaking at a vigil service Monday. The service at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines was held to show support for victims of weekend attacks in Israel. Photo: Andrew Houp

(Des Moines, IA) -- Around 200 people attended a vigil service Monday night at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines to support those killed and injured in the attacks by Hamas on Saturday.

Jarad Bernstein, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, was in attendance and says the attacks call for decisive action. "What's going on there right now is something we've never seen in the history of the State," Bernstein said. "It calls for a big response, among the Israeli government, the Israeli Army, but also among the world community."

Bernstein says many Jewish Iowans have connections to Israel. "Lots of people have family there, every single person is impacted big and small, he said. "It's important that people know the stories, hear the stories, that they understand why Israel is going in with a big response right now to prevent anything like this from ever happening again."

Des Moines City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum also came Monday night. "We're here to support Israel and rally in this moment of need," Mandelbaum said. "We're gathering as a community to be together in solidarity and to provide the support that we can."

Iowa has just under fifty-five hundred Jewish residents according to At least 900 people have been killed since Saturday in Israel so far according to the military there.

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