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Ann Arbor Jewish community gathers to pray for safe return of hostages

Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
A man holds a poster board with photographs of many of the hostages believed to be in Gaza, after Hamas' incursion into Israel October 7.

Jewish religious and community leaders led a gathering of several hundred people in Ann Arbor Sunday night, to pray for the safe release of hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza.

It's believed more than 200 people are hostages in Gaza. Jewish students read each known name — from young children to the elderly — and people held photos of hostages in the air, as Rabbi Gabrielle Pescador prayed.

"We pray for the lives of civilians and soldiers who have been heartlessly kidnapped by Hamas. Watch over them — shelter them — bring them home. ... Bring peace, God. Let it rain down from the heavens like a mighty storm. Let it wash away all hatred and bloodshed."

Other speakers urged people to make contributions to support displaced Israeli citizens — many of whom lost both family members as well as homes and belongings during the violent incursion by Hamas militants on October 7.

Hamas released two hostages on Friday — both Americans.

Meanwhile, Israel has amassed thousands of troops at the border with Gaza — as world leaders including President Joe Biden urge the protection of Palestinian civilians if there is a ground invasion.

Copyright 2023 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.