RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds of people gathered in Bicentennial Plaza in Raleigh on Sunday, calling for the release of hostages in Gaza. It was sponsored by 15 Jewish organizations and synagogues in the area.
The event comes from Noa Roth, an Israeli who’s lived in the U.S. for the past two years. She lost people she considers family during Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
Roth said she has loved ones living in communities near the Gaza border, and it wasn’t long until she heard people were missing. Those include Noya Dan, a 12-year-old Israeli girl and her grandmother, 80-year-old Carmela.
“Carmela, who won the best soup in the kibbutz. You know, it’s daily life, suddenly shattered,” said Roth.
Roth also spoke of other close friends, and their children, who have been taken hostage.
“Hadas, her two kids, Sahar. She is 16 years old, very gorgeous kid, artistic dancer, just amazing kid. And, her brother, her little brother, Erez, who is 12,” said Roth.
Roth said she needed to take a stand, so she called her community into action.
“It’s like a chain of mothers, that from their gut, felt like you needed to say ‘kishkas’, just from your inner parts. She’s like, no, I cannot be, you know, in my normal life,” said Roth.
Flyers held the places of the hundreds still missing. All with the names of the hundreds of people still missing. Organizers said shoes placed at the spots of each flyer represented the more than 200 Israelis held in Gaza.
The aftermath of the October 7 attack by Hamas is a new reality that directly impacts the lives of many Israelis in the crowd, many of whom call the Triangle home.
“My wife’s cousin lost her son, who was in the party and succeeded to escape from the party and went to a kibbutz bakery to, you know, for a safe zone. And he was murdered there,” said Gil Matz, who had just celebrated his wife’s birthday when he learned about the attack.
Roth said she hopes to create a ripple effect with her rally and that more people will be called to action.