A Symbol of Solidarity and Hope
On Thursday, October 12, 2023, the Bezuidenhout Synagogue in The Hague became the epicenter of a profound display of unity and resilience as hundreds of individuals, including members of the Jewish community and the diplomatic corps, came together in a solemn gathering to offer prayers and support following the brutal terrorist attacks on Israel. This event not only showcased the unwavering solidarity of the Jewish community but also emphasized the importance of unity in times of adversity.
The backdrop for this united prayer gathering was the tragic attack on Israel that took place on October 7, 2023. The Israeli victims and their families were not alone in their suffering, as official statements from numerous countries and international organizations expressed their profound condolences and condemned the violence perpetrated by Hamas.
The Bezuidenhout Synagogue, a place of worship, reflection, and community for The Hague’s Jewish population, opened its doors to a diverse crowd. The attendees included members of the Jewish community who were deeply affected by the events in Israel, as well as representatives from the diplomatic corps in The Hague.
Mayor Jan van Zanen graced the event with his presence and delivered a poignant speech on the significance of unity and strength during trying times.
The diplomatic corps was well-represented at the gathering, with Ambassadors and diplomats from various nations in attendance. Notable figures included: Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Modi Ephraim and the Cultural Attache Embassy of Israel, Ms. Fentay Alamu. The Ambassador of the United Kingdom, H.E. Joanna Roper, the Ambassador of Bulgaria, H.E. Konstantin Stefanov Dimitrov, the Ambassador of Australia, H.E. Dr. Gregory Alan French, the Ambassador of Greece, H.E. Caterina Ghini, the Ambassador-designate of Canada, Hugh Adsett, Deputy ambassador of France Mr. Daniel Westerink, Legal Counselor Embassy of the United States of America, Ms. Emily Kimbal, Counsellor Embassy of Argentina, Mr. Nicolas Rantica and the Head of Press & Cultural Embassy of Germany, Mr. Sebastian Kleve.
The program included a series of heartfelt speeches, with Rabbi Shmuel Katzman and Ambassador of Israel H.E. Modi Ephraim addressing the audience. Prayers and psalms, were led by Rabbi Simcha Steinberg from Eindhoven.
A particularly poignant moment came when children from the Jewish community joined together to sing songs of love and hope.
The gathering concluded with the entire assembly joining their voices in singing the national anthem of Israel, “Hatikvah,” which translates to “Hope.” This anthem carries a profound message of resilience and optimism, reminding all present that in the darkest of times, hope and unity can light the way forward.
The United Prayer Gathering at Bezuidenhout Synagogue in The Hague was a testament to the strength of human spirit and the power of faith and unity. As the Jewish community and their allies came together to support one another, they sent a powerful message of hope and solidarity.