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'When it's your own kin... it has faces': The local Jewish community reacts to the Israel attacks

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Posted at 8:53 PM, Oct 09, 2023
  • Israel came under attack this past weekend on a Jewish holiday.
  • Rabbi Michoel Feinstein says he has been working to get families into contact with their loved ones. He says two members of his congregation have lost family members in the attacks.
  • Rabbi Shania Bacharach says there might be an event for the public to come and pay their respects to Israel in the near future.

The world is watching closely what's going on in Israel, including the Jewish community here in northeast Wisconsin. Local Jewish leaders say their congregations and friends are feeling for their loved ones in the Middle East.

Rabbi Shania Bacharach of the synagogue, Congregation Cnesses Israel Temple in Green Bay, says the Jewish community is hurting following the attacks in Israel.

"Everybody is very... very rattled," said Bacharach. "The carnage, the devastation, the cruelty, the viciousness is beyond anything all of our minds can wrap ourselves around."

Rabbi Bacharach says all Jewish people feel a connection to Israel.

"A lot of fear, a lot of worry," she said. "I mean, what's happening?"

Rabbi Michoel Feinstein is helping families get in contact with loved ones in Israel.

"I've been on the phone from pretty much last night until now," Feinstein said.

Although they've received good news at times, Rabbi Feinstein says there has been two members of their congregation that have lost family members.

"The fact that there are people dying and that are displaced and that are in the middle of a war, should affect the humanity of every human being," said Feinstein.

Rabbi Feinstein says Jewish leaders encourage Jewish people to give to charity, to pray and light candles.

The pain, both rabbis say, hits too close to home.

"When it's your own kin and people you know, it adds a different level," said Rabbi Bacharach. "It has faces."

Rabbi Bacharach tells me that although nothing is scheduled yet, the rabbis in the area may put together an event for the public to come and pay their respects to Israel.