WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — Every student at Yeshiva University’s solidarity event Wednesday night is connected to someone who’s fighting, been captured or killed in the war in Israel since Saturday. 

That’s how close this conflict hits home.

“I have a friend who’s a [Resident Assistant] in the dorms and is a gunner in a tan. He may be going to Gaza,” said senior Elishama Marmon.

The president of the flagship Jewish institution has two sons in the Israel Defense Forces while he runs YU back in Washington Heights. 

“Saw my son yesterday. We were able to give him a hug and share with him our love,” Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman said.

He was in Israel on the sabbath when air raid sirens went off. The very sound of sirens in New York haunts him as rocket fire continues abroad.

More PIX11 Stories

Israel at War

Read More

“We are all sickened by the depravity and brutality of Hamas,” Berman said. 

Hannie Ricardo is a former teacher at YU. Her daughter, Oriya Ricardo, is one of the many victims who were murdered.

“It’s a slaughter, a massacre that happened in my country,” Ricardo told PIX11’s Anthony DiLorenzo. 

The Upper East Side resident rushed home to Israel when she received a text from her 26-year-old daughter, saying ”Mom, I love you very much.”

Oriya Ricardo was at a music festival when gunfire erupted. She fled but her car was surrounded by Hamas terrorists with no way out. 

“Each car that came, they shot and killed them,” Ricardo said. 

She has yet to have a funeral nor identify her youngest daughter’s body. Adding to her grief: other friends are missing or dead. 

“They are Nazis. And I call what happened here… this is our 9/11,” Ricardo said.