UPPER WEST SIDE (PIX11) — Thousands turned out for a “New York Stands with Israel” rally on the Upper West Side Monday evening.
A stage was set up on Central Park West and 82nd Street, and the crowds stretched back to 86th Street.
The UJA-Federation of New York organized the event to mark 30 days since the deadly surprise Hamas attack on Israel.
“Thirty days is a shloshim, where people come together, to grief, to remember, and today, we’re still a community in deep grief. We’re still awaiting the return of 240 hostages,” Eric Goldstein, the CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, told PIX 11 News.
Fran Scharf attended the rally with her 9-year-old grandson.
“I think it’s very important that each generation knows the struggle we’ve had as a people, and we need to keep the flame going. We need to keep the light going. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of worry, a lot of hate, and we need to combat that,” Scharf said.
A small group gathered one block away on Columbus Avenue to oppose the Stand with Israel rally.
The group, which included Jewish rabbis, chanted:
“We oppose Israel because we are Jews. We cry, we hurt, with the murder, the mass murder of the people in Gaza, we hurt with them. We are Jews. The Torah forbids us to occupy.”
Security was tight for the rally. Bags were checked, and handheld metal detectors were used at the entrance points.