AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst Hillel hosted a solidarity walk Friday afternoon spotlighting the 240 Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.

22News was at the event and spoke to students, faculty, and more about this showing of solidarity. UMass Hillel wants everyone to know there are still hundreds of innocent Israelis still being held hostage.

On October 7th, over 200 innocent Israelis including babies and the elderly were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and taken into Gaza. Almost a month after these actions, local college students want everyone to know that almost all of those innocent people are still being held captive.

On Friday afternoon UMass Hillel held a solidarity walk and gathering for the Israeli hostages. Rabbi Aaron Fine, Executive Director at UMass Hillel told 22News, “It means a lot that people are gonna come together today and pray for and call for the return of the hostages.”

Not just college students came to the event, I spoke to local holocaust survivor Henia Lewin who told me it is imperative to continue to make sure the world knows about the injustices from Hamas.

“It’s just delightful to see college students understand that we have to get those hostages back and we have to get rid of Hamas,” Henia Lewin, holocaust survivor said.

As of right now, there are still over 230 hostages taken by terrorists into Gaza, and this community at UMass will not stop standing up for solidarity with them until they are all taken back home.

“We have one common goal and that is to support the hostages and support the state of Israel and this is where we all can do that and we can march and really talk about what’s going on,” Ben Englander, UMass junior said.

It’s been an extremely difficult month for the Jewish community, many of whom have family in Israel, and many others who have witnessed and experienced antisemitism on campus. But even through it all, this walk throughout campus is proving to bring the community together through both pride and solidarity.

“There’s a lot of togetherness that has emerged in the face of our brokeness,” Rabbi Aaron Fine said.

The latest report from the Israeli military is that 242 people have been taken hostage. As of right now, only 4 have been returned and one has been rescued.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.