By Dena Weiss Nashville Jews Rally in Support of Israel
This summer, communities across the Southeast came together in support of Israel as the nation withstood rocket fire and terror threats. Rallies across the region–from Memphis to Atlanta, Charlotte to Columbia, Nashville to Birmingham–brought together individuals from myriad backgrounds in solidarity with the people and State of Israel. Rallies in Jackson, MS, Mobile, and Huntsville, AL, proved that even small communities can make large statements. Consul General Opher Aviran and Deputy Consul General Ron Brummer traveled across the region for the important gatherings, serving as the official representatives of the State of Israel and thanking the people of the Southeast for their unwavering support.Birmingham, Alabama Rally
In South Carolina, rallies were held in capital city Columbia and Charleston. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, who has traveled to Israel twice, stated that “the city of Columbia has had a strong history with Israel, that Israel is ‘our one true friend in the Middle East.’” In Charleston, community leaders and elected officials, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and Representative Alan Clemmons, voiced their support for Israel during a rally organized by the Charleston Jewish Federation.
In North Carolina, rallies were held in Charlotte and Durham. In Charlotte, Representative Robert Pittenger strongly voiced his support for Israel and condemned the actions of Hamas. The Jewish Federations of Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Cary joined together for a support rally in Durham in mid-August.
In Tennessee, events were held in Chattanooga and Nashville. The Jewish Federation of Chattanooga arranged a solidarity event attended by members of the city’s Jewish and Christian communities. In Nashville, hundreds stood with Israeli flags and signs of support at the Gordon Jewish Community Center.Charleston, SC Rally
In Alabama, separate gatherings were held in Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville. . The Birmingham Jewish Federation hosted a rally that brought together more than 500 individuals. Messages of support from Representative Spencer Bachus, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Luther Strange, and Representative Terri Sewell were shared. In Mobile, residents organized a prayer rally for peace for Israel in downtown Mobile. Representatives of the Christian and Jewish communities joined together, including Reverend David Tokarz, pastor at Our Savior Catholic Parish in Mobile, who voiced “may bombs and mortars cease forever.”
In Mississippi, residents gathered at a major intersection in capital city Jackson to voice their support with signs and Israeli flags. Rabbi Ted Riter of Congregation Beth Israel, Mississippi’s largest synagogue and the only congregation in Jackson, stated that the crowd represented a “melting pot” from the state.