Moving dinner for 180 family members of the hostages

Since the gruesome attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023, there are still over 130 hostages being held by Hamas, including two children. The family members of these hostages traveled to The Netherlands for one day on Wednesday, February 14, to file a lawsuit against the terrorist movement Hamas at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The fact that the families happened to be in The Netherlands when we were celebrating Valentine’s Day was a beautiful coincidence. They came to fight for the release of their loved ones, and there was no better day to do that. Some of the released hostages came along with the family members. In total, 112 hostages have been released so far. Hundreds of local supporters gathered at the court that day as well, to stand with the families and the hostages.

(Photo: Christenen voor Israel)

An touching scene unfolded when the 180 Israeli visitors were received for dinner after the proceedings, before they returned to the airport. The dinner was organized by Chabad on Campus in collaboration with the Jewish Community Amsterdam (NIHS) and Christians for Israel and took place in the Jewish Cultural Center of NIHS in Amsterdam. The speed at which this evening was organized was remarkable and was possible thanks to the dedication of dozens of volunteers, including a large number from the Jewish Community Amsterdam.

“These families are going through an unimaginably difficult period, and all we can do is show that we are there for them,” said the national student rabbi Yanki Jacobs, “and that’s what we did.”

During the dinner, the family members also had the opportunity to view the exhibition Coming Home Soon. This exhibition consists of a collection of booklets, one for each hostage. Visitors have the opportunity to leave a message for the hostages in these books. Emotions ran high as they read these messages for their loved ones.

At the end, the participants received a package for the plane, including a souvenir from Amsterdam, the letter Chai made of chocolate, and kosher snacks. Everything, from flowers to fruit and snacks, was organized and sponsored by the volunteers. It was a tragic reason for this gathering, but it had a profound meaning for the bond between the Jewish community in the Netherlands and Israel.


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