Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


‘Stress, sadness and constant worry’: FAU’s Jewish community reacts to attacks on Israel

The day after the 50-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Gaza attacked Israel and the Jewish community at FAU is devastated.
Eston Parker III
FAU Boca Raton campus Hillel.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Oct. 8.

In the early morning hours on Saturday, Gaza launched an attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets in just a few hours the day after the 50-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Israeli officials report there are over 600 dead and 2000 wounded. The Israeli secret cabinet officially declared war, for the first time since 1973.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said dozens of Americans are currently being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza on Sunday morning.

“It has caused a lot of stress, sadness and worry,” FAU postbaccalaureate health science major Inbal Shachar wrote in a statement to the UP.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video speaking to Israeli citizens, Hamas and the world, after declaring war on Gaza. Hamas is a terrorist group that controls Gaza and is responsible for the attacks.

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war. This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the state of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours. I convened the heads of the security establishment and ordered, first of all, to clear out the communities that have been infiltrated by terrorists. This currently is being carried out,” Netanyahu said in the video. “At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. In the meantime, I call on citizens of Israel to strictly adhere to the directives of the [Israeli Defense Forces] IDF and Home Front Command. We are at war, and we will win it.”

Ariana Hoblin, president of Students Supporting Israel at FAU, told the UP that Jews around the world are “terrified.”

“This is our homeland. It was done without really any reason. It was just spur of the moment. I know that here in America, or at least in our community, we’re all terrified and we’re all texting our family and our friends that are in Israel…,” Hoblin said. “And there’s also some of our friends who have already served in the IDF. They’re back in America, they’re in reserves, and they’ve already started getting on planes and figuring out how to go back to Israel to serve and help with what’s going on.”

Adam Kolett, executive director of Hillel, said “It feels like the most unimaginable but worst nightmare. Angry and sad at the same time.”

Hillel is a place for Jewish students to feel welcomed and included.

Hillel’s Israeli Fellow Sapir Levi moved to the U.S. three months ago and said that not being in Israel to comfort her friends and family is very difficult.

“I think it was the most terrifying thing I’ve experienced as an Israeli, with all of the things I’ve been going through in my life. So I’m terrified. I’m sad. I’m scared. And I don’t know what is coming,” Levi said.

She told UP reporters that her friends were at a music festival when the attacks began and two of them are missing.

“I don’t know if they’re alive, kidnapped, dead, or just hiding somewhere without battery but everything is still going on…It’s just everyone is so scared. And mostly speechless,” she said.

One of Hoblin’s friends, who is in the IDF, sent her one text the whole day, and it was “I’m so scared right now.” Another one of Hoblin’s friends finished service in the IDF last week. He went on vacation, which she said a lot of people do when they finish their service.

“His entire unit has been killed and he’s going back to serve so it’s very scary, not really getting to hear from our family and our friends and then hearing stories like that,” Hoblin said.

She thinks that Jews being held hostage in Gaza will be used as human shields when the IDF comes. 

“It’s usually terrorists against military, terrorists against terrorists. This is terrorists against civilians, and Israel is going to do everything in her power to protect its citizens and do everything to not hurt you know, the citizens of Gaza as well who are not involved in return,” Hoblin said.

She then told reporters about the Young Arab Leader Association (YALA) at FAU, which reposted a picture on Instagram of Palestinians celebrating after capturing an Israeli tank with the Palestinian flag. The post has since been taken down.

“It makes me feel very upset that they are posting that. It is very disrespectful and damaging to display things that are causing harm to others. I am at a loss of words with what is happening. It’s very hard to grasp,” Shachar wrote.

YALA did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Ilan Sinelnikov, president and founder of SSI National, said that Jewish communities around the world didn’t sleep last night.

“This is a sad day in our history as a country and the saddest day in my 30 years of living. We will overcome and be victorious. Hamas must pay a price. Invading a country and murdering women, children, and elderly in their homes in their sleep can not be tolerated,” Sinelnikov wrote in a statement to the UP. “Israel will chase the terrorists on our own lands first and than any Hamas and Islamic Jihad member should know that Israel won’t stop until we reach them. Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas.”

Levi says that Israelis feel attacked, just how Americans felt on 9/11 and that people should support innocent people who are suffering.

“My message is it’s okay to think differently. But in a moment of disaster, and sorry for comparing this to 9/11 but that’s how we feel in Israel right now. We should support people that are hurting and not getting into fights and disagreements because, at the end of the day, it’s the suffering of innocent people,” Levi said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Jessica Abramsky is the Editor-in-Chief of the University Press. For more information on this article or others, you can reach Jessica at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @jessabramsky.

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About the Contributors
Jessica Abramsky
Jessica Abramsky, Editor-in-Chief
Jessica Abramsky is a staff writer for the University Press. She previously served as the Editor-in-Chief during the 2023-2024 school year and as News Editor during the Spring 2023 semester. She is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism who hopes to be a respected editor at a major news organization. You can reach Jessica at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @jessabramsky.
Eston Parker III
Eston Parker III, Lead Photographer
Eston Parker III is the Lead Photographer for the University Press and previously served as the Photo Editor for the UP. He is a multimedia journalism major and has been published by various outlets including Sports Illustrated and the Palm Beach Post. You can email him at [email protected] and [email protected] or message him on Instagram @etpiii. www.estonparkeriiimedia.com

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