Southend celebrate freeing of ‘adopted’ hostage Louis Har

Among those celebrating the recent rescue of two Israeli hostages in Gaza were members of Southend and District Reform Synagogue (SDRS), as Louis Har – who they ‘adopted’ as part of a Board of Deputies scheme – was freed.

Southend is one of around 50 communities and organisations signed up to the Board’s ‘Adopt a Hostage’ campaign.

They had been reserving a space for Louis in their sanctuary, by placing his photograph on a seat, and included him in the Shabbat prayers led by Rabbi Warren Elf.

SDRS Warden Sue Lowey explained: “We wanted to keep people aware of the hostages still in Gaza and we adopted Louis, who was one of the two men freed by the IDF. The news of Louis’ freedom is amazing and please God we can get all the hostages home as soon as possible. However, we’re not giving up. We have now adopted a second hostage. His name is Edan Alexander and we pray that his release will be next.”

Speaking about the campaign, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “Jewish communities all around the UK have told us they want to do something to help in this awful situation. This is a way in which they can keep the names of the hostages in the public consciousness and provide support to their loved ones.”

Any community wishing to take part, should email



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