Worldwide memorials emerge for hostages and those murdered by Hamas
On Sudbury Road in Concord, Mass., Kurt and Susan Schwartz placed 1,500 Israeli flags on a property they own. Photo: Courtesy

From 30 strollers in Australia and the Netherlands for the children who were kidnapped to 1,400 candles in Lithuania for those murdered in cold blood.

JNS Staff Report
October 27, 2023

Across the globe, including in many capitals, demonstrations continue to raise awareness for the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. In their infiltration into Israel that day, terrorists butchered 1,400 people, wounded thousands, and dragged more than 200 men, women and children across the Israeli border into the Gaza Strip.

Outside the Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia, women wearing Israeli flags as capes and black T-shirts reading “Bring Them Home Now” wheeled up 30 strollers, each with the photo and name of a child taken by Hamas. A similar stroller exhibit was shown in Amsterdam, this one with red balloons—some shaped like hearts—attached to each one.

In Vilnius, Lithuania, 1,400 candles lit up a square outside a building with a large Israel flag projected onto it in photos shared on Oct. 20.

And in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday, 30 large teddy bears splattered with red paint sat in central Tel Aviv square, their eyes covered with black blindfolds, each one bearing the name and photograph of a child kidnapped on Oct. 7.

Residents in Washington, D.C., set up a Shabbat table near the U.S. Capitol with 200 empty chairs, symbolizing those captured by Hamas.

Also in the nation’s capital, the Sixth & I Jewish center set up an empty Shabbat table to symbolize the 229 people that, as of Friday afternoon, Israel has confirmed to have been taken “who could not be at their own dinner tables. We hold them in our hearts and pray for their quick and safe return.”

Alma Hernandez, a Democrat who is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, posted that she has official approval to organize an empty Shabbat-table display in the state’s capitol.

Philadelphia Exhibit on Israeli Hostages
An empty table in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia is meant to raise awareness
for the plight of 229 hostages held captive in the Gaza Strip by Hamas, Oct. 27, 2023. Photo: Courtesy

At Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, the Israeli-American Council set up a similar table, supported by the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History.

One attendee was Elad Shdema, the grandson of one of the hostages, 84-year-old Ditza Heiman. A short program included prayers, lighting Shabbat candles, and singing the Israeli and American national anthems.

SAR High School in the Bronx set up an “Empty Classroom,” meant “to serve both as a reminder that there are still over 200 Israelis being held hostage, and as a symbol of hope that they will be returned and able to resume normal life soon.”

In Concord, Mass., Kurt and Susan Schwartz placed 1,500 Israeli flags on a property they own.

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