There will be a stark reminder of the Israeli-Hamas war at a Chanukah lighting ceremony and celebration Thursday night in downtown Detroit in Cadillac Square.
Yair Moses and Ella Ben Ami, whose parents were kidnapped from Israel and taken to Gaza on Oct. 7, will partake in the 13th annual ceremony known as "Chanukah in the D."
Yair’s mother Margalit Moses, 78, was freed by Hamas. His father Gadi Moses, 79, is still believed to be in Gaza.
Ella’s parents, Raz and Ohad Ben Ami, were captured from their home. Raz, 57, has been released and Ohad, 57, has not.
Wednesday marks the 61st day since Hamas crossed into Israel and slaughtered roughly 1,200 people, the majority of whom were civilians. The Hamas Health Ministry reports that nearly 16,000 Gazans have been killed since the start of the war. The figures do not breakdown civilians and Hamas soldiers. Israel has estimated that it has killed about 5,000 of the 30,000 Hamas soldiers.
Thursday's event will include food and music. Detroit Mayor Duggan, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Pistons' Vice Chairman Arn Tellem will help light the menorah.
"Our message is that the Jewish community stands with them as their brothers and sisters," said Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov in a press release. "The story of Chanukah is about an impossible and miraculous victory and about a small light dispelling so much darkness. We need every member of our community to come out and show them our love, our support, our prayer, and resolve that the darkness doesn’t stand a chance."
Local and federal law enforcement agencies are expected to be on heightened alert during the ceremony, the Detroit News reports.
In the past several weeks there have been protests, both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel, in Metro Detroit.