The success and positive feedback from a volunteer-led ‘United with Israel’ rally in Sydney’s CBD on October 29 has inspired a larger follow-up rally to be held this Sunday.
The previous event – organised by a group of seven Israeli-Australians – drew more than 4000 members of Sydney’s Jewish community together, who held #BringThemHomeNow posters while marching from Martin Place to Circular Quay. The aim was to maintain awareness about the more than 240 people, of all ages, still being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas and other terror groups.
Encouraged by that turnout, co-organiser Hagit Ashual told The AJN that another rally – called Set Them Free – has been approved for November 12, at a CBD location.
She hopes an even larger turnout will be achieved, adding the latest event has received a huge boost, with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, both coming on board as event partners.
“As before, we’ll be here in the city for a very simple reason, to continue to raise public awareness about the hostage situation as part of a worldwide effort to bring them home,” Ashual said.
“That’s what motivated us from the start, as a group of Israeli Australians, who felt compelled to do something to help.
“This time … we hope to have between 8000 to 10,000 people registered. The program will include some speeches, live music, a beautiful floral arrangement, a screen projection, and more.”
Ashual described the positive feedback from community members about their previous rally as “phenomenal”.
“I keep receiving heartwarming messages from people, [saying] the rally made them feel so proud.
“One lady told me she’d travelled to the rally hiding her Star of David necklace for safety concerns – which shouldn’t be happening in Australia in 2023 – but after attending it, she felt the confidence again to wear it with pride.
“We [the Jewish community] need to be able to express ourselves, in places like this [the city centre], and keep raising awareness.
“We thank everyone for their support.”
In addition to JBD and ECAJ, 10 other organisations are supporting the event, including the Zionist Council of NSW, JCA, and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students.
To register to attend the rally, visit: events.humanitix.com/stfsv