Gov. Pritzker stresses need to support victims of Israel war at Glencoe solidarity event

Evanston mother, daughter missing amid Israel conflict

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Chicago area groups rally around Israel
Multiple events were held in support of Israel Tuesday in the Chicgao area, and included appearances from local leaders and Gov. JB Pritzker.

GLENCOE, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker addressed the escalating war in Israel and Palestine Tuesday morning in the north suburbs.

Pritzker attended an Israeli Solidarity Gathering to share support for the community in Glencoe.

Gov. JB Pritzker addressed the Hamas-Israel conflict Tuesday morning at a solidarity event in Glencoe.

Hundreds were in attendance at North Shore Congregation Israel.

"We need to stand with Israel; what is happening could happen anywhere around the world, and the entire world needs to stand with Israel right now," Jen Phillips said.

The Jewish United Fund hosted the community-wide solidarity gathering.

"This is circumstances we have never seen before. It's unprecedented what's going on with the barbaric way that Hamas is invading Israel," said attendee Susan Berk.

Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, Yinam Cohen, joins us in studio to talk about the war in Israel.

Pritzker and other local leaders are speaking against the attack and stressing the need to need to support the victims.

"Images and videos of the invasion, the slaughtering of Israeli families and the kidnapping of loved ones is sickening. We pray today for the strength and the safety of the men and women of the Israeli defense forces as they embark on this most difficult and important mission," Pritzker said.

In addition to support and funding, officials with the Jewish United Fund said they are also providing security to Jewish institutions across the community to safeguard facilities.

"We could never have imagined that such atrocities that remind us of the darkest of times could possibly happen on Israeli soil," said Yinam Cohen, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest.

Several officers from Cook County and surrounding areas are stationed at the event as a precaution, as well.

Among those who attended the event were the family of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was attending a music festival near the Gaza Strip Saturday when he was kidnapped by Hamas militants.

"We appreciate the love, the thoughtfulness of everyone in the Chicago area, the country, Israel and around the world. We're getting messages from everyone. It's giving us the strength to get through this," said his aunt Abby Polin.

Tuesday night a service was held at Chicago Sinai Congregation, led by Rabbi Michael Weinberg whose daughter is in Tel Aviv and has been sheltering from the bombing.

"For the Jewish people, we're all family. So, yes, I have my own daughter that I'm thinking about, but I'm thinking about all of the other people," he said.

A mother and daughter from Evanston are also feared to have been kidnapped from Israel by Hamas militants.

Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter, Natalie, were visiting relatives in Israel when the attack started.

The girl's father received a text message from her, saying she and her mother were sheltering from the bombing. He then learned the two were seen with Hamas militants. Now he fears they are being held hostage.

"This is very personal, completely distressing, and devastated feeling, very painful. Our whole community just keeps on reaching out; everyone wants to do something, wants to help. What can we do? How can we be there for each other? And we are trying our best to gather the community together to support each other," said Rabbi Meir Hecht, with the Chabad of Evanston.

A service was held in Skokie Monday night, with guests praying for peace.