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Emery Students March For Israel


On Tuesday, Nov 16, over 300,000 children, teenagers, and adults alike gathered in Washington, D.C. to show their support for the state of Israel and the Jewish people in response to the ongoing war with Hamas. I, along with 30 of my classmates, three faculty members, and over 100 additional members of the Houston Jewish community, traveled to Washington D.C. to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The Houston delegation arrived at Hobby Airport bright and early at 4:45 a.m., sporting our “Houston stands with Israel” sweatshirts graciously gifted by the Houston Jewish Federation. It was clear we were all feeling very excited about what the rest of the day would offer. Shortly after our flight embarked, the woman sitting next to me on the plane, who was also attending the rally, noted that we were seated in row 18, which is the Jewish number representing “Chai,” the Hebrew meaning of life. As a result, she remarked, “This is a sign we are going to have a good day today.” Immediately after landing, we rushed over to the metro station, wrapped ourselves in the Israeli flags we brought, and were greeted by hundreds of attendees from around the country singing, dancing, and cheering as we all marched to the rally together. 

The rally itself was an event like no other I have ever witnessed. I was fortunate enough to spot the faces of friends from around the country in the crowd and even some familiar faces on the stage during the pre-rally teen event. Once the rally began, I stood for hours as I listened to actors, activists, politicians, and the parents of hostages in Israel speak out in support of their country, the hostages, and the Jewish people. The speaker’s words were met with cheers and chants from the rally attendees such as “Bring Them Home”  and “Am Yisrael Chai.” Furthermore, I not only saw the faces of the speakers and the back of many heads when I looked out of the rally but also countless Israeli and American flags, hostage posters, and signs where people showed their support for Israel and the Jewish people. 

The most beautiful part of the rally was that it was undeniably not a gathering of hate. The focus of the rally was not on blaming Hamas for the crimes against humanity that they committed against Israel and its people, but rather it was a unity of love, hope for a better future, and mourning for the innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives that have been lost. 

Towards the end of the gathering, the Maccabeats, an infamous Jewish acapella group, performed on the stage. Much to the surprise of those in attendance, they brought Jewish singer Matisyahu to sing with them. Together, they sang the song “One Day,” and all 300,000 members of the rally joined with them, chanting the words “All my life, I’ve been waitin’ for / I’ve been prayin’ for, for the people to say / That we don’t wanna fight no more / There’ll be no more wars, and our children will play.” This moment, and the rally at large, was a display of the resilience of the Jewish people and their ability to spread love even in the most challenging of times. 

I returned home from the rally late that night exhausted but with a smile on my face. The rally was not only an unforgettable experience but made me proud to be a Jew. It reminded me that I am a part of a strong community that will not falter in the face of hate and discrimination. 

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About the Contributor
Leah Cororve
Leah Cororve, Associate Editor
Leah Cororve is a senior at the Emery/Weiner School, and this is her second year writing for The 9825, and her first year serving as Associate Editor. Leah greatly enjoys being on the Emery cheer team and loves the time she spends as a part of the Jewish Life Committee (JLC) where she serves as President and Tikkun Olam Club (TKO) of which she is the communications officer. Outside of school Leah commits much of her time to dancing and loves spending time with her friends.

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