A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Get daily updates delivered right to your inbox

Three ways for St. Louis’ Jewish community to unite for Israel this weekend

Bill Motchan
Rally In Support of Israel. October 15, 2023

The St. Louis Jewish community is invited to participate in three upcoming events this weekend in support of Israel. Two will be held locally, while one will be hosted in Jerusalem and shown live on social media.

The Empty Shabbat Table

When: Friday, Nov. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Shaw Park’s Enterprise Pavilion.

On Friday night, the Empty Shabbat Table Gathering will take place here in St. Louis.

The settings at the table, along with their empty seats, represent each of Hamas’ captives in Gaza. It’s meant as a Shabbat table and continues the series of events that have been symbolically set for the hostages in cities across the United States, Israel and around the world. In other displays, strollers or teddy bears have been arrayed to represent the captive children.

STL For Israel

When: Sunday, Nov. 5 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Where: 41 S. Central Ave, Clayton, Mo., 63105 (In Memorial Park)

In continued response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, Jewish and Christian communities in the St. Louis area are coming together in a prayerful public display of solidarity against terrorism and antisemitism. According to the organizer’s website, STLForIsrael.com, Sunday’s gathering is a public demonstration of humility and solidarity in the form of a hope rally and silent prayer protest.

“In the spirit of the Western/Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, we are creating a human “wall” composed of Jews and Gentiles who are committed to standing together and working for peace,” said Pastor Jonathan, “JT” Thomas, President of Civil Righteousness. Inc. a non-profit focusing on spiritual reconciliation and restorative justice.

The Saint Louis Wailing Wall

As one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites, the Western Wall is a place where people from around the world make pilgrimage to pray. Visitors often place written prayers in the cracks between the stones. Europeans in the late 1800s began referring to it as “the weeping place” and today in the West it is known as “The Wailing Wall.”

‘Wailing Wall,’ Jerusalem Exhibit, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904 (MISSOURI HISTORICAL SOCIETY)

In 1904, a 1:1 replica of The Western Wall was erected in Forest Park as part of the World’s Fair.

“One hundred and nineteen years later, we are gathering in a similar spirit to symbolically resurrect this wall of prayer in St. Louis, with ourselves as living stones,” said Thomas.

What to expect

Demonstrators will rally together in song and hear words of hope-filled inspiration at the beginning of the rally.

“We will then spend time standing side-by-side wearing a white piece of tape over our mouths with a one-word prayer inscribed upon it,” said Thomas.

The tape over the mouths symbolizes the more than 1,400 Israelis killed in the Hamas attack, who Thomas says “can no longer raise their voices because their lives have been extinguished through horrific acts of violence. We honor them with our silence, while also making a powerful public statement.”

International Memorial Ceremony 

When: Sunday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. CST
Livestreamed on Facebook from Jerusalem

The national institutions: the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency of Israel, the Jewish National Fund and Keren Hayesod invite Jews worldwide to participate in a global memorial ceremony.

“Thirty days after Hamas’s murderous terror attack on the 7th of October 2023, on the holiday of Simchat Torah, we will honor the memory of the fallen, and hold a memorial service in the National Institutions Building, with the participation of Jewish communities from around the globe,” the institutions said in a release.

The main international ceremony will be held in Jerusalem and will be live-streamed on Facebook. The organizers are inviting Jewish communities around the globe to participate.

Check out these Facebook pages for live stream access:

| RELATED: FBI director warns of ‘historic levels’ of antisemitism in the US

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.
Bill Motchan, writer/photographer
Bill worked in corporate communications for AT&T for 28 years. He is a former columnist for St. Louis Magazine. Bill has been a contributing writer for the Jewish Light since 2015 and is a three-time winner of the Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish Journalism. He also is a staff writer for the travel magazine Show-Me Missouri. Bill grew up in University City. He now lives in Olivette with his wife and cat, Hobbes. He is an avid golfer and a fan of live music. He has attended the New Orleans Jazzfest 10 times and he has seen Jimmy Buffett in concert more t han 30 times between 1985 and 2023.