Home July 2024 Jlife Buzz-Temple Beth El of Somerset Mourns “Adopted” Hostage

Jlife Buzz-Temple Beth El of Somerset Mourns “Adopted” Hostage

    The recent news that four hostages had been rescued from Gaza brought great joy to Israel, completely overshadowing the news of only a few days earlier that four hostages had been killed by Hamas. For Temple Beth El of Somerset, that news brought special mourning: one of the four dead men was Nadav Popplewell. On October 7, Nadav and his mother were abducted from their kibbutz and taken to Gaza; Nadav’s brother was killed outside his home. Their mother, Channah Peri, was released after 53 days of captivity, but Nadav continued as a hostage, unaware that he had been “adopted” by the Temple Beth El congregation. As described in the January 2024 issue of JLife, the temple was a participant in the Adopt a Hostage Program of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism, and was matched with Nadav. A seat in the sanctuary was reserved with him, complete with a tallis and siddur ready for his return. A menorah was lit for him at the temple’s gala Hanukkah candle lighting, and a seat was left for him at the temple’s Passover seder. The seat that was his in the sanctuary is now in the lobby, a reminder that as the war continues, about 100 hostages are still hidden in Gaza.


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