Empty Shabbat table on Upper West Side set up to show solidarity with Israel

An empty Shabbat dinner table was set up on the Upper West Side - 220 empty chairs lined multiple tables filled with traditional Shabbat fare.

Ashley Mastronardi

Oct 27, 2023, 10:46 PM

Updated 175 days ago

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An empty Shabbat dinner table was set up on the Upper West Side - 220 empty chairs lined multiple tables filled with traditional Shabbat fare. Each empty chair represents someone who is being held captive by Hamas.
Iris Alog is visiting New York City from Israel.  A friend she worked with for six years has an empty seat at the table.
"They opened the door and just pulled her from there and took her to Gaza, they threw her boyfriend on the floor and said don’t speak or we’ll shoot you,” she said.
Council Member Gale Brewer helped organize this Shabbat table to encourage people to mobilize.
“What it says is we’re going to work together, we’re going to be solid together in terms of bringing these kidnapped family’s home so we don’t have more dead people,” Brewer told News 12 New York.
Crown Heights resident Ysrael Lebovic says solidarity in the Jewish community is key right now.
“The message I’m taking from this is the message of Jewish unity and hope and that we should all go home to our own Friday night Shabbat tables. Remember those kidnapped and pray for them,” he said.
As somber as this installation may be for some, Alog says it’s a reminder that Israel is visible.
“I realize that people care, I see that people care, it makes my heart warm,” she said.
Empty Shabbat table installations like this are also popping up in other parts of the world like Italy, Israel and California. 


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