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FORT MYERS | The impact of war with the SWFL Jewish Community

A gather at Alliance For The Arts underscores concern and community
LEE COUNTY | Hundreds of SWFL residents join together in support of Israel
Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-19 22:33:36-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As war continues in Israel, Southwest Florida residents are feeling the effects. 

The Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties brought together people of all religions and nationalities in a night of solidarity.

The night was filled with emotional speeches and prayers by local Rabbis, Pastors, and political leaders.

"I feel that they would do the same thing for us,” said David Grant, Senior Pastor at Apostolic Revival Center.

For many that attended, they told Fox 4 they currently have friends and family in Israel.

“Both of us have kids in Israel,” said Harvey Charter, Commander of the Jewish War Veterans. "My son is 46 years old. He’s an ornithologist, a bird doctor, and he got called up. He’s in the army right now and he’s heading towards Lebanon at this point.”

Attendee Avigail Gev says her family lives in Jerusalem, Israel and she has stayed in touch with them throughout the war.

"I didn’t know what’s going on with them, because they’re religious and they don’t answer the phone, so it was just to wait until Shabbat is over,” said Gev. "Right now they are okay physically, I have family from the south that ran to the Jerusalem area, but mentally and emotionally it’s tough,” 

Many who attended said for Americans, their power in this war is the power of prayer. 

 “As Hasidic Jews, we try to serve God with joy all the time, even when these terrible things are going on because joy breaks boundaries,” said Malka Forshner of Estero.