SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Through songs and prayers, San Jose community members and city leaders gathered for an evening of unity and solidarity amid the war in Israel and Gaza.
On Tuesday evening members of the synagogue Chabad of Almaden hosted an event called San Jose Stands with Israel.
Rabbi Mendel Weinfeld said now is the time the Jewish community needs to come together.
"What did we do at every challenge that came our way? We came together like we're doing here, now, tonight," Weinfeld said.
He said it is a privilege to live in a place of freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the US.
Elected officials joined in to show their support.
Mayor Matt Mahan said we should do our best to see each other's humanity.
"Our city will continue to stand for diversity, for inclusion, for self-expression, for religious freedom, and against hate and discrimination and violence," Mahan said.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen was in Israel six months ago with elected officials. He said they met many people from Kfar Azza.
"And some of them are dead and some of them are missing," Rosen said.
Rosen talked about the reasons he became a prosecutor.
"My dad was in three different concentration camps in Poland and was liberated from Bergen-Belsen in April of 1945," Rosen said. "And then spent another five years in displaced persons camps in Germany before coming to this country in 1950. And there was no justice for my dad and my family - there was no justice for the Jewish people and there was no justice in the world then."
Rosen went on to say reading and seeing the images of people ripped from their homes and murdered or kidnapped is a very difficult thing.
A father of an Israeli soldier on the front lines led a prayer.
ABC7 News spoke to people who are in constant contact with their loved ones.
Campbell resident Hedva Weiner said her whole family is in Ashkelon, Israel.
"They live in the first big city, so they're affected every day," Weiner said.
San Jose resident Cassie Gallo said she has friends on a flight to go fight.
"Worried, concerned, a little helpless being so far away knowing that the only way we have to communicate with anyone back there is through our phones, through social media, through WhatsApp," Gallo said.
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