Kibbutz Be’eri survivors to hold Passover Seder in Hostages Square

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Illustrative: Released hostages and survivors speak to journalists in front of the charred remains of the home of Raaya and Hila Rotem in Be'eri on January 1, 2024. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
Illustrative: Released hostages and survivors speak to journalists in front of the charred remains of the home of Raaya and Hila Rotem in Be'eri on January 1, 2024. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)

Some 500 members of the Kibbutz Be’eri community will hold a Passover Seder on Monday night in Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square, in a cry to free their loved ones.

On October 7, 100 Kibbutz Be’eri members were killed by Hamas terrorists and 30 were taken hostage to Gaza. Eleven of those hostages remain in Gaza, six were murdered in captivity and 13 others were released at the end of November. The kibbutz numbered some 1,000 on October 6.

“We have never had a Seder this size,” says Be’eri spokesperson Michal Paikin. “The biggest we’ve ever had is around 250 people,” adding that some families will hold their own this year, some in the Dead Sea’s David Hotel, where many of the Be’eri evacuees have been living since October 7.

This Seder, for Kibbutz Be’eri members only, will include a clear call to the government to do everything possible to bring the hostages home and to return the deceased for burial.

Several Be’eri families with loved ones still held in Gaza will participate, said Paikin, including the Gat, Or, Baruch and Ben Ami families. They will be joined by released hostages Ra’aya and Hila Rotem, Alma and Noam Or, Raz Ben Ami, Amit Shani, Emily Hand and Gali Tarshansky.

“This Passover Seder is not a celebration,” says Or Gat, sister of hostage Carmel Gat. “This Seder night has left us with more than four questions.”

Another hostage family member, Yuli Ben Ami, whose father, Ohad Ben Ami, is being held captive, said that observing Seder night in the Hostages Square, “our second home, is the most fitting place.”

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