North American Reform Jewish Movement Renews Call for Release of Hostages Held by Hamas 

January 11, 2024 

As we mark the 100th day of the war initiated by Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack on communities in southern Israel, the North American Reform Movement raises our collective Reform Jewish voice to demand the liberation of the more than one hundred thirty hostages held in captivity by Hamas since October 7.  

The hostages were abducted in flagrant violation of international law. Reports from the hostages released in late November and early December have revealed how those in captivity suffer deplorable conditions, including sexual and physical violence, psychological torture, and near-starvation. Hamas has not allowed any international aid organization access to the hostages to check on their health or provide necessary medicines or medical assistance, in clear contravention to international law. We demand that this failure be rectified immediately. 

We join our Israeli partners and colleagues in lifting up the teaching by Rambam:

וְאֵין לְךָ מִצְוָה גְּדוֹלָה כְּפִדְיוֹן שְׁבוּיִים

“You have no greater mitzvah (religious obligation) than to free captives.” At this devastating milestone, we renew our demand for the swift release of all those who are still held captive in Gaza. 

We call on the international community to join the governments of Israel and the United States in their efforts to secure the hostages’ release. We will continue raising our voices until every hostage is safely returned home and reunited with their loved ones.  

Bring them home now! 

Union for Reform Judaism 
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman (she/her), Chair 
Rabbi Rick Jacobs (he/him), President 

Central Conference of American Rabbis 
Rabbi Erica Asch (she/her), President 
Rabbi Hara E. Person (she/her), Chief Executive 

American Conference of Cantors 
Cantor Seth Warner (he/him), President 
Rachel Roth (she/her), Chief Operating Officer 

Women of Reform Judaism
Sara Charney (she/her), President
Rabbi Liz P. G. Hirsch (she/her), Executive

Director Men of Reform Judaism
Rob Himmelstein (he/him), President
Steven Portnoy (he/him), Executive Director

Association of Reform Zionists of America
Daryl Messinger (she/her), Chair
Rabbi Josh Weinberg (he/him), Director