Our hearts are broken and we stand with Israel as it defends itself against enemies who want to destroy it and who are committing grievous war crimes against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
We know Israelis would rather be at peace, at home with their families, with their friends, going to concerts, going camping, hiking, going for coffee -- all the things we take for granted in our own daily lives.
Israelis especially love music. It is the most musical place. You cannot walk down a s street in any town or city without seeing and hearing superb musicians playing instruments of all kinds.
From Tel Aviv to Beersheva, there are pianos in train stations all around the country. It's not uncommon to see a soldier in uniform sit down and skillfully play Beethoven or a composition of their own making. There are excellent classical orchestras in every town of any size and wonderful music schools throughout the country -- The Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance; Sapir Soundtrack Program, Ono Academic College, The Rimon Music School, to name a few. We're honored to have visited and worked with many of them. We are thinking especially of their students, many of whom will have to leave their music behind for now, as they're called to service in the Israel Defense Forces.
Hamas's attacks on Israeli citizens have been of the most heinous nature and we grieve for them all, including those young people who gathered at the Super Nova Sukkot Music Festival to enjoy music, nature and each other. 260 of them are now dead, with scores still missing.
Among our Israeli friends are many who produce films, make music, create dance, and write books that bring light, knowledge and joyfulness to the world. We are amazed and inspired by these creative Israeli students and professionals. There are fewer of them now.
We stand with those who are defending Israel and pray for a time of peace.
Photo Credit: Russell Smith