Rep. Ritchie Torres with families of hostages
Rep. Ritchie Torres with families of hostagesThe Hostages Families Forum Headquarters

Yesterday (Sunday), Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) joined 15 Jewish and interfaith leaders from New York in a delegation organized by the UJA-Federation of New York to express solidarity with Israel. This is Torres' first visit to Israel since the Hamas massacre of October 7.

The Hostages Families Forum in Tel Aviv was Torres' first stop, where he met with the families of hostages, including Omer Shem Tov, Shlomo Mantzur (the eldest hostage at 86 years old), Yosef and Hamzi Alzayadni, and Oded Lifshitz.

U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres said: "I was deeply moved by the courage of the hostage families in telling their stories, including the story about Shlomo Mantzur, the oldest hostage who survived the Farhud in Iraq and was kidnapped by Hamas 80 years later. My experience at the Hostage Forum crystalized for me the fierce urgency to bring the hostages home."

Hindy Poupko, Senior Vice President UJA, said: “UJA Federation is deeply honored to host Congressman Torres in Israel. For the New York Jewish community, his visit is particularly significant as it signifies his steadfast and unwavering solidarity with Israel, and in particular with the families of the hostages. We at UJA Federation are committed to supporting the families of the hostages, both in New York, where we have worked relentlessly to raise awareness of their plight, and in Israel, where we created a joint fund with the Hostages Forum to support the welfare needs of the families.”