New Jersey is praying for friends and family still in Israel and those being held hostage after the attack by Hamas that killed nearly 700 people in Israel, including at least 11 Americans.

Temple B'nai Jeshurun in the Short Hills section of Millburn hosted the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ Solidarity with Israel Rally with over 2,000 in attendance.

"Tonight, we do what Jews do. We gather together in steadfast solidarity," the temple wrote on its Facebook page.

Among those who spoke were U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. 11th District, state Attorney General Matthew Platkin, U.S. Rep. Tom Kean, Jr., R-N.J. 7th District, and Yuval Donio-Gideon of the Consulate General of Israel.

"We came together tonight in prayer to mourn the lives lost in Israel and to stand united against hate. Thank you for inviting me to share my office's efforts to combat bias and hate to ensure the safety of all our communities," Platkin wrote on his X account.

New Jersey shows solidarity

The New Jersey governor’s mansion, Drumthwacket, was lit in blue and white Sunday night in support of Israel.

"The violence and devastation is heartbreaking. Phil and I continue to pray for the victims and for peace across the region," first lady Tammy Murphy wrote on her X account.

Trapped in Israel

Former PIX 11 reporter Rebecca Solomon says she is stranded in Israel with her 8-month-old baby, in-laws and husband after a visit for the Jewish holidays. She posted a video on her Instagram account Monday morning as sirens were sounding heading to a bomb shelter, which is a small basement bedroom.

"We just pray that we can get back to New York. We're supposed to leave Thursday but with the way things are going we'll see if the airlines are operating," she said.

Blue and white lights shine on Drumthwacket, the official state governor's mansion
Blue and white lights shine on Drumthwacket, the official state governor's mansion (@FirstLadyNJ via X)

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and staff take shelter

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was in Jerusalem during the Hamas attack and took shelter with his staff at their hotel but was able to leave Saturday, according to a video posted on his personal X account.

“My team and I are now safe, but like many we are shaken, angered, and heartbroken by the hundreds killed, the thousands injured, those taken hostage, and all who are directly affected by these sickening terrorist attacks," Booker said.

He was there for the start of the Abraham Accords N7 summit and was scheduled to speak on Tuesday.

Islamic rights group in New Jersey calls for solidarity

A civil rights group in New Jersey is calling on local officials to show solidarity with people living in the Palestinian territories.

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations "condemned New Jersey elected officials’ ignoring of the Palestinian peoples’ suffering at the hands of Israel’s latest onslaught of Gaza," the group said in a statement ahead of a Monday afternoon news conference in Paterson.

CAIR-NJ called on officials to meet with Palestinian human rights advocates. 

We have long condemned, and continue to condemn, Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. For nearly two decades, Israel has kept Gaza in an open-air prison through its illegal ongoing land, air, and sea blockade," CAIR-NJ spokeswoman Dina Sayedahmed said.

"That the people of Gaza effectively broke out of prison — resisting an occupation that is not only inhumane but also illegal under international law — is inevitable and should not be unexpected," she added.

"We also condemn New Jersey elected officials’ statements in support of Israeli apartheid. To paint an image of one-sidedness is both inaccurate and unethical, and an affront to the Palestinian American families and communities here in New Jersey that have long held up Paterson, Clifton, and other areas throughout the state through community service, business, medicine, legal work, education, and more. "

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