Suncoast Jewish Federation helping Israelis

WWSB ABC7 News at 10am
Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 2:23 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As terror continues in the Middle East, a Sarasota man decided to show his support by making the trip to Israel.

Shep Englander, CEO of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, recently traveled to Israel where he is now working with Jewish victims of recent terror attacks.

“We are doing an emergency solidarity mission in order to understand what’s happening on the ground, in order to show that tour communities support Israelis who are in crisis, and because we raised a great deal of money and we want to see that money is going to their needs,” Englander said.

On his mission, he found a woman who’s entire family has been kidnapped by Hamas militants and are now being held hostage.

“‘Pop pop’ everywhere. Eight hours like that and I survived. Anyone who is still alive is a survivor because they just shoot and murder whatever they see, even dogs, cats, and then burn all the houses,” Englander said.

Hadas Kalderon says her family is her number one priority and bringing them home is what she lives and breathes for.

“Last message I got from the father of my children is ‘the terrorists are inside the house,’” Kalderon said.

Englander says hearing about atrocities in Israel from the Suncoast is much different than what he’s seen with his own eyes.

“People are comparing it to 9/11 in America. It’s much worse. The percentage of people killed and wounded is much higher. They weren’t killed in one swoop, they were killed by torture, and rape, and in their own homes,” Englander said.