Families of hostages in Gaza ask the nation to ‘leave a seat empty’ at their Thanksgiving table

WWSB ABC7 News at 10am
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 2:03 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hundreds of people attended the ‘March Against Hate’ yesterday, a three mile walk over the Ringling bridge which saw participants chanting for the release of Hamas hostages. They also held signs with hostages’ names and faces attached.

One sign was held by Gillian Kaye and Jonathan Dekel-Chen with a picture of Gillian’s stepson and Jonathan’s son in the center.

Gillian wore a shirt with the number ‘43′ on it.

“That’s the number of days it’s been since he was taken hostage,” she said.

The two sat down with us this morning to discuss their efforts in bringing hostages home and their journey as worried and hurting parents.

“This past week Gillian and I were in Washington, D.C and meeting with some of the foreign relations committee, homeland security, and the president’s special envoy for hostages,” the father said.

“My regular home is in Israel, I’m going home to this community of refugees to try and pick the pieces up and campaign in Israel as well,” he added.

The stepmother shared with ABC7 a group message that herself and Jonathan are in, as well as many other families related to hostages.

Those families, launch a campaign today, with a special request for the nation. They ask everyone to ‘leave an empty seat’ at their Thanksgiving dinner table in honor of those still in captivity.