Triangle father recalled to IDF following terrorist attacks in Israel: 'Tremendously difficult'

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Thursday, October 12, 2023
Triangle father recalled to IDF following terrorist attacks in Israel
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Israeli authorities reported at least 1,200 people have died, and thousands were injured.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wednesday afternoon, Avia Feder sat on the back porch of his Triangle home, with his wife by his side.

"My entire team has been called up (from reserves) hours after this situation began," said Feder, who will soon be in Israel.

It's the latest in a whirlwind week for Feder, following attacks carried out by the terrorist organization Hamas Saturday. Israeli authorities reported at least 1,200 people have died, and thousands were injured.

"I have a family that I adore. I have two kids, a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old. It's not comparable. There's nothing that I can compare it to. It's tremendously difficult," said Feder.

"It's really the massacres that are taking place. The infiltration that we haven't seen before, which is terrifying. Terrifying for all of us. And we're feeling it here too in America," said Michelle Feder, Avia's wife.

The Feders attended an event at the Jewish Cultural Center Monday night, which included elected officials and faith leaders, to mourn the victims killed in the terrorist attack.

"In the event, it made me feel that everybody's really seeing it the way it is, that we're just all humans," said Avia Feder.

"The Jewish population is very small here in North Carolina, and to see so many people from different faiths come together for this same purpose, it's absolutely beautiful," said Michelle Feder, who is collecting artwork from local students to send overseas.

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Rabbi Zalmy Dubinsky is the Co-Director of Chabad Young Professionals Raleigh and has been in close contact with members of the Triangle Jewish community and his own family in Israel.

"The past 72 hours has been a living hell for ourselves and for the community," said Dubinsky.

Dubinsky has four cousins who have been called from reserves in the Israel Defense Forces.

"They were incredibly grateful for the support that our community and our families are showing them. I was really amazed at their resilience," Dubinsky explained.

ALSO SEE: Palestinians in Wake County spend week in agony

Tuesday night, he hosted a gathering at his home, helping lead a letter-writing campaign.

"Just a text, a hug, a show of support, and a show of Jewish pride in the way we fight terror is by adding love and adding light," said Dubinsky.

Jewish Federation of Greater Raleigh CEO Phil Brodsky first learned of the attack from in-laws, who live in Israel.

"Right now, it's about keeping people safe and secure and providing for those basic needs. Getting to the point that we can open schools back up in the south of Israel and return to normalcy. It's going to take a long time so that Israelis feel safe in their own country and in their own cities and small towns. It's heartbreaking," Brodsky said.

In response, several charitable and humanitarian organizations have mobilized efforts to provide assistance.

"The (Jewish Federations) have opened up a national emergency campaign to support the Israeli people on the ground. It goes to our partners over their Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency for Israel. It's helping victims of terrorism, money going to those families," said Brodsky.

In Gaza, Palestinian authorities report more than 1,000 people have died in retaliatory airstrikes by Israel. Doctors Without Borders is providing medical aid, treating 50 patients on Monday. In a statement to ABC11, the organization said all of its patients at its clinic in Gaza City were children and young teens.

"The vast majority of people in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza, I truly believe want nothing more than peace," said Brodsky.