Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown had just started a program for “Spirit Days” to take place on the first Friday of every month, calling on everyone to wear the school’s colors, green and white. On this past Friday morning in Newtown, this quiet Connecticut town was home to one of the worst mass shootings in history, in which 26 people were killed, most of them children just 6 or 7 years old.
The small-town community was devastated, their town will be forever synonymous with one of the most heinous crimes in American history. The holiday season, which should bring people together in joy, has instead brought them together in grief and sadness.
While this crime, the murder of young children, is one of the hardest things for anyone to comprehend, the pain it has caused is easy to understand and feel for yourself. The prayers and vigils that started in Connecticut have spread not just around the United States, but around the world. Everyone in Israel, has been deeply upset and shocked by Friday’s shooting. Israel’s leaders reached out to President Barack Obama and the American public to express their sympathies and condolences.
The youngest victim was Noah Pozner, one of the 20 first graders killed on Friday. “As we light candles for the seventh night of Hanukkah and for Shabbat, our hearts are heavy with the tragic news,” Shelly Katz, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, headquartered in neighboring Southbury, wrote in a letter to the local community Friday.
Israel’s Consul General of the State of Israel in New York, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, traveled to Newtown over the weekend to meet with its students, teachers, and community leaders. While visiting the town’s synagogue, Congregation Adath Israel, Ambassador Aharoni read aloud the letters sent from President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and spoke with some of the students of the school.