School, Elected Officials Respond to Attacks in Israel

A range of leaders responded Tuesday to the attacks in Israel, pledging to stand by the country, remember those lost, and assist those affected by the violence.

Flags on state buildings will be flown at half-staff  starting Wednesday in remembrance of the lives lost. 

“New York stands in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish community,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “I am proud to serve as governor of the state that is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel and I am committed to doing everything in my power to make sure that this community is supported and protected today and every day.”  

School superintendents expressed support for those in their communities affected by the attacks.

“Over the past few days, we have witnessed a series of violent attacks as part of the Israel-Hamas War, leaving those directly impacted, as well as many others, processing complex emotions. It is essential to acknowledge the pain and concern that such events can bring to any community,” Huntington superintendent Christian Bowen wrote. “I want to assure you that our top priority is the well-being of our staff, community members and most especially our students. Our dedicated staff are available to provide support and resources for those who may need assistance in discussing these difficult events. Please encourage your child to reach out to them if you feel it would be helpful.”

South Huntington superintendent Dr. Vito D’Elia wrote, “The recent events that have occurred in Israel have been shocking, knowing that this conflict has a potential impact on residents in our community. Realizing how this situation can have an effect on the mental well being on our students and staff, we strongly encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to our mental health professionals.”

Hochul directed the New York State Police to increase patrols and outreach and reiterated calls for social media companies to strengthen platform moderation in order to prevent the spread of hate. On Saturday,  Hochul also directed that state landmarks be illuminated blue and white in solidarity with the State of Israel.

U.S. Sen, Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to begin coordinating evacuation flights out of Israel for American citizens who want to return home to the United States.

Gillibrand’s office has been in touch with dozens of constituents whose loved ones have been unable to secure travel back home to the United States. The letter highlighted the issue that is affecting travelers, including the decision by U.S. carriers to halt flights to Israel and regional carriers that are offering limited options with an increasing number of cancellations.

She will also  stand with prominent New York Jewish leaders and other faith leaders to call for full military aid for Israel, including replenishing of the Iron Dome air defense system. She will be joined by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, UJA-Federation of NY, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, The New York Board of Rabbis and other advocates and faith leaders. The group will be livestreamed at 1 p.m. at

 Rep. Nick LaLota, R-Amityville,  signed on to two resolutions in support of Israel.

“The attacks on innocent Israeli citizens this weekend, committed by Hamas and funded by Iran, were nothing short of terrorism and cowardice. I am proud to join a bipartisan coalition introducing two resolutions condemning the attacks, reaffirming my unequivocal support for Israel, and holding Iran accountable for their role in funding and coordinating these acts of terror,” he said.

LaLota also said he had been in touch with a Suffolk police officer who was training in Israel when the attacks occurred. “My team and I are actively working with the State Department to bring him and any other Suffolk County residents home to their families. I would strongly encourage any Long Islanders who are in Israel or know someone there to contact my office immediately at 631-289-1097.”

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