Media Roundup: This Hanukkah, our action was our hope.


On the 8th night of Hanukkah, JVP members shut down eight bridges and highways in eight cities across the country to demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Thousands of Jews and allies protested in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Diego — eight cities symbolizing the eight candles lit on the 8th night of Hanukkah, plus the shamash, or “helper” candle. They blocked traffic for hours, singing, chanting, carrying giant menorahs, and holding banners reading “Let Gaza live,” “Ceasefire now,” and “The whole world is watching.”

Our message is simple: There can be no business as usual while the U.S. government arms a genocide in Gaza.

US Jewish group protests in eight cities for Gaza ceasefire, Reuters, December 15, 2023

“‘On the 8th night of Hanukkah, 8 cities, 8 bridges,’ Jewish Voice for Peace said on X, formerly called Twitter. ‘We are here, gathering across the country in massive, growing numbers, to say no more.’

Demonstrations also occurred in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.”

Jewish Demonstrators Block Bridges in 8 U.S. Cities to Demand Ceasefire in Gaza, Truthout, December 15, 2023

Jewish organizers and their allies gathered in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Chicago. The coordinated protest effort was organized by leaders from Jewish Voice for Peace, Jewish Fast For Gaza, IfNotNow and other groups to take place on the eighth day of Hanukkah, a deeply symbolic decision.

‘This Genocide Must End Now’: Jewish-Led Protests Demand Gaza Cease-Fire, Common Dreams, December 15, 2023

“‘It is horrifying to watch the U.S. government fully fund the Israeli government’s relentless bombing campaign and the destruction of the people of Gaza,’ said Sara Bollag of the Washington, D.C. chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which helped organize the protests in Seattle; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Atlanta.

‘I am here, as the great-granddaughter of a victim of the Holocaust, doing everything in my power to stop another genocide unfolding before our eyes,’ Bollag added.”

Jewish groups demand ceasefire in nationwide demonstrations on final night of Hanukkah, Reckon, December 15, 2023

“’On the last night of Hanukkah, the fully lit menorah inspired hundreds of Jews to use their bodies and voices to disrupt business as usual to save lives in Gaza,’ she wrote in a statement. ‘We at Rabbis for Ceasefire are so proud of each and everyone of them. These brave Jews are doing honor to the long tradition of Jewish organizing for freedom, rooted in the sacred obligation at the heart of Judaism to save lives and honor the dignity of every human being.‘”

-Rabbi Mariam Grossman

Jewish Voice for Peace protests in eight US cities for Gaza ceasefire, The New Arab, December 15, 2023

“A Jewish group demanding a ceasefire in Israel’s war in Gaza held protests on Thursday in eight US cities on the eighth night of Hanukkah, blocking rush hour traffic on busy streets and bridges in Washington and Philadelphia.

Jewish Voice for Peace activists are detained after blocking Spring Garden Street Bridge, part of I-76, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 14, 2023

“Rabbi Alissa Wise, the lead organizer of Rabbis for Ceasefire, said holiday celebrations could not proceed in a conventional fashionwhile a humanitarian crisis unravels in war-torn Gaza.

‘This is how we celebrate Hanukkah this year,’ Wise said, as police detained protesters and traffic stood at a halt. ‘This year means disrupting business as usual.’”

32 protesters arrested for blocking traffic on I-76 in Center City Philadelphia, ABC 6, December 15, 2023

Jay Bergen was one of those take into custody.

‘Right now, our politicians think that they can get away with continuing to fund and support genocide,’ said Bergen. ‘We, as people of faith and people of conscience, need to be speaking out and saying business as usual cannot continue.'”

Over 30 protesters arrested after blocking I-76, Spring Garden Street Bridge, NBC 10, December 14, 2023

“During the protest, rabbis who were part of the group lit a massive menorah over the bridge and led the demonstrators in prayer.”

Philly protest: I-76 blocked by protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, 32 arrested: police, Fox 29, December 14, 2023

“‘Hospitals, mosques, churches, apartment blocks have been bombed and destroyed,’ said Jacob Winterstein. ‘This is an unimaginable horror being committed…I am a father. I’d much rather be home celebrating Hanukkah with my son right now but I know there’s fathers in Gaza that won’t be able to celebrate any holiday.'”

Protesters calling for ceasefire in Gaza block westbound I-76, Spring Garden Street bridge, Philly Voice, December 14, 2023

“‘Jews and allies in the struggle for Palestinian freedom shut down rush hour traffic in Philadelphia,” the organization wrote. ‘On the last day of Hanukkah, Jewish people are rising up in unprecedented numbers and moral clarity to say: CEASEFIRE NOW, Palestinians should be free. We will make business as usual impossible until the US stops funding and fueling a genocide.'”

Protesters block traffic in Philadelphia to call for permanent cease-fire in Gaza, CBS News Philadelphia, December 14, 2023

“‘I understand that it can be a challenge and I also think that our life needs to be disrupted. I hope the people on 76 can understand that demanding a cease-fire, that calling attention in every way that we can to the horrific situation in Gaza makes being stuck in traffic look not that important.”

Protest calling for permanent cease-fire in Gaza ends in Philly after group blocked traffic, CBS News Philadelphia, December 14, 2023

Philadelphia protest: Pro-Palestine protesters block I-76 at Spring Garden Street Bridge, Times Now, December 15, 2023

Jewish Voice for Peace Activists Detained for Blocking Traffic During Pro-Palestinian Demonstration, Newsbreak, December 15, 2023

DC bridge shut down by Jewish protesters calling for ceasefire in Gaza, Washington Examiner, December 15, 2023

Protesters calling for Israel-Hamas cease-fire block Portland’s Burnside Bridge, KGW 8, December 14, 2023

“‘Hanukkah has a strong theme of rededication,’ said Zia Laboff, a community organizer with JVP. ‘As Jews, we are here to say that we are rededicating ourselves to the Palestine movement… the struggle against oppression, this ongoing genocide—and calling an end to the occupation and apartheid that Israel is imposing.'”

Protesters calling for ceasefire in Gaza block Burnside Bridge, KOIN 6, December 15, 2023

“’As the Jewish grandchild of a Holocaust survivor whose extended family was destroyed, it is with horror and fury that I witness the destruction of entire Palestinian families and cities, paid for with our taxes,’ Rocky Cohen, local Jewish community member and action participant, said in a statement about the protest. ‘Jewish safety and Palestinian liberation are not contradictions, no one is free until we are all free. Never Again means never again for everyone.’”

Protesters block Portland’s Burnside Bridge to demand Gaza cease-fire, The Oregonian, December 14, 2023

“One speaker identified herself as a first-generation Palestinian American and said her father’s uncle was recently killed by an Israeli air strike. 

‘He lived through so much to be buried under rubble,’ she said. ‘This grief is beyond grief.’”

Jewish Voices for Peace calls for Israel-Hamas ceasefire at Portland’s Burnside Bridge, KATU 2 ABC, December 14, 2023

“’It is horrifying to watch the continued lack of action by our elected officials as the Israeli government perpetrates a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza,’ said Dove B., a local Jewish community member and action participant. ‘As Jews, we know that never again is now. We are taking urgent action for Palestinian liberation against a brutal occupation, an occupation that is diametrically opposed to Jewish values.'”

Protesters light menorah on Portland’s Burnside Bridge, call for Gaza ceasefire, Fox 12 Oregon, December 14, 2023

‘I think it means something different to each of us, but one of the associations I have with the menorah and Hanukkah is that of miracles, and you could argue it would be miraculous for a ceasefire to happen now,’ Catherine Petru, an organizer for the Jewish Voice for Peace Portland, said. “We are calling on our elected(s) to do the same.'”

Protesters block Burnside Bridge in Portland to demand Gaza ceasefire, News Net Daily, December 14, 2023

“Kai McMurty, 41, criticized Oregon politicians for failing to make maintaining and supporting civilian life in Gaza an ‘urgent priority.’

“’It seems like the least we can do,’ McCurty said of the protest, which blocked vehicle traffic in both directions on the bridge during rush hour.”

Jewish Protesters in Portland Rally for Gaza Ceasefire, BNN, December 15, 2023

The Burnside Bridge protest, along with similar demonstrations across seven other U.S. cities, underscores the growing global concern over the situation in Gaza.”

Protesters light menorah on Portland’s Burnside Bridge, call for Gaza ceasefire, KPTV, December 14, 2023

“’Candle eight. In remembrance of those who have been killed. We honor the memories of every Israeli and Palestinian who has been killed. We know that each life is precious. We mourn all these depths deeply,’ a speaker at the rally said.

Demonstrators blocked University Bridge for two hours, The Seattle Times, December 14, 2023

All lanes of Seattle’s University Bridge were blocked Thursday evening for two hours during rush hour by a group of demonstrators calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

Over 100 protesters calling for ceasefire in Gaza block Seattle’s University Bridge, KIRO 7, December 15, 2023

“’And we are saying ‘Patty Murray, how can you pretend to be a defender of children here or around the world and let this happen in our name with our dollars?’ Michael Grant with the group said.

Grant tells KIRO 7 that different chapters of their group organized similar protests across the country Thursday evening, calling out all politicians and President Biden to take action in the matter.

Protestors clear out after blocking University Bridge, demanding cease-fire in Gaza, KING 5, December 14, 2023

“Photos showed protestors carrying an 18-foot menorah and a large poster that read, ‘The whole world is watching.'”

Over 100 protesters block Seattle’s University Bridge, My Northwest, December 14, 2023

“’This action is part of Jews across the nation who are shutting down bridges to call for a ceasefire,’ one protestor told KIRO Newsradio.”

Protesters block Seattle’s University Bridge calling for Gaza cease-fire, KOMO News, December 14, 2023

Over 100 members from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization gathered Thursday afternoon, blocking all lanes of the University Bridge in Seattle while calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

Jewish Protesters Shut Down University Bridge During Rush Hour to Call for Ceasefire in Gaza, The Stranger, December 15, 2023

JVP specifically targets the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), in their actions, printing her name on signs and chanting ‘Senator Murray, pick a side. Ceasefire or genocide.’” 

13 arrested as protesters block downtown Chicago bridge amid war in Gaza, CBS News Chicago, December 14, 2023

Thirteen protesters were arrested when a group shut down a downtown bridge for a short time Thursday evening, calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Dozens of people were seen dressed in black and holding up signs as they shut down the Washington Street Bridge.” 

Chicago protesters call for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war, 13 arrested, Fox 32 Chicago, December 14, 2023

“‘I’m here to demand that the US government stop funding and enabling the starvation, collective punishment, and genocide of Palestinians in Gaza,’ said Mollie Hartenstein, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago.

Jewish Voice for Peace demonstrators hold Minneapolis protest calling for ceasefire in Gaza, MPR News, December 14, 2023

‘I’m heartbroken for the people who’ve lost family and for those who lost their lives on Oct. 7,’ [Leah] Soule said. ‘And for me today here, I’m focusing on what I can do to end further violence and that is to call for a ceasefire and to call for an end to aid to the Israeli military.'”


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