Reform Movement Applauds Partial Hostage Release Deal; Urges Continued Advocacy for Hostages

Every day since October 7 we have prayed for the release of the 240 hostages kidnapped into Gaza from Israel. We are grateful and relieved that a deal to release some of the hostages has been agreed to, along with increased humanitarian aid for innocent civilians in Gaza, and we pray the first 50 hostages will be released imminently. We will continue praying and working for the return of all those still held captive.

We extend our sincerest thanks to all those who played a role in bringing about this agreement, including President Biden and Secretary Blinken, the mediators in Qatar, and PM Netanyahu and the members of his Cabinet who voted to approve the deal.

While we celebrate today’s news, the continued holding of innocent civilians – Israelis and other nationalities alike – is an active, insidious war crime. We strongly urge those who secured this initial agreement to continue to advocate for the swift release of all those who remain in captivity.

As Americans prepare to gather for Thanksgiving tomorrow, we give thanks that some former hostages might be able to spend the coming Shabbat with their loved ones. May that reality soon come true for the remaining hostages. Ken yehi ratzon – let it be so.


Union for Reform Judaism
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman (she/her)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs (he/him)

Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Erica Asch (she/her)

Rabbi Hara E. Person (she/her)
Chief Executive

American Conference of Cantors
Cantor Seth Warner (he/him)

Rachel Roth (she/her)
Chief Operating Officer

Women of Reform Judaism
Sara Charney (she/her)

Rabbi Liz P. G. Hirsch (she/her)
Executive Director

Men of Reform Judaism
Rob Himmelstein (he/him)

Steven Portnoy (he/him)
Executive Director