TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel are being felt right here in the Capital City. Jewish leaders in the community and Kansas state leaders have announced support for our ally in the middle east.

With the death toll on both sides now passing 1,500 and at least 11 Americans dead due to Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, congregation members with Temple Beth Sholom in Topeka are wondering how things like this can still happen to Jewish people in 2023. With no exact answer, Rabbi Sam Stern is left in shock.

“I’m devastated at the terrible terrorist attack inflicted by Hamas on Israeli civilians over the holiday, the end of our holiday of Sukkot and our holiday of Simchat Torah, major Jewish holidays as part of a season of our high holy days,” Stern said.

With Israel directly under fire and in a very intense period of terror gathering on the border of Gaza, Kansas Attorney General, Kris Kobach says we need to stand with the Jewish state.

“I think it’s really important to stand unequivocally with Israel right now,” Kobach said. “Not only when Israel is the victim of an attack, but also when Israel responds. We have to say that Israel is in the right. We stand with Israel and there’s no equivocation, there’s no ambiguity in where the people of Kansas stand and that’s why I decided we should light up memorial hall in the Israeli colors.”

With state leaders backing the holy land, Stern says Jewish people in Kansas admire the support.

“It really sends a message that is deeply appreciated by the Jewish constituents here in Kansas,” Stern said. “I also want to state that we recognize that it’s not just Jewish Israelis who’ve suffered because of the Hamas terrorist attacks.”

From a matter of faith, not just in the Jewish religion but a matter of national security, Kobach believes without Israel, the world would be a much different place.

“Without Israel, the United States would not have a steadfast ally in that part of the world,” Kobach said. “We do have relationships with a few other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but Israel is without question our greatest ally in the middle east and many people would say one of our greatest allies on the globe.”

Services will be held Tuesday in Topeka at Temple Beth Sholom at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 12 p.m. The entire Jewish community at the University of Kansas is also having a gathering Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Big 12 room of the Kansas Union in response to the attacks in Israel.