NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — Organizations came together on Friday in North Palm Beach in honor of those in Israel.
"We have to show support, especially in this time in what's going on in Israel with our brothers and sisters," Ira Jacobson, a community leader with Herut of Florida, said.
Herut of Florida partnered with the Jewish Community Synagogue to observe the Jewish tradition known as Shabbat — a time to come together with family and community.
"Do you have family or relatives out there that may have been impacted?" asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.
"I have almost seven million brothers and sisters over in Israel is how all of us feel," Melissa Berenson, who attended the service, said.
Berenson said since the war broke out between Israel and Hamas, it's left things feeling tense at home in Florida.
"It still hurts my heart that my child is frightened and that I have to teach them to live even through their frightened moments and go to school and do what must be done," Berenson said.
She said has three children and saw a large amount of law enforcement at their Jewish day school.
Berenson attended the Shabbat for Israel in hopes of finding strength through prayer and community.
"When you're with your community and you're with your people and you're supporting each other, it's a good thing because I know all of these people out here have my back and I have theirs," Berenson said.
During the service, candles were lit to shine the front of the sanctuary in honor of the lives lost in Israel.
Worshippers come together for Shabbat amid heightened security
"Did you get the chance to light a candle for your friends?" Lopez asked.
"I did get a chance to light a candle for two of my friends that have passed, and it was a very emotional and triggering moment for a bit, but I found some peace in that knowing that I was surrounded by people that have the same love and care for Israel like I do," Becky Saka, a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier, said.
She served with the IDF for three years.
"I think everybody that has served anybody that has a connection with Israel, they want to be there, and they want to help in any way that they can," Saka said. "But there are times that we can't, and this is the best we can do."
She's now a member of the nonprofit "Friends of the Israel Defense Forces," which is raising money and humanitarian aid for IDF soldiers.
"Are they in need right now?" asked Lopez.
"One hundred percent. It's our only way to restore hope and peace in Israel," Saka said. "Our soldiers need us now more than ever."
In partnership with other local organizations, the synagogue hopes people can find strength in the community and in return support loved ones overseas in Israel.
"It's sad that I have to walk into a temple, and there's police forces all over everywhere I go," Jacobson said. "I'm not scared. If you scare, then you start backing off. I'm proud and I'll do whatever it takes."