WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford held a vigil Tuesday night for Israel, stressing that it believes gathering together is essential in the wake of continued violence.

Hamas launched an attack on Oct. 7 in Israel, killing thousands and taking hundreds as hostages. In response, Israel has launched aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 5,000 people. Israel is also preparing for a ground invasion.

“People are upset and concerned, and they want to see each other, and they want to see each other, and they want to see each other support Israel,” said Ken Simon, the immediate past president of Emanuel Synagogue.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) returned from a trip to the Middle East on Tuesday, posting on X later that “These world leaders agree, Hamas is a scourge that must be fought & dismantled. We must stand together to deter Iran, who enables & empowers Hamas, & ensure that Iran’s malign proxies don’t expand this conflict.”