newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Annual Met Council breakfast features Oct. 7 survivor, high-ranking officials

“Beyond the work that we do to fight poverty, domestic violence, and elder abuse, we must also lift the voices of our sisters and brothers who were attacked and are still being held hostage in Gaza,” said Met Council CEO David Greenfield. 

Attendees of the Met Council Breakfast in New York City, June 4, 2023. Credit: Met Council.
Attendees of the Met Council Breakfast in New York City, June 4, 2023. Credit: Met Council.

As with everything in the Jewish world post-Oct. 7, this year’s Met Council legislative breakfast in New York City had a much different feel.

The annual event, held prior to Sunday’s Israel Day parade in Manhattan, featured the haunting personal story of Michal Ohana, who broke down as she recounted her survival of the Nova festival massacre.

Some 75 local, state and federal elected officials joined more than 300 attendees in the sold-out event recognizing the work of America’s largest Jewish poverty charity.  

“Met Council’s mission each day is tzedakah. The word tzedakah is rooted in the Hebrew word ‘justice,’” said Met Council CEO David Greenfield, who met Ohana on a recent trip to Israel. “Beyond the work that we do to fight poverty, domestic violence and elder abuse, we must also lift the voices of our sisters and brothers who were attacked and are still being held hostage in Gaza.” 

Footage that Ohana recorded on her phone on the fateful day was shown before and after her painful address, as Ohana spoke of her friends at the festival, ten of whom were murdered and two others taken hostage to Gaza, where they still remain.

Ohana was left for dead by Hamas terrorists after being shot, only to be found and rescued more than eight hours later by the Israel Defense Forces. Her account of the horrors brought many in the audience on Sunday to tears.

Attendees at the breakfast included New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, five New York City-area U.S. Congress members, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and a number of borough officials.

“My message is very simple. As the home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel anywhere, when the people of Israel are hurting, the people of New York are hurting,” said Hochul. “To me, that’s what this parade is all about: to stand with the hostages and their families and to make sure they are reunited once and for all.”

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