More than 500 people filled the pews at Adas Israel Congregation in Northwest Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night for a Gathering of Solidarity and Remembrance with the People of France and its Jewish Community following the terrorist attacks in Paris on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket Hyper Cache. The event was sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Washington.
Notable audience members at Adas Israel included Alan Gross, recently released from a Cuban prison, and wife Judy as well as Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
Speakers included Ambassador of France to the United States Gerard Araud, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Juliete Valls Noyes, American Jewish Committee Associate Executive Director of Policy Jason Isaacson, AJC Washington Regional Director Alan Ronkin, Adas Israel Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Alliance Francais de Washington Executive Director Sarah Pickup-Diligenti.
Music was provided by David Lewin and Cantor Arianne Brown.
Araud said: “We have to consider that we are at war. You know, the first line of democracy are the journalists and the Jews. When you attack democracy. When you attack enlightenment. When you attack pluralism. Unfortunately the first victims very often are journalists and Jews. It is exactly what happened in Paris. So we are at war. We are at war against terrorism. We are at war against radical Islam. We have to be aware of it. It will be a long fight.”
The night ended with audience and speakers joining Lewin in singing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
Photos by Josh Marks unless otherwise credited in the captions.