Prayers asked for hostage Ohad Ben Ami

Sandra ClarkOur Town Faith

Knoxville attorney Mark Siegel, chair of Heska Amuna Synagogue, has called a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday, April 22, at the synagogue.

“Consistent with Passover’s theme of Let My People Go, this press conference will explain Heska Amuna Synagogue’s Empty Chair in the Sanctuary, and why we have been for months praying for the freedom of hostage Ohad Ben Ami, held by Hamas since October 7, 2023,” he wrote.

The Jewish holiday of Passover, celebrating the Biblical Exodus from Egypt into freedom, begins at sundown on Monday, April 22.

“We also want to invite other congregations to join our prayers for Mr. Ben Ami,” Siegel said.

Based on reporting from the Times of Israel, we learn Ohad Ben Ami, 57, was taken hostage with his wife, Raz Ben Ami, also 57, from their home in Kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Both were taken in sleepwear with no chance to dress or bring belongings.

Raz Ben Ami was released on November 29 as part of an extended temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel.

One of their three daughters, Ela, was also on Be’eri and survived.

Both Raz and Ohad have dual citizenship from Germany and Israel.

Ela posted this on the website Bring Our People Home:

“My father, Ohad, is the kibbutz accountant. He is an organized, balanced and serious man, and one of the funniest people I know. Whenever I have a problem, he is the first person I turn to, and after he has solved the issue, he will laugh about it or make jokes, getting me to laugh too.

“He loves riding his bike. Every Saturday, he and his friends from the kibbutz go for a ride in the area, and then stop for coffee and just talk about life.

“Recently, his mother moved closer to the kibbutz, so that he could help her and care for her. He always says that we, my mother, my sisters and I, are the center of his world.”

Stories like this from other hostages are also on this website.

Daughter Ela contributed to a more detailed story here.

The Ben Amis have all been active since Raz’s release, speaking publicly, giving interviews and calling on the government to initiate a new agreement for the release of their loved ones.

“I won’t give up until he’s here,” said Raz Ben Ami, who suffers brain tumors that press on nerves in her skull.

Ben Ami said she warned members of the government that the ground offensive in Gaza was putting hostages at risk.

“Unfortunately, we were right,” she says, “A military operation alone will not save the lives of the hostages.”

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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