On January 14, the Lowy International School community commemorated 100 days since October 7, marking a somber milestone with 136 hostages held captive during all this time. TAU international students met with October 7 survivors and hostage representatives, and the bell-ringing ceremony was held in the afternoon to call for the release of all hostages.
Making the Voice of Israel Heard
October 7 survivors and hostage representatives came to the Lowy International School to share their stories with the members of the Israel War Story social media task force run by TAU international students who strive to combat misinformation online regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
The seminar was a joint initiative of the task force and Talk Israel and Israel Is movements. Together, the session participants brainstormed ways of sharing authentic stories on social media to reach a wider audience around the world and make the voice of Israel heard.
“This is the first time I’ve heard someone talk first-hand about the Nova festival. It is a different experience and it humanizes the experience of what is going on.
One of the main takeaways for me today is how raw everything still is – everyone is still grieving here in Israel. I also saw how important and valuable sharing survivors’ stories is.”
Stefanie M. Schulz (Germany), a graduate of the master’s program in Security and Diplomacy:
“The most important and special part of the day was getting to meet the survivor of the Nova festival and people advocating on behalf of the hostage families. The social media training was also useful even if there wasn’t a lot of new material. It was good to hear advice on how to present content. It confirmed our feeling that authentic content, even if it’s less professional, has better reach.”
Ring to Remember, Ring to Reclaim, Ring to Return
At 4 pm, the TAU community gathered at the Lowy International School to ring bells for one full minute as part of the global One Million Bells initiative to show solidarity with the hostages.
As Dr. Inon Schenker, Initiative Creator, explains: “Bells have been a powerful tool for centuries. One bell can warn of danger and save a village; One million bells may shake the world, herald hope and mark a line between humanity and evil. October 7th, 2024 must be remembered globally as a defining moment against terror.”
The sound of the bells echoed three powerful messages calling everyone to remember the murdered, injured, their families and loved ones; reclaim a world without terror, antisemitism, bigotry, and racism; and return the remaining hostages immediately.
Maureen Adiri Meyer, Director, The Lowy International School:
“As the international school at TAU, we have always recognized the importance of global understanding and unity – particularly on our international campus.
As we mark 100 days, having bells ring out around the world reminds us of the power of community, remembrance, and solidarity and how much it is needed right now.”
TAU Rector Prof. Mark Shtaif extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of all the war casualties and expressed sincere hope for the swift release of the hostages and a resolution to the conflict.
Tal, a representative from the Hostage Forum, underscored the urgency of advocating for the prompt liberation of hostages. American actress and performer Jade Taylor sang at the event, accompanied by Ido Montaniez.
Ido Montaniez and Jade Taylor at the Lowy International School
Partners of the One Million Bells initiative included the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, World Zionist Organization, Center for Jewish Impact, major hotel chains, the Stock Exchange, United Nations for Israel, Impact for Healthy Future, NOVA, and global faith organizations.