Around the world, activists are calling attention to the Israelis taken hostage by Hamas in the horrific October 7 attack. Art installations around the world, from New Jersey to London, have set up empty tables and beds for at least 229 Israelis and foreign nationals, dozens of them children, hoping to return. Now celebrities, many of whom have signed a letter demanding that President Joe Biden work to free the hostages, are each “adopting” one of the hostages, shouting for their release. Their pleas were shared on their personal accounts as well as on a certain Instagram account called Kidnapped From Israel.
Helen Mirren, who recently starred in “Golda,” portraying Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and who volunteered at a kibbutz in her younger years, “adopted” 5-year-old Amelia Aloni, as well as Brooklyn Pelz Beckham, whose father and wife are Jewish. Amelia is missing with her mother, aunt, uncle and cousins Emma and Julie, who are 3 years old. They were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz.
Brooklyn’s wife, Nicola Peltz Beckhamdemanded the release of Yachel Shoham, 3 and Jamie Lee Curtis advocated for the release of her sister Nave, 9. They were captured along with their mother and grandmother. Their grandfather was killed along with his brother and his brother’s wife, Laylah Kipnis, a social worker who wrote a children’s book to help people with rocket fire trauma and which her two children released for free after October 7. Lilah was initially believed to be captured, but her body was found on October 23.
Andy Cohen “adopted” Sahar Dan Calderon, 16, while Zooey Deschanel called for the release of her brother Erez, 12. Their mother, Hadas Calderon, drew attention to the plight of the hostages. She told JTA that every night she hears Erez, who is captured being abused in Hamas videos, “yelling to me, mom, save me.”
Josh Peck demanded the immediate release of 9-month-old Kfir Bibas. Peck welcomed his second son, Shai, in late 2022, who is just a few months older than Kfir. Kfir is the youngest prisoner held by Hamas, along with his parents, Yarden and Shiri, and his brother, Ariel, 3, all residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Yarden was texting his sister at the time of the horrific attack and told her they were worried because their boys were struggling to keep quiet during the break-in. Shiri’s parents were killed in the attack, and videos of Shiri and the boys, affectionately referred to as “Yemen’s first redheads,” were circulated. A video of Yarden, seriously injured, was also discovered.
Dr. Phil demanded the release of Eitan and Iair Horn, 37 and 45, two brothers who were captured by Nir Oz and hold dual Argentine-Israeli citizenship,
Nate Burkus demanded the release of 38-year-old Itai Svirski. His parents, Orit and Avi, were killed in Beeri on October 7. Orit was an activist for the organization Women Wage Peace. Itai, who grew up in Beeri but lives in Tel Aviv, was visiting his parents for the holiday when he was captured.
Skyler Astin called for the release of 19-year-old Agam Berger. Michael Douglas demanded the immediate release of 2-year-old Aviv Katz-Asher. She was taken along with her sister, her mother Doron and her grandmother Euphrates. Her father was on the phone with Doron when Hamas stormed their kibbutz. “I can’t sleep — I’m living out of my own body … I have two little babies, two little girls,” he told the New York Times. “These little babies should not be held or held by terrorists.”
Howie Mandel called for the release of 9-year-old Ohad Munder Zichri. Ohad celebrated his 9th birthday in captivity, along with his grandparents Avraham and Ruti and his mother Keren, who are also captives of Hamas. “She wanted a child for many years and he brought a lot of happiness and light to the family,” his aunt told NBC News. His uncle was killed during the attack. His birthday was celebrated all over the world with balloons.
Amy Schumer took on the plight of 19-year-old Karina Ariev, a surveillance soldier stationed in Nahal Oz. On the morning of the attack, she called her parents in tears. “She screamed and said she loved us very much,” Karina’s mother recalled. “She told us to get on with our lives.”
Alyssa Milano called for the release of Ella Eliakim, who is 8. Ella was last seen on video with her hand bandaged. She is being held captive with her sister Daphne, who is 15, and whose ‘kidnapped’ poster was shared by Sharon Osbourne. She was initially taken with her father Noam, stepmother Dikla and stepbrother Tomer, 17, but their bodies were found near the Gaza border. Ella’s mother is worried that the girls saw their father killed in front of them. “I think I hope they don’t bring them back to me in a casket,” their mother Maayan Zin told ABC News. “It’s a rollercoaster of feelings.”
Brett Gelman called for the release of 32-year-old Alex Lobanov. Debra Messing called for the release of Noah Argamani, 26, who was at the Supernova party. A video of her capture, shared by Hamas, went viral and her parents made several distraught media appearances, pleading for their only daughter’s release.
Juliet Lewis demanded the release of 30-year-old Ilana Camhi and Orion Padu, who is a Mexican citizen and partner of Shani Luk, the German national kidnapped by the Supernova party, who was recently declared murdered. Julianna Margulies demanded the release of 13-year-old Hila Rotem-Shoshani from Beeri.
Mayim Bialik called for the release of Clemons Felix Mtenga, 22, a Tanzanian student who was in Israel for an agricultural internship. “He should be brave where he is, know that we love him and are praying for him day and night, hoping he will be back soon,” his family told the BBC.
Mandy Moore shared a photo of Tal Goldstein-Almog, 11, who was captured from Kibbutz Kfar Azza, along with his mother and two of his siblings. His father and oldest sister were killed.
Phil Rosenthal called for the release of 18-year-old Tamir Nimrodi, who will turn 19 next month. “Tamir is a brilliant and smart kid who is very connected to his sister,” his father said. “Since then we have no life [his capture]. They ruined our lives. It’s a big and terrible shock, emotional, mental, physical and a lot of thinking, dreaming and crying. There is no routine. There is endless restlessness from morning to night with many intrusive thoughts. Many people hug and hug us. There is great suspense for every bit of information that will shed some light on his situation, what is happening to him, what they are doing to him.
Chelsea Handler demanded the release of 3-year-old Abigail Idan of Kfar Azza, who was hiding in a neighbor’s closet when she was captured. Her mother Smadar and her father Roy are killed. Her two siblings, Michael, 9, and Amalia, 6, survived thanks to their brother’s fortitude — he called Magen dispatcher David Adom, who instructed them on how best to hide and keep, and to wait to open the door “until the good men come.” They were in the closet for 14 hours.
The neighbors with whom Abigail was captured were the Broduch family – mother Hagar, 39, and her children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 8, and Oriya, 4. Actress Aduba Road published about them, writing: “Humanity. I think we can agree that all children should be kept safe and at home with those they love. Prayers for peace.”
We pray for the safe return of every captive. We pray for peace and safety for all.