AUSTIN (KXAN) – The war between Israel and Hamas has impacted the Israeli community in Central Texas.

Rabbi Daniel Septimus, chief executive officer of Shalom Austin, spoke to KXAN about the feelings he and his congregation have right now.

“It’s just unprecedented what we’re seeing happening in Israel. And this is taking place on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which was also a surprise attack, except this attack in particular was done in ways that really affected the civilians and towns throughout the southern part of Israel,” Septimus said. “So, that part is even more challenging and more tragic than what was taking place before where there were attacks on soldiers and less on civilians. This was a premeditated attack on innocent civilians.”

“Right now peace should always be on our minds,” he added. “We should always be thinking about it, but peace is far away. Right now, we have to find a partner who’s willing to make peace, and we do not have a partner currently on the other side to make peace.”

Septimus predicted this will be a protracted war. He told KXAN it will take time to figure out how to handle this crisis and terrorist organizations. He also said Israeli families will need help and financial support.

If you would like to assist, Septimus recommended making a donation to the Jewish Federation of North America.