Hersh Goldberg-Polin: American Born Man Missing After Attack on Israel

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Hersh Goldberg-Polin is a 23-year-old American born man who is missing after Hamas attacked a dance party he was attending in Israel.

The Jewish News of Northern California reported that Goldberg-Polin was born in Berkeley, California.

According to J Weekly, Goldberg-Polin left home at 11 p.m. on Friday night, October 6, 2023, to attend the dance party near the Gaza border where Hamas terrorists killed more than 260 people and took an unknown number of revelers hostage. It’s not clear whether Goldberg-Polin was killed, escaped or was taken hostage.

At least 11 U.S. citizens died in the surprise attacks against Israel, President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“As we continue to account for the horrors of the appalling terrorist assault against Israel this weekend and the hundreds of innocent civilians who were murdered, we are seeing the immense scale and reach of this tragedy,” Biden said in the statement. “Sadly, we now know that at least 11 American citizens were among those killed—many of whom made a second home in Israel.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Hersh Goldberg-Polin Sent His Father 2 Short Messages, Including, ‘I Love You’

According to J Weekly, Goldberg-Polin’s parents are hoping he is still alive. He sent his dad two messages on Saturday morning.

“He sent us two short WhatsApps Saturday morning at 8:11,” Polin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“I love you,” read the first one. “I’m sorry,” read the second.

2. Hersh Goldberg-Polin Was Working as a Medic & Waiter

Goldberg-Polin’s father Jon Polin told J Weekly that his son “loves festivals, music and traveling,” was saving up to visit India and was working as a waiter and medic.

CNN reported that the U.S. government is still trying to verify how many Americans are missing.

Goldberg-Polin’s Facebook page is now locked. It says that he is single and was living in Jerusalem.

3. Hersh Goldberg-Polin Once Lived in Richmond, Virginia, With His Family

According to WTVR, Goldberg-Polin spent part of his childhood in Richmond, Virginia.

Rabbi David Asher, of Keneseth Beth Israel in Richmond, told WTVR that Goldberg-Polin and his family worshipped at that synagogue when they lived in Richmond.

“This young man who prayed here in this room, and is now in Gaza held as hostage, we believe, he hasn’t been heard from since since the Sabbath. So it’s been very difficult,” Rabbi Asher told the television station.

4. Relatives & Others Who Know the Family Prayed for the Safe Return of Hersh Goldberg-Polin

Abby Polin wrote on Facebook, “Praying for a safe return of my nephew Hersh Goldberg Polin and everyone in Israel.”

The Pardas Institute of Jewish Studies, which is located in Jerusalem, wrote on Facebook, “Yesterday we read the haftara charging Joshua and all of Israel חזק ואמץ be strong and resolute. Strength and resolution are accessible in powerful ways to us when we join together.”

The post continued:

Let us join together in praying for Pardes Staff member Rachel Goldberg Polin and her husband Jon Polin, whose son, הירש בן פערל חנה ויונתן שמשון and his friend ענר בן שירה ומשה were at the desert festival where many were attacked yesterday morning. They have not heard from him since 8:11 yesterday morning. Rachel has graciously supported many of our students this year. Our hearts are with her and the family now. Their current call for help is to spread Hersh’s picture in an attempt to gather any information possible. Below is Hersh’s picture, together with a close friend that he was with.

Jonathan Polin’s Facebook page says he is the former Director of Marking at Capital One and also worked in marketing and business for Soda Club and Clorox. He studied history and Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and marketing at Ben Gurion University/Boston University. He lives in Jerusalem and is from Chicago, Illinois.

5. Festival-Goers Were Shot to Death & Taken Hostage

The Associated Press reported that thousands of people were at the dance party near the Gaza border when Hamas struck just after 6 a.m.

At least 260 people died, many of them shot to death, and an unknown number of people were taken hostage, AP reported.

“We were hiding and running, hiding and running, in an open field — the worst place you could possibly be in that situation,” Arik Nani told AP. “For a country where everyone in these circles knows everyone, this is a trauma like I could never imagine.”

AP reported that the Hamas militants shot people” who were seeking refuge. Many of the militants, who arrived in trucks and on motorcycles, were wearing body armor and brandishing AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.” The militants also ambushed people who were stuck in a line of cars trying to escape, according to AP.

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