An empty Seder table with 133 chairs for the hostages sends powerful message outside Downing Street

An installation of a long Seder table was unveiled in central London on Wednesday, featuring 133 empty chairs and posters, each bearing the face of a hostage held captive by Hamas in Gaza, over six months after they were taken on October 7.

More than 300 people from the UK Jewish community, Israelis and supporters attended the solidarity event outside Downing Street, organised by the UK Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

The seats included two highchairs for Ariel Bibas, 4, and his brother Kfir Bibas, who spent his first birthday in captivity, along with juice boxes instead of glasses of wine. A place was also set for the oldest hostage, Shlomo Mantzur, who turned 86 in Gaza.

As well as Israeli flags, numerous Union Jacks, Iranian and Indian flags were present.

Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis said: “At our Seder, a highlight is when we recognise that there are four types of Jewish children around the Seder table; the wise child, one who is bad, one who is simple, one who doesn’t even know how to ask. Throughout our history, we recognise that actually there’s always been a fifth Jewish person and that is the one who is not there.

“Through our history, there have been so many reasons why sadly some people have not been with us, and this year, for the saddest of reasons, we recognise that fifth Jewish person is the hostage. And there are so many of them.

“This Seder, we will be so saddened because members of our global Jewish family will be absent.”


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Events & Meetings