LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The Kentucky Jewish Council held a prayer vigil for Israel Wednesday evening at the University of Kentucky. More than two dozen people gathered to stand in unity with the country and pray for peace.

In the last four days, more than a thousand people have been killed in Israel, including at least 22 Americans. On Wednesday night, the Jewish community raised its voice in unison to ask for protection, mercy, and justice for those still in Israel.

While the Middle East conflict between Hamas and Israel takes shape, some members of Lexington’s Jewish community with deep ties to the area are still processing the tragic stories and looking for ways to help.

Chairmen of the Kentucky Jewish Council Rabbi Shlomo Litvin said, “It can often feel when praying for my brother and sister so far away that I’m praying alone. Students come by one or two to gather here together to raise a mighty voice to God. That’s been absolutely incredible; this is exactly what I personally needed. You know, in a bit of a selfish moment, I really needed tonight. I know many of the students, and when I spoke to them and community members, I spoke to said the same exact thing: We really need tonight to have the opportunity to pray for Israel.”

At Wednesday’s gathering, candles were lit, hugs were given, and many sat and listened to those who spoke.

“The savagery of Hamas doesn’t represent us, that we condemn that, that when voices here in Lexington praise the murders and the rapes, marching down Main Street screaming for the murder of Jews. That doesn’t represent us, and that we do want to raise our voices in a joyful noise to praise God and thank him, and to ask for protection for Israel,” Litvin said.

UK student Camille Luttrell said, “Nobody deserves to go through this and have to see this destruction in their own place.”

Litvin said if it wasn’t for his seven kids and students, he would be in Israel helping with aid.