Beverly Hills Councilmember Lili Bosse barely slept at all on her red-eye flight to Washington, D.C., the evening of Nov. 13. But the second she stepped into the crisp morning air at the National Mall and was enveloped in a sea of white and blue, she felt energized.
For the rest of morning she sang, prayed and chanted alongside some 200,000 people as the Nov. 14 March for Israel took over the Capitol.
“There was such a sense of community that I literally forgot I pulled an all-nighter,” Bosse told the Courier. “To hear the chanting of ‘never again is now’ and of ‘bring them back’ from 200,000 people in unison; it really pierced my soul.”
The purpose of the march was to denounce antisemitism and call on the U.S. government to double down on its support of Israel and do everything in its power to bring back the hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7.
It was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America. Bosse was part of a 300-member delegation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which is led by Rabbi Noah Farkas.
“Our Federation was incredibly proud to lead the Los Angeles delegation for Tuesday’s March for Israel in Washington D.C.,” Farkas told the Courier. “Now more than ever, we must unite as one national and global community to show solidarity and support for Israel.”
“This march was a powerful and inspiring show of strength and love,” he added.
Prior to the march, Bosse and several other California members of the Jewish Federation including State Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), met with U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler to share their views on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“They heard us loud and clear and they knew we were here for a reason,” said Bosse. “They seemed very receptive to our very strong feelings about Israel, the hostages and antisemitism.”
The trauma of Oct. 7 coupled with the spike in antisemitism have made the last few months incredibly hard for members of the Jewish community.
For Bosse, who is the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor, the past weeks have been especially heavy.
“My mom always told me I had to tell her story long after she’s gone to ensure that it would never happen again and I honestly never thought that it would,” said Bosse. “But now we are essentially living in a time where the antisemitism and the Jew hatred is at a state of an emergency.”
After all the pain Bosse has felt recently, Nov. 14 lifted her spirits and made her feel whole. A favorite moment of hers was when the crowd sang the Israeli national anthem, the “Hatikvah,” which literally means “the hope,” in unison.
“It gave me the chills, everybody was singing and people were holding up their signs,” she said. “They were so proud to show their support and to feel such a sense of unity and community. Lately, many of us feel very alone with the rise in antisemitism.”
Bosse grew up everyday hearing her mother telling her to never, ever, give up and to always speak out against hate. On Nov. 14, she felt like she made her mother proud.
The next day Bosse headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to attend the North American Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism. She sat on a Nov. 16 panel entitled “How Cities Can Lead the Fight Against Rising Antisemitism” and shared how the city of Beverly Hills has worked to combat hate.
“I feel that I am using this opportunity to
really try to help educate, learn from other communities and share what we as a city are doing to provide a safe place for people to practice their faith,” she said.
Between the march and the conference, Bosse said this is one of the most important weeks of her life.
“I will always fight for Israel and against antisemitism and quite honestly against any type of hate,” she said. “If we don’t speak out for each other then we lose the soul of humanity.”