(KRON) — People here in the Bay Area are feeling the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict that erupted over the weekend. A local rabbi with Sim Shalom Synagogue says he’s already talking to his congregation about it.

The rabbi, who is based in San Francisco, lived in Israel for three years and is an Israeli citizen.
He says it’s hard to watch what’s happening in the Middle East from afar.

“My first reaction was horror, dismay, despair, anger, feelings of isolation,” said Rabbi Elias Zwang, associated rabbi at Sim Shalom Synagogue. “When loved one like this are targeted, it’s really hard to know how to respond especially when you’re so far away. So it’s been really tough day.”

The rabbi described this unique moment in Israeli history as being similar to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.

KRON4’s Dan Thorn also spoke to a restaurant owner who is currently in Israel and experienced the attacks first hand. Watch the video in the player below to see him share his experience.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is working to confirm if Americans were among those killed in the attacks.