Dancing to raise funds for a Torah scroll in memory of heroic October 7 police officer

A solidarity trip to Israel inspired an event in memory of Mor Shakuri


Over 80 women and girls danced to raise money for a Torah scroll in memory of Mor Shakuri, who was killed by terrorists on October 7, defending Sderot police station (Photo: Nathalie Metta)

Since October 7, the slogan “We will dance again” has become a popular way of expressing that out of the ashes of the worst terrorist atrocity in Israel’s history, its people will rise up and find joy in life once more.

Now, a group of women and girls from north-west London have taken the slogan to heart by spending an evening dancing to raise money for a Torah scroll in memory of a young victim.

Police officer Mor Shakuri, 29, was killed while defending her colleagues from the roof of Sderot police station when it was attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Mor spent five hours fighting the attackers, even managing to use her shirt as a tourniquet to treat a seriously wounded man, before she was killed.

After meeting Mor’s mother on a solidarity trip to Israel, Claudia Salem arranged an evening of dancing at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue to help raise funds for a Torah Scroll, which Mor’s family are dedicating to her memory.  

Claudia, who had gone to Israel with the charity Shalva UK, told the JC: “I met Mor’s mum, Ayala, on the first day of our trip. She shared with us what had happened to Mor on October 7th with sadness. But as she pulled out her phone to show us photos of Mor, she stood as a proud mother and was showing us that Mor was not just beautiful, but she was so much more.”

Claudia said that Mor’s sister Sapir had described Mor as “someone who loved music, loved dancing, doing good deeds and travelling. She was full of life.”

Claudia said that if Mor, who was an observant Jew, had to work on Shabbat, she would donate her salary to charity.

Mor, who was engaged to be married, wasn’t originally meant to be working on October 7, but had later switched shifts.

Claudia said: “In one of the last conversations with her mum, she said: ‘Mom, if I don’t survive, know that I love you, I love my father, and take care of Sapir for me.’”

Claudia added: “I’m a mum of four, and knowing that Mor was planning her wedding and had bought a house, but would never have the opportunity to enjoy it, really upset me.”

A Torah scroll usually costs between £30,000 and £50,000, and when Claudia heard that the family was about £15,000 off their target, she “didn’t just want to send out a message asking people to donate because people are inundated with requests to support different causes. So, I thought that by creating an event which was fun, I would entice people to come.”

While the evening started with Claudia giving an emotional speech, by the end, led by professional dancer Camille Sharpe, “we were dancing as if we were at a simcha. All the sad feelings went away.”

Aware that teenagers “don’t always want to go to rallies”, Claudia hopes that the younger participants took away from the evening that “you can do something fun while also doing something meaningful. We were able to share a positive message about someone who was really inspiring.”

Mor’s family welcomed the news that an event was taking place outside of Israel in her memory. Ayala said: “I was very moved to see that my daughter is being commemorated in the world and not only in Israel. I felt huge pride that I raised a girl to glory, a heroic and brave girl.”

Sapir added: “I was moved to tears to see that they made a powerful evening in [Mor’s] memory, that her story strengthens people and touches their hearts.”

The evening raised around £6,000, and Claudia is already planning a future event. 

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