This Moment in Israel
Message From Our CEO, Paul Geduldig
On Saturday, October 7, we awoke to the horrific news of large-scale attacks in Israel by Hamas militants. This included thousands of rockets fired at civilian populations and the infiltration of southern Israeli towns. This terrorist attack, the greatest massacre of Jewish lives in a single day since the Holocaust, resulted in the killing of over 1,400 people and an estimated 200 hostages taken captive.
War has been declared. Rockets continue to rain down on Israel and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been called up as reservists. We are concerned for Israel’s security and the return of the hostages. And we are saddened by the casualties and the humanitarian crisis growing in Gaza. In coming days, we will see additional loss and suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians. We are heartbroken. We pray for those who have been or will be affected.
Here in our local community many people are watching events unfold in real time with fear and anxiety. Some of you have asked for information about community gatherings, ways to donate, and resources on how to speak with children about this terrible situation. We hope the following resources will be helpful.
May we all find a way forward.
Paul Geduldig, Chief Executive Officer
Stronger Together in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 Israel!
Over 50 SF Bay Jewish Organizations, schools and congregations partnered to create a website about the conflict where you can find these topics: community support, events, advocacy and giving opportunities. Check it out.
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. The S.F.-based Federation has opened an emergency fund and is working with the Israel Trauma Coalition, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Jewish Agency for Israel to support victims of terror, help rebuild damaged infrastructure and address trauma.
Invest in Peace. An initiative to support the self-determination of Palestinians and Israelis, dedicated to championing efforts on the ground that move these societies towards a shared future of coexistence and prosperity. For more information click here.
IsraAID. This Israeli aid group with a Bay Area office, known mainly for humanitarian work outside of Israel, is accepting donations for its efforts to get relief supplies and other support to Israeli communities affected by the fighting.
JGive. The Israeli tech-based nonprofit dedicated to “growing the culture of giving in Israel and to Israel” has launched a “national emergency fund to aid war victims.” For more information, click here.
Magen David Adom. Donate to support paramedics, EMTs, first responders and first-aid providers on the ground in Israel. Click here to donate.
NATAL: Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War. This Israeli organization offers mental health treatment around PTSD and other trauma related to war and terror. Donate here.
Talking to Children About Violence
How to Talk to Your Children About Israel (Jewish Educator Portal, 2023)
Have We Been Teaching Kids About Israel All Wrong? (Sivan Zakai, 2022)
How to Talk to Children About Israel | Reform Judaism (Robbie Gringras)
Guide for When Bad Things Happen (Dr. Becky Kennedy, ) Instagram
Resources for Understanding the Current Israeli Palestinian Crisis (Union for Reform Judaism, 2021)
Resources for navigating the events with children, provided by PJ Library:
Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism Resources*
10 Ways to Have Conscientious Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Think. Plan. Act. Tools for Dealing with Antisemitic and anti-Israel Incidents on Campus
Antisemitic Incidents: Being an Ally, Advocate and Activist
*All the articles above are from the Anti-Defamation League
Support & Reflection
Free Mental Health Support
BetterHelp is providing 6 months of therapy at no cost for individuals who have been impacted by the war in Israel. The support is provided by a licensed therapist over video, phone, or text. Learn more and sign up here.
Campus Antisemitism Legal Line (CALL)
A free legal protection helpline for students who have experienced antisemitism. Any student, family, faculty or staff member can go to the CALL website or text “CALLhelp” to 51555 to report incidents of antisemitic discrimination, intimidation, harassment, vandalism or violence that may necessitate legal action. Lawyers will assess reports of antisemitic discrimination and hate, conduct in-depth information-gathering interviews and provide pro bono representation for victims who choose to move forward with specific cases. CALL will also provide referrals to social services, mental health counseling services and other relevant support services in their area.
BAY AREA GATHERINGS
The Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties (JCRC) are compiling a list of Bay Area gatherings where you can show your support. Make sure to check back for regular updates.
A VIEW FROM JERUSALEM
Read about what’s happening in Israel first-hand from the daily posts in Leah’s blog A View from Jerusalem. Leah Garber is a senior vice president of the JCC Association of North America and director of its Center for Israel Engagement in Jerusalem.