Like many in our Jewish community, I am continually distressed by the events of October 7th and the heartbreak of the war in Israel. Over the past four months, supporters of Israel have followed the situation closely, hoping for a speedy and peaceful resolution to this ongoing crisis.
Almost immediately after October 7th, Federations across North America embarked on a campaign to raise funds to be used for a variety of critical needs in Israel. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) established the Israel Emergency Fund and set a goal of over $775 million. Here in Dayton, we exceeded our goal of $850,000, which was set by JFNA.
The Federation has also held several events to show our unwavering support for our friends and family in Israel. On October 10th, we came together for a Solidarity Gathering. A community caucus was held on November 12th, where we raised money for the Israel Emergency Fund and attendees were able to express their feelings about the war and the rise in antisemitism. On December 14th, we came together with our friends in the greater Dayton community for an inspiring and meaningful Chanukah celebration. And just a few weeks ago, a community-wide “Shabbat of Love” took place at our local synagogues, temples, and Chabad.
Behind the scenes, a page was created on our website jewishdayton.org, acting as a hub for information and resources pertaining to the war. Additionally, our staff has been participating in a variety of meetings with representatives and officials on a local, state, and national level. This past week, a 400-person “fly-in” was held in Washington D.C., where members of our Jewish community and others from around the country met with legislators to ensure the issues arising from the crisis in Israel remain a top priority.
Sadly, the war still rages on. People are still suffering. Families are still grieving. Per JFNA, since October 7th over 1,300 people in Israel have lost their lives. An additional 15,500 have been wounded. And there are 136 hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza. While we have collectively accomplished so much, our work is far from over.
Some people have expressed frustration, wondering what they can do to help in what feels like a helpless situation. Locally, we can offer support to those affected by the war, advocate for Israel’s right to peacefully exist, and ensure our collective voices are heard.
On Friday, February 16th, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton will host “We Stand with Israel: A Morning of Community Advocacy.” From 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., we invite you to stop by the CJCE. You will have the opportunity to write letters to elected officials, pen notes to IDF soldiers and our friends in the Partnership2Gether region, and show your support for Israel by participating in a photo where you can personally express why you stand with Israel. We will also have solidarity bracelets available, advocating for the safe return of the remaining hostages. As a thank you for your participation, a delicious grab ‘n go breakfast will be available. You can click here for more details.
If you are not yet signed up for the Israel Emergency updates through JFNA, I encourage you to do so. The updates are sent approximately two times per week. You can click here to register.
Another excellent resource I recommend is The 10/7 Project. You can click here to view their website, which contains a variety of information and talking points.
To receive Cathy’s WHIM in your inbox each week, click here.