A Message from our Board President
We Jews have endured millennia of tragedy. Yet each morning during Shaharit we recite a verse from Psalm 30:
“You turned my mourning into dancing, you changed my sackcloth into robes of joy.”
At dawn on Shemini Atzeret the terrorists of Hamas sent thousands of rockets into Israel & launched unthinkable attacks, striking revelers dancing through the night at a music festival, celebrating “friends, love and infinite freedom”; killing 40 babies ~ beheading many of them; slitting open the bellies of pregnant women and pulling their fetuses out of their uteruses … turning all of these into sites of terror, death, and unbounded grief; while in other communities, the joy of Simchat Torah evaporated into sackcloth.
Here are eight ways to take action.
Pray for the return of hostages, the safety of the Israel Defense Forces, the healing of those wounded in body and soul, comfort of those grieving loved ones, the welfare of Israel, and for the nearly superhuman strength and wisdom that this terrible hour necessitates in its leaders. Pray also for the multitude of Gaza citizens who condemn the terrorists and their inhuman attacks.
Now is the time to stay engaged with the unfolding events in Israel. Find a trustworthy news site to keep abreast of the news.
Be an Advocate
Contact your elected representatives, asking them to be vocal in their support of Israel. In your community, classroom, or social media platform – let the world know that you stand with Israel.
Many of us have family and friends in Israel. While we cannot remove someone’s pain, the act of letting someone know that they are not alone is an important gesture. Send a text or email letting them know they are in our hearts.
Put Politics Aside
Our community has diverse political views both in America and Israel. Now is the time to set our differences aside and stand united in support of Israel’s safety and security.
And above all, resist succumbing to despair; continue to hold fast to the belief that a better future is possible, even if we do not yet see the path.
These are the critical action steps we can take right now. In the days ahead, we know the list will grow and we will keep you informed.
The IDF initiated a massive call-up of soldiers. Israel is our family and the Talmud teaches us: Kol Yisrael arevim zeh ba’zeh – all of Israel are responsible for one another. In crisis, family steps up, even if there is discord among us. May we all step up in this dark hour.
May God save Israel from more unbearable tragedy and help each us to find a way to support and uplift one another other.
~ Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton President Mary Rita Weissman
Where Does My Donation to the Israel Emergency Fund Go?
Following the horrific attacks, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has identified the following urgent priority needs requiring our immediate collective assistance. Every dollar raised goes directly to JFNA and will be allocated to the following needs:
● Basic Needs: Food and financial assistance for impacted families, the elderly, and the homebound.
● Evacuation, Housing, Respite, and Support for Frontline Communities: Including support for communities under fire and for new olim living in absorption centers through evacuations, temporary housing, respite trips, children’s activities, and increased security.
● Funds for Victims of Terror: The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Funds for Victims of Terror is a key part of our standing emergency response capacity that provides immediate cash grants to families and individuals who have been impacted by acts of terror and violence, for post-trauma care, etc.
● Trauma Relief and Psychosocial Care: To support widescale trauma relief and psychosocial support with expanded capabilities through telephone hotlines; providing direct care to first responders, Lone Soldiers, the injured, and families whose relatives were murdered, injured, or abducted; training and support for caregivers and responders including hospital emergency teams and municipal teams.
● Emergency Medical Services and Healthcare: Medical supplies and equipment for first responders and hospitals in close proximity to the front line.
● Special Populations: Targeted assistance to vulnerable populations and their caregivers, including the elderly, young children, people living with disabilities, and marginalized populations, such as the Ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin communities.
● Local Efforts and Volunteers: Israel’s home front has mobilized and funding is needed to enhance capacity and provide operational support to evacuees, special populations, frontline communities, and those responding to the crisis.
For more detailed information about how your donation to the Israel Emergency Fund makes a difference, CLICK HERE.
COLLEGE STUDENTS/PARENTS RESOURCES
PJ Library Resources
Daily JFNA Briefings
• Information on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Antisemitism, Bias, and Misinformation on Social Media
• 10 Ways to have conscientious conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
• Jewish values and prayers about war
• Emergency Response in Israel | HIAS
• In Their Light: Eight Stories of Bravery from October 7th
• Tell the Senate to Immediately Confirm a U.S. Ambassador
• Urge elected officials to stand with Israel, and thank them for their support
• Call for Responsible Media Coverage of the War in Israel
• Urge Social Media Platforms to Do Better with Content Moderation About the Crisis in Israel
• Blue Ribbon for Israel campaign ~ A global unity symbol in solidarity with hostages and their families. We have blue ribbons at the Federation offices! Call 937-610-1555 if you would like one.
• Over 100 Jewish Groups Unequivocally Reject Islamophobia and Anti-Arab Hate. Click to read the letter, signed by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
• Students who feel that their college or university has discriminated against them on the basis of their Jewish ethnicity, ancestry, or national orgin, can file an electronic complaint form with the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education.
• Hillel has created a resource guide for Jewish students and a portal to report antisemitic incidents.
• Share this social media statement – or create your own – condemning campus antisemitism.
• Sign the ADL’s Action Alert condemning antisemitism on college campuses.
We are experiencing a time of extreme tragedy, triage and trauma. Jewish Family Services (JFS) supports all ages and stages. Below are links to resources that our colleagues across the country are offering that are specific to the war in Israel. Locally, JFS can connect you to mental health programs and services in the Miami Valley. Those resources can be found here.
• The Blue Dove Foundation Wellness Resources for the Situation in Israel
• Keshet, Understanding our feelings around the war between Israel and Hamas
• The Jewish Educator Portal, How to Talk to Children About Israel Today
• eJP, Guidance for talking to our kids
• Child Mind Institute, Helping Children Cope after a Traumatic Event