Message from our Senior Rabbi:

The rabbis in the Talmud teach “Kol Yisrael Aravim zeh l’zeh,” all of Israel is responsible for one another. The truth of this statement rings as true today as it did 2000 years ago when the sages wrote it. Our hearts are broken and hurting from the terror and horrors of what has been unfolding in Israel over the last ten days. Truly, our congregation and the larger community need each other, to find a way to peace, wholeness, and understanding.

Right now, I know we feel a pressing need to “do” something. Hopefully, the options below will offer some comfort during these agonizing days.

  • Support for Israel necessitates unified, bipartisan Congressional action. As the conflict continues to unfold, House and Senate leaders can show their support by condemning Hamas terrorism, calling for the immediate release of hostages from the Gaza Strip, and encouraging a swift end to the war. A quick end to the conflict is necessary to end the loss of life. Urge President Biden and Congress to continue to stand with Israel and lead other nations to do the same by signing this petition.
  • There are many news outlets with cable, radio, podcasts, etc. Please consider the sources and be a critical consumer. Even reliable outlets can be biased or present (unintentionally) incorrect information. Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, recently spoke on CNN and on a podcast called “Honestly with Bari Weiss” that provides a thoughtful perspective about the current situation.
  • Be very careful about opening links in emails and social media posts. There are credible stories about cyber-attacks through files with names like Seismic Wave Card.
  • Read through our Israel 2023 slideshow so you are armed with facts when faced with an onslaught of misinformation on the news and social media.
  • Check out the below links for ways to talk to your children about what is happening in Israel. Please also read about Roblox and the pro-Palestinian protests taking place in the popular kids video game.
    “How to talk to your kids about what’s happening in Israel Right Now”
    “How to talk to your kids about the violence in Israel”
    “What do my children understand – and what should I tell them about the Israeli-Palestinian Violence”
    Israel at War Fact Sheet
  • Below you will find a list of some options that will help support Israel in a variety of critically needed areas. Here are ways you can help:
    • Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia:JFGP has already sent funds to pay for food, shelter, medical supplies, doctors and nurses, childcare counseling, and even mobile bomb shelters to take people to funerals.
    • FIDF: Friends of the IDF is the sole organization authorized to collect charitable donations on behalf of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces across the United States of America.
    • Zaka: non-governmental rescue and recovery organization, with over 3,000 volunteers deployed around the country, on call 24/7 to respond to any terror attack, disaster, or accident immediately, professionally, and with the necessary equipment. ZAKA, a civilian volunteer organization with sole responsibility in Israel for dealing with incidents of unnatural death, works in close cooperation with all the emergency services and security forces.

We will continue to share information, ideas, and ways to support as the trauma unfolds. We are grateful to be in community with people who truly embody the principle “Kol Yisrael Aravim zeh l’zeh,” all of Israel is responsible for one another.

Sovereign of All the World — accept our plea on behalf of the state and people of Israel; pour forth Your blessing on the land and all who call it home. May Your laws of kindness guide its people; and may the teaching of Your prophets live within their hearts and ours — “Only to do justice, and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”

For this, and this alone, we pray: Make peace in the land; may all its inhabitants be blessed,

Rabbi Geri Newburge