We live in heart wrenching times. On October 7, 2023 we didn’t even get to end Simchat Torah before the terrorist attack by Hamas had begun killing more than 1,400 Israelis. Their attack on Israel is against every citizen: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Arab, Palestinian, Druze, and many other nationals. We also grieve for the innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
We have gathered together some resources. We hope that you will find them helpful as we try to navigate through the shoals of grief and despair for so many lives lost.
May the strength of Israel endure and may there come a time when peace becomes stronger than violence and all those who live in the region know calm from a united heart of community and cooperation.
We know there are many of us with family in Israel. Those who live in harm’s way and those called up to serve in Israel’s defense are held close to our hearts by all of us. Rabbi Zecher, Cantor Stillman, Rabbi Jacobson, Rabbi Slipakoff, and Rabbi Oberstein are here to support you in whatever way we can. We join you in wanting all those who live in Israel to be safe and secure.
Statements of Support
- Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)
- Union for Reform Judaism
- Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO)
- Brandeis University
- Bethel AME Church (Boston, MA)
- University of Florida
- Black Ministerial Alliance Ten Point of Greater Boston
“I strongly condemn the horrific attack by Hamas against innocent Israeli civilians. We share in the grief felt by the Israeli community of Boston, the broader Jewish community, and all who are mourning innocent lives lost throughout the region. We join in prayers for peace.” — Mayor Michelle Wu
Donations and Collections
- Support for Israel can go to this fund, specifically set up by CJP.
- Israeli American Council in Newton is collecting donations, and sending them to Israel every day. Please consider purchasing items from this Amazon wishlist. You are welcome to deliver directly to the IAC (when checking out).
- The Reform Movement is partnering with the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Operation: Swords of Iron campaign to support victims of terror, rebuild damaged infrastructure, and address the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by these horrific attacks. Make a donation here.
- International Committee of the Red Cross. The Red Cross is working tirelessly to provide lifesaving medical care on both sides of the Gaza border. In conflict situations, the ICRC takes a lead role and directs the work of its partners — in this case the Israeli Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent.
- New Israel Fund Emergency Response. Caring for the most vulnerable and affected; preventing intercommunal violence; combating hate speech and disinformation; providing trauma counseling; responding immediately to human and civil rights’ violations.
- HIAS. Jewish American refugee support organization now organizing support in Israel for displaced people.
- Physicians for Human Rights Israel’s Emergency Response. Israeli organization addressing urgent medical needs both for Israelis and foreign workers in Israel as well as for Gazans.
- Stand with Israel. A compilation of donation sites for a wide variety of needs across Israel.
- Standing Together. Jewish-Arab Israeli grassroots movement mobilizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice. They are currently working to: spread a message of peace and de-escalation of the current conflict, advocating alongside the families for the return of the hostages. Hosting group meetings for Jews and Arabs together with psychologists, monitoring calls for violence on social networks and reporting to authorities and supporting communities of Arabs and Jews who want to work towards solidarity and safety in mixed cities. Standing Together is also funded by the New Israel Fund (www.nif.org).
- UNICEF. Life-saving support for children in Gaza.
- Anera. Providing humanitarian assistance in Gaza.
- Visit the URJ’s resource page for additional ways to support Israel.
Israel Programs and Gatherings at TI
Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict with Rabbi Dan Slipakoff
November 13, 2023
5:30 PM - 07:00 PM EDT
As part of the Hartman iEngage series, this 6-part class led by Rabbi Dan Slipakoff explores one of the most important issues impacting the Jewi...
New Challenges to Shared Society: Building Bridges in the Midst of War
November 30, 2023
7:00 PM - 08:30 PM EDT
New Challenges to Shared Society:Building Bridges in the Midst of War with Jimmy Taber, International Development Director of The Abraham Initiat...
Cultivating Coexistence and Hope through Environmental Dialogue: Tareq AbuHamed from the Arava Institute
December 7, 2023
7:00 PM - 09:00 PM EDT
We bring in the light and hope of Chanukah by lighting the first candle together with Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Executive Director of Arava Institute. I...
Progressive Israel Caucus Meeting
December 14, 2023
7:00 PM - 08:30 PM EDT
First Hand Account of Relief Efforts for Displaced Israelis (as well as others’ experiences in the conflict) We are pleased to have as our gue...
Talking to Children
- How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening in Israel Right Now (Kveller)
- What To Tell Kids When The News Is Scary (NPR)
- Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)
- How to Talk to Your Children about Conflict and War (Unicef)
- The Child Mind Institute has some excellent resources for parents and teachers on talking to children about trauma
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has compiled a long list of Resources in Response to the War in Israel
Mental Health Resources
- If you or people in your life are grappling with sadness, anxiety, and grief, please know that you can reach out to JF&CS Mental Health Connect by calling 781-693-5562 or by writing to email@example.com. They offer free and confidential advice, referrals to therapists (including Hebrew-speaking), support groups, and other resources for addressing mental health concerns.
Our Executive Director, Dan Deutsch, who works tirelessly to ensure our safety wants you to know this: The safety of our community is a top priority. As has been our practice for decades, we work closely with many security and safety partners including CJP communal security, Boston Police, and Secure Community Network. Temple Israel’s safety and security committee is meeting regularly and evaluating information as it arises. As is most often the case, you may not always see our security efforts, but please know they are always being actively addressed, evaluated and adjusted. Security is something that we all need to participate in – if you see or hear something unusual around our facility, please report it to the front desk, Dan Deutsch or one of the clergy.