October 17, 2023
On October 7, 2023, during the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza, firing thousands of rockets, breaching the country’s borders, with significant numbers killed, hospitalized and taken hostage. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was at war to defend itself and gave the order for the IDF to commence “Operation Swords of Iron.”
The Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (The Network) is responding to this time of crisis by:
- Creating space as part of all its offerings to process together the implications of the war and its impact on professionals, on board leadership, and on our communities. To ensure access to ongoing support, The Network has launched a series of online groups specifically structured as forums for professionals who work in Jewish communal organizations throughout North America and Israel. Understanding the depth of pain, loss, and trauma that so many of us are experiencing, and the need for a safe space to process together with colleagues, these professionally facilitated groups are open to all professionals, those working in Network member agencies and those working in other organizations. For a list of support groups and meeting times, click here.
- Encouraging donations to Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Israel Emergency Campaign. The Network is a partner with JFNA on this Campaign which has set a critical goal of $500 million. Funds raised will support victims of terror, rebuild damaged infrastructure, and address the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by these horrific attacks. Now, more than ever, Israel needs your support. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to address Israel’s pressing needs. To make your donation today, visit https://jfeds.org/israelfund2023
- Encouraging solidarity with Israel through advocacy with elected officials, participation in community solidarity events and joining with other Jewish organizations in support of Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Blue Ribbon Campaign to encourage communities and organizations across North America to order and distribute #BlueRibbonsforIsrael – a unity symbol in solidarity with the hostages and their families. Learn more at BlueRibbonsforIsrael.org.
As human service provider agencies that deliver services framed in Jewish values, the member agencies of The Network work each day to ensure that all who are in need are supported with person-centered, trauma-informed services. The trauma of the current War in Israel will undoubtedly be long-lasting for Jews throughout the world and for all who care deeply about the sanctity of human life. The Network is humbled to be able to marshal the extensive and comprehensive mental health and supportive resources of its member agencies to safeguard and sustain the well-being of our communities throughout North America and in Israel.
Thank you for joining The Network in these critical efforts.
Paula Goldstein, Board Chair & Reuben D. Rotman, President & CEO