Our Response

“A peaceful demonstrator marches down Main Street holding a banner with a peace symbol. A terrorist fires rockets at my daughter and her classroom full of eight-year-olds.” -- Rob Kovach

I empathize with the many politicians and celebrities who have tried to support Israel this week but have had to back-step after harsh criticism from their constituents and fans. Being in the public eye is challenging and in today’s polarizing environment dangerous. I try to avoid making statements and do more listening than preaching.

Today’s situation is different. This situation deserves my unequivocal and unambiguous position. I am an unapologetic Zionist, and I denounce terrorism! That’s it. No “moral equivalency” or “proportional response” from me. While I abhor violence and the murder of innocents, terrorists are not innocents, and they must be stopped. Israelis will not know peace until they are.

Jewish Federation has two important roles to play:

1. As I shared yesterday, our kids are facing a tremendous assault on social media and few are equipped to handle it. We have resources and are developing programs to help. Stay tuned. In the meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be immediately helpful.

2. As we have for decades, American Jewry must offer our financial assistance for Israel’s survival and the safety of our people. Jewish Federations of North America has assessed our immediate need to:

a. replenish the Victims of Terror Fund that provides immediate cash relief to victims and their families within 24 hours after an attack.

b. support the recently arrived Ethiopians who are experiencing great trauma from the violence.

c. support the American students who just arrived in Israel.

d. support the Israel Trauma Coalition.

e. support the JDC and its provisions of social welfare to the most disadvantaged.

Last night, Federation’s board approved an Emergency Fundraising Rally for this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Last time we were called upon for this Holy work, back in 2014, we assembled more than 500 people in the Beth Emeth sanctuary and raised six-figures for the emergency. Sadly, due to COVID restrictions, this rally will be over Zoom. We will hear from Professor Steve Berk with a situation update, and we will be asked for our generosity. Registration information may be found here.

Our offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday in celebration of the Shavuot holiday.

I pray for a peaceful Shabbat and a Chag Shavuot sameach.

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