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Day 24: Operation Protective Edge Video Update

Jul 31, 2014

Day 24: Operation Protective Edge Video Update

Today ends my fourth solidarity mission to Israel. Above is a video message I recorded on my iPhone to share with you some of my reflections on the unity emerging from the conflict and relief efforts.

Day 23: One Jewish People

Jul 30, 2014

Day 23: One Jewish People

When it comes to Israel and the Diaspora, I have the special privilege of straddling two worlds. I made aliyah when I was just 21, meaning I’ve spent more than half my life as an Israeli. But I was raised in the United States, and now work passionately on behalf of a North American organization, so I can relate to—and empathize with—the Diaspora community as well.

Day 22: Operation Protective Edge

Jul 29, 2014

Day 22: Operation Protective Edge

Yesterday was a remarkable day. Fifteen thousand people attended a rally in New York to show support for Israel. Jewish leaders from across North America gathered in Washington to meet with our nation’s top officials. Meanwhile, here in Israel, a delegation from UJA-Federation of New York is wrapping up a solidarity mission, and JFNA’s third national mission is about to begin. These activities top off three weeks during which Federations held more than 70 pro-Israel rallies. I can assure you: Israelis are comforted by your support. I’m sharing with you some of the conversations I've had with them, in the iPhone video above.

Day 18: Update and Report from Israel

Jul 25, 2014

Day 18: Update and Report from Israel

Just days after beginning my tenure as chair of JFNA’s Board of Trustees in 2012, I found myself in Israel as rockets flared overhead during Operation Pillar of Defense. It was a powerful experience that quickly immersed me in the work of Federation, as Israel’s south was under siege. But it paled in comparison to the intensity I experienced when I returned to Israel amid rocket fire this week on JFNA’s second solidarity mission.

Update on Operation Protective Edge Allocations

Jul 25, 2014

Update on Operation Protective Edge Allocations

It is day 18. More than 2,100 rockets have been fired at Israel. Hopes of a ceasefire continue to be dashed. We pray that discussions today may lead to one that will make this Shabbat a peaceful one. But whether the hostilities continue or abate, the people of Israel will continue to need us.

Day 17: Update and Report from Israel

Jul 24, 2014

Day 17: Update and Report from Israel

One of the most important aspects of our coalition’s work is to help the hardest-hit municipalities in the heart of Israel coordinate a vast array of emergency responses and services. Through our Stop the Sirens campaign, we have funded 13 of these cities on the front lines.

Day 16: Update and Report from Israel

Jul 23, 2014

Day 16: Update and Report from Israel

Over the past week, we have heard updates on the situation in Israel from many of our partner agencies. Today, Talia Levanon, director of the Israel Trauma Coalition, shares her thoughts with us. Following her message are two reflections about life on the ground from Israelis, part of our #LivingIt series.

Day 15: Update and Report from Israel

Jul 22, 2014

Day 15: Update and Report from Israel

We heard updates last week on the situation in Israel from our partners at The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT. Today, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism, shares his thoughts with us. Following his message are two reflections about life on the ground from Israelis, part of our #LivingIt series.

Loss of Israeli Soldiers Mourned by Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Leaders

Jul 21, 2014

Loss of Israeli Soldiers Mourned by Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Leaders

With heavy hearts, deepest gratitude and fervent pride, we join with Jewish leaders and communities around the world in mourning the increasing number of Israeli soldiers killed fighting the Iranian-backed Hamas in Gaza over the past two days. On behalf of the South Palm Beach County Jewish community, we express our deepest sympathies to the families of these courageous men whose sacrifice is not only for Israel, but for each of us and our people.

Day 14: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 21, 2014

Day 14: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

We heard updates last week on the situation in Israel from our partners at The Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Today, Avi Ganon, CEO of World ORT Kadima Mada, shares his thoughts with us. Following his message are three reflections on life on the ground from Federation leaders on our missions.

Latest from Israel

Jul 18, 2014

Latest from Israel

Below, please find a summary of the latest news from Israel, as prepared by JFNA’s Israel office.

Day 11 Update: Not Just Another Friday Morning

Jul 18, 2014

Day 11 Update: Not Just Another Friday Morning

This morning, I looked at my neighborhood with completely new eyes. I live in Motza Illit, a quiet rural spot just outside of Jerusalem off the main highway to Tel Aviv. It’s a pretty sleepy place. But when I got in my car to pick up groceries and buy a chicken for Shabbat, I looked right past the gorgeous Judean Hills to identify potential spots to pull over and take shelter.

1,050 Pack Our Israel Solidarity Gathering - A Moment for Which Our Federation Was Built

Jul 18, 2014

1,050 Pack Our Israel Solidarity Gathering - A Moment for Which Our Federation Was Built

Spontaneous, loud and proud, the crowd of 1,050 opened our Israel Solidarity Gathering singing Am Yisrael Chai on Wednesday night, holding signs proclaiming “We Stand with Israel.” Looking out at a sea of blue and white, at the vibrant diversity of ages, backgrounds, observance and neighborhoods in our Jewish community today, I knew that this was one of those moments for which we’ve built our Federation. Once again, on a few days’ notice, we rose with one voice, standing together in anxiety, outrage, tears, strength and unwavering support for the State of Israel and our Jewish family there – and committed to helping however we can.

Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO

Jul 18, 2014

Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO

Like my colleagues who so eloquently shared their powerful and poignant thoughts and experiences - and probably like most of you - I feel like I’m living in two countries right now. Our families in Israel - both immediate members and millions bound to us inexorably by history, fate, faith and love – are under attack day and night throughout our homeland. Once again, it is both heartening and heartrending to look out at a group from throughout our remarkable Jewish community… once again gathered in solidarity as Israel contends with the forces of terror.

Israel Solidarity Gathering – Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch Statement

Jul 17, 2014

Israel Solidarity Gathering – Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch Statement

We wish we could be with you today as our community stands in solidarity with the people of Israel whose lives are being upended by Hamas' attacks on civilian populations centers throughout the country.

Day 9: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 16, 2014

Day 9: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

As I send this email, I am waiting to board a plane to the U.S. at Ben Gurion Airport. Our solidarity mission has ended and we’re about to return to our lives back home. While our phones will still ring from the IDF’s Red Alert rocket hit app, we won’t have to scramble for shelter.

Day 8: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 15, 2014

Day 8: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

When we went to sleep last night, reports swirled that there would be a ceasefire this morning. Unfortunately, our hopes and prayers for a respite for Israelis from the eighth straight day of rocket fire were dashed. We woke to the news that while Israel had agreed to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire terms, Hamas had not. In fact, nearly 50 rockets had been launched overnight from Gaza as well as Lebanon, bringing the total number of rockets Israelis have endured to more than 1,150.

Day 7: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 14, 2014

Day 7: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Yesterday, the Jewish Federations of North America Emergency Response Allocations Committee for Operation Protective Edge convened and allocated nearly $5 million to help our partner agencies defray the costs of the additional services they provided during the first week of hostilities.

Day 6: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 13, 2014

Day 6: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

This morning I traveled to Sderot with a small delegation of leaders from our Campaign Chairs and Directors Mission to meet with and hear from local residents and leadership. The city is tense and few people are out and about. Everyone is keeping close to their bomb shelters ever mindful of the 15 second rule – that’s how much time you have to get to safety. We’ve already had to make that unnerving dash to the shelters.

Day 5: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 12, 2014

Day 5: Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

As Shabbat ends, we bring you this brief update of latest events in Israel. As many of you know, Shabbat in Israel is always a special experience. However, this Shabbat was spent alert to the possibility of rockets falling at any moment. The concern followed every citizen of Israel in every activity and wherever they went.