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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.

Action Alert: Urge Members of Congress to Cosponsor and Vote for Resolutions Supporting Israel's Right to Self-Defense

Jul 11, 2014

Action Alert: Urge Members of Congress to Cosponsor and Vote for Resolutions Supporting Israel's Right to Self-Defense

As rockets from Gaza continue to threaten the lives of civilians in Israel, both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be voting -- possibly as soon as Friday (tomorrow) -- on Resolutions reaffirming US support for Israel’s right to defend itself and demanding that Hamas and other terrorist groups immediately stop their attacks.

As Rockets Rain, YOU Can Make a Difference in Israel

Jul 11, 2014

As Rockets Rain, YOU Can Make a Difference in Israel

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 where nearly 400 rockets have fallen in the last few days. We fight our fears, seethe with outrage, and cry with compassion as Israelis lie awake afraid to sleep through an alert, comfort their children in bomb shelters and nightmares, and fear their age or infirmity might keep them from making it to a shelter in time. But we in South Palm Beach County can make a real difference to those under siege right now.

Operation Protective Edge: A Federation Update

Jul 10, 2014

Operation Protective Edge: A Federation Update

Rockets from Gaza continue to rain on Israel, now reaching farther into the country than ever before and into the most populated areas. An estimated five million members of our Jewish family in Israel are on alert. Our hearts and minds are with the innocent Israelis under siege as our outrage seethes at the lack of world condemnation for these wholly unprovoked and indiscriminate attacks launched without regard for civilians. We stand in full solidarity as Israel mounts Operation Protective Edge.

Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

Jul 9, 2014

Update on Operation Protective Edge and Federation Response

I have just arrived on the ground in Israel. The atmosphere here is what we have grown to expect. Israelis are resolute, focused and committed to both protecting those within the range of fire and keeping the activities of daily life going. But now that the vast majority of Israelis are within rocket range—just hours ago a rocket hit near Zichron Yaakov, 39 miles north of Tel Aviv, far from the cities of the South that have been plagued by attacks for more than a decade—the entire country is on edge.

JFNA Update on Operation Protective Edge

Jul 9, 2014

JFNA Update on Operation Protective Edge

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge last night after the security cabinet met for the fourth time over the past few days and decided to intensify defensive efforts against Hamas and restore stability to the country’s south.

At such times, JFNA Israel represents Federations at the Non-Profit Emergency Situation Roundtable under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense and collaborates with our primary partners – The Jewish Agency and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee – as well as others to ensure that whatever may come, we are working in the most efficient and informed manner possible on your behalf. JFNA President and CEO Jerry Silverman is on his way to Israel tonight.
Federation Leaders: We Stand with Israel on OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE

Jul 9, 2014

Federation Leaders: We Stand with Israel on OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE

Rockets from Gaza continue to rain on Israel, now reaching farther into the country than ever before and into the most populated areas. An estimated five million members of our Jewish family in Israel are on alert. Our hearts and minds are with the innocent Israelis under siege as our outrage seethes at the lack of world condemnation for these wholly unprovoked and indiscriminate attacks launched without regard for civilians. We stand in full solidarity as Israel mounts Operation Protective Edge.

“REMEMBER OUR BOYS” Grief and Outrage Over Deaths of Kidnapped Students in Israel

Jun 30, 2014

“REMEMBER OUR BOYS” Grief and Outrage Over Deaths of Kidnapped Students in Israel

The Federation, our partner agencies and entire community join those in Israel and worldwide in horror, grief and outrage at the murders of the three innocent abducted teen boys. Our thoughts and prayers are with the boys’ families as we issue the strongest possible condemnation of these heinous murders. Our community stands in proud solidarity with the government and people of Israel at the frontline of Jewish security as they stand up to terror and we pray those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.

"BRING BACK OUR BOYS," Says Community in One Voice

Jun 27, 2014

"BRING BACK OUR BOYS," Says Community in One Voice

More than 900 strong packed Monday night’s Bring Back Our Boys rally for our three Israeli sons kidnapped on June 12. Leaders and members from throughout our vibrant, diverse Jewish community rose with one voice in anguish, concern and outrage for this act of terror, and with unwavering support for the State of Israel and our Jewish family there. Now, each of us must call upon government officials to exercise their full leverage and authority to return Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Frenkel, and to reduce conditions through which Hamas, a proven organization of terror with a legitimate governing role, can abduct innocent, unarmed teenagers.

Community to Stand with Israel at Solidarity Rally in Boca Raton

Jun 19, 2014

Community to Stand with Israel at Solidarity Rally in Boca Raton

Reflecting the South Palm Beach County Jewish community’s deep and widespread concern for the kidnapping of three students by Hamas, the JCRC with other community leaders has organized a Community Solidarity Rally to be held on Monday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m, at Boca Raton Synagogue. Speakers will include Chaim Schacham, Consul General of Israel; local rabbis of varied denominations; the JCRC Chair and Federation Pres/CEO Matt Levin.

“BRING BACK OUR BOYS” Say Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Leaders

Jun 18, 2014

“BRING BACK OUR BOYS” Say Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Leaders

Since hearing of the abduction of three innocent teenagers on June 12, the hearts, minds and prayers of our Jewish family around the world have been with these three of our Israeli sons. Show your support at a rally on Monday, June 23 and by adding your signature to a letter to the boys’ families at bringbackourboys.net.

Federation Joins in Mourning Lewis Katz, Icon of Business and Jewish Philanthropy

Jun 3, 2014

Federation Joins in Mourning Lewis Katz, Icon of Business and Jewish Philanthropy

With heavy hearts, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County shares in mourning the sudden, tragic passing of Lewis Katz, 72, on Saturday night, May 31. A preeminent icon in business as well as Jewish philanthropy, Katz lost his life with six others in the crash of a small jet in Massachusetts. A friend, major donor to our Federation, Katz maintained a home in Boca Raton. His wisdom, inspiration and generous example will be deeply missed here in South Palm Beach County as in his longtime northern communities.