Since Oct. 7, our world and lives have been irrevocably changed…. Like you, I find that I cannot stop watching, reading and needing to connect with you, my local Jewish community. You’ve heard me say before that the Federation system was built for times like this, and I must say that in my 35 plus years as a Jewish professional, this moment stands out as pivotal in Jewish history.

Each of us has been struggling to want to do our part, to respond, to bring comfort and aid to our beloved State of Israel. This morning, I witnessed planeloads of Israeli-American reservists, returning home to fight for our homeland. And on the other end, children and students are sending letters to soldiers to provide support.

We, as your Federated community, have been doing our part, as well. Last Tuesday, we brought the community together to stand strongly and proudly with Israel, to pray for soldiers and hostages, and to memorialize those already lost. I’ve also been speaking in neighborhoods, country clubs and people’s homes and have been inspired by the outpouring of support and commitment.

In addition, we launched an Israel Emergency Campaign, where 100% of dollars raised are already going directly to our partners on the ground. Our emergency fund is part of the historic $500 million national campaign launched by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

Already, Jewish Federations have allocated $10 million to 20 organizations providing emergency relief and support in Israel, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, World ORT, Israel Trauma Coalition, Hands on Tzedakah (HOT)*, Barzilai Medical Center, Ethiopian National Project, Emergency Volunteer Project, Latet, Leket Israel, Magen David Adom, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Soroka Medical Center, Israel Association for Child Protection, The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, Tzohar, United Hatzalah, and ZAKA.

These organizations are providing for immediate and urgent needs, such as medical care, emergency services, evacuation, transport, housing, supporting victims of terror, trauma relief and psychological support, as well as preparing for medium-and long-term needs.

Here’s how you can join our community’s response:

  • Donate to our Israel Emergency fund:
  • Help us by sharing this letter with your friends and invite those you know to join our efforts
  • Make your voice heard by urging your community leaders to issue a statement supporting Israel
  • Join JFNA’s new Blue Ribbon campaign. Wear your blue ribbon and invite others to do the same, in support of the hostages and their families. #BlueRibbonsforIsrael
  • Stay informed on rapidly developing events in Israel: The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) is hosting daily webinars sponsored by Jewish Federations and the Jewish Agency. A rotating team of top analysts of Israeli military affairs, of the US-Israel relationship, of Israel’s political system, and of the country’s diverse society will speak every Sunday to Thursday from 11-11:30am ET. Join Here

Tomorrow, Rich Steinberg, Chair of our Annual Campaign, and I will be joining Federation leaders from around the country, along with AIPAC, AJC and other Jewish Communal leaders, to continue to plan and prepare for the ongoing needs and our collective response to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

I want to thank all of those who have already generously committed to our emergency campaign, attended our rally, opened their homes to raise support, reached out to local and national leaders, and have stood proudly with the state of Israel. I urge all of you to continue in these efforts.

*Local partner agency