Am Yisrael Chai
On Friday October 6th, we gathered in our beautiful synagogue to celebrate Simchat Torah and the consecration of our youngest Sunday School students. Together, we unrolled our Torah scrolls, sang and danced to Hava Nagila, and, as we do every Shabbat, joined together to sing Oseh Shalom, our prayer for peace. We had no idea what was to come in just hours.
The following day, the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Hamas terrorists brutally attacked Israelis, soldiers, and innocent civilians. They not only launched more than 4000 rockets into Israel, they also infiltrated Israeli towns and murdered more than 1400 people, injured over 2000, and kidnapped over 200 more …in one day.
Not since the Holocaust has this large of a number of Jews been killed in a single day.
Temple Emanuel stands with Israel and her people, and we offer prayers for peace, the souls of the victims, the safe return of the hostages and those defending her.
The initial and ongoing attacks by Hamas on Israel are attacks of hate. And while Jews all over the world, including right here in the Rio Grande Valley, are terrified, anxious, sad, and heartbroken, we also know that it is our responsibility to stand tall and proud and continue the work of lighting the way. We must ensure that good prevails over evil. We have created this space as a central hub for information on the ongoing situation and how we got here, ways to donate, and resources for talking to our children and our community.
Our Temple Emanuel community is here to support each other through this difficult time, and we will continue to be a beacon of light and hope in the Rio Grande Valley.
What You Can Do
Being present in the Jewish community is more important than ever. We need each other! Here are some ways to show solidarity with Israel and with Jews around the world:
- ·Join us for Shabbat evening or morning services in person or online. Together, we will join in the rituals of our people, mourn our losses, and pray for peace.
- Contact Congress and urge your representative to cosponsor a new bipartisan resolution to stand with Israel.
- Consider a donation to Temple Emanuel’s Be The Light Fund. Donations made to this fund through October 31 will be forwarded to the Jewish Federation of San Antonio’s Israel Crisis Fund, which has set a goal of raising $1 million to support Israel and has been provided with a 1:1 match by the Bar-Yadin Family Foundation. Donate here.
- Contribute to Israel Emergency Relief
- The Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror: Provides immediate, critical financial assistance to victims of terror and their families, while also following up with long-term overall recovery and rehabilitative support (including psychological counseling, job retraining, and more). Donate here.
- UJA Israel Emergency Fund: Supports critical, lifesaving relief efforts including emergency cash assistance for victims of terror, trauma counseling, care for children in shelters, burial expenses, funds to relocate people to safer areas, and more. Donate here.
- IsraAID’s Emergency Fund: An international NGO with extensive experience coordinating large-scale humanitarian response missions around the world, working with local partners to meet the urgent and long-term needs of affected communities. Donate here.
- Israel Trauma Coalition: A cornerstone in the national treatment of trauma and emergency preparedness in Israel and around the world, providing leadership and resources before, during, and after a crisis. Donate here.
- American Friends of Magen David Adom: Israel’s official representative to the International Red Cross, Magen David Adom’s 33,000 paramedics, EMTS, first responders, and first-aid providers — volunteers and staff — provide essential medical care to the injured and the ill. Donate here.
These trusted sources provide comprehensive coverage, analysis and first-hand accounts, ensuring you have a well-rounded understanding of the situation.
Must-read article from Michael Koplow, Chief Policy Officer at Israel Policy Forum.
For Heaven’s Sake: Israel at War | Special podcast series presented by The Shalom Hartman Institute
Manhattan Congregational Collaboration: Helping Children and Teens Respond to the War in Israel (October 12, 2023)
Tips from Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal: Talking to Kids About the Crisis in Israel
The Child Mind Institute: Helping Children Cope With Frightening News
The Union for Reform Judaism, How to Talk to Children About the Conflict in Israel
Pray For Peace
Oseh shalom bimromav
He Who makes peace in His heights
hu ya’aseh shalom
may He make peace
aleinu v’al kol Yisra’eil
upon us and upon all Israel.
Now say: Amen