At 6:30 AM on Saturday, October 7, 2023, sirens wailed in southern Israel as thousands of rockets hit border communities near Gaza. At the same time, the country’s southern border was infiltrated by hundreds of Hamas terrorists from Gaza. They were well-trained, well-armed, and breached the border in vehicles, by air, and on foot – shooting at surveillance cameras and overrunning army bases along the way.

They moved on to the Nova Festival, an outdoor music event, where they gunned down or captured hundreds of innocent young people as they tried, futilely, to run to safety. Other commando units of terrorists headed for kibuttzim and moshavim along the border, where they brazenly destroyed property and brutally killed entire families in their own homes or dragged them back over the border into Gaza as hostages – 242 in all, men and women; children, including babies and toddlers; the elderly; members of the military and many nationalities. After these heinous attacks, more than 1,400 people are dead; they’re mostly Jewish citizens of Israel but among them are Bedouins, Arabs, and foreign workers.

Israel was taken by surprise and no doubt there will be numerous investigations into this intelligence catastrophe that led to the death of more Jews in a single day on any other day the Holocaust. Israel retaliated by bombing Gaza and a group invasion to root out and destroy Hamas – once and for all – is imminent. The IDF has urged Gazans to move from the north, out of harm’s way, a difficult directive given the lack of electricity, food, water, and fuel and the unfortunate fact that Hamas is preventing many from leaving the area. Fear of battles with Lebanon and Syria in the north only adds to the complexity of war.

The JCC Movement stands with Israel. Israel is an eternal birthright of the Jewish people, linking us to our past and to Jews around the world today. Never before have we felt such a strong sense of peoplehood among Jews worldwide.

Resources – Helpful Links

During this unstable time in Israel’s history, the stories on the news, the conversations overheard, the unresolved questions in your head… it’s very confusing to sort through the facts and emotions that each of us is feeling. We have compiled a list of resources we hope you find helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Israelis/Jews and Arabs/Palestinians/Muslims have such a strong disagreement about that place? Check out this video as a helpful resource:
Why should Jews in our area care so much about what is going on 6,000 miles away when they weren’t born there, maybe haven’t visited, and are fully rooted here? Check out videos here: (watch both the Israel and collective belonging ones)

Resources for those in the U.S. seeking information about relatives/loved ones in Israel. 
Please contact the Israeli Consulate in New York at 917-756-8387 or 212-499-5321 for information about relatives or loved ones currently in Israel.

Resources for Speaking to Children about the War

Our partners at the Jewish Social Services Agency (JSSA) have provided an excellent resource from the Child-Mind Institute with tips for speaking to our children about these horrific events. Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event can be found Here in English, and Here in Hebrew. has published a very helpful guide broken down by age group

For more general advice, please see the ADL’s guide on having family conversations about difficult topics

Download a resource from Growing Minds, a therapy group based out of Rockville, MD, for talking with children about tragic events.

Orly Zimmerman-Leizerov of Growing Minds Therapy is dedicating this week to helping support local Israeli families with young children as they navigate parenting during this most difficult of times. If you would like her contact information, please reach out and we would be happy to share her information with you.

Resources to learn more about the history of the conflict -Unpacking both current events and the history of the conflict

Resources about cyber-safety and tips about engaging online - Tips on engaging and disengaging about hate and antisemitism online - a comprehensive course about hate online (including a guide to help student critically view online help) - a guide about how to report hate on different platforms

Emotional/Mental Health Support

The horrific events unfolding in Israel are understandably triggering fear, anxiety, anger and more, especially among people with close personal ties to Israelis or with children or other relatives serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. Those in need of emotional support and/or mental health services should contact the Federation and JSSA’s J-CARING hotline at 703-JCARING.

Click this link from Child Mind Institute an organization who helps children cope after a traumatic event.

How to Be Helpful to Israel

Host a Living Room Chat with Dean

Community Events

If you are looking for opportunities to connect, share, pray, and learn during this difficult time, you’ll find below a listing of programs and services that we are aware of for which you might be interested in participating.

NOTE: We invite organizations and agencies to post your programs on the community board to help share the opportunities for connection by submitting your request.

Scroll through the bulletin board below for ideas to support Israel, yourself, your friends, and family through this crisis.



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