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Resources for a time of Crisis

Last updated: October 18, 2023

We recognize that in this time of crisis, there is a strong desire to support our siblings in the Middle East. Here we are generating a list of resources including links to donate to various organizations on the ground, events and gatherings, and other media (articles, poems, prayers) to help process and make sense of what is going on. This list is not meant to overwhelm, but to provide a variety of options. Please choose what feels best for you.

The order of this list of resources is not intended to prioritize one organization or event over another.

If you have a resource you would like added to this list, please email info@neveikodesh.org.

"The Arava Institute is the light in the middle of this ugly darkness, in this sea of insanity. The Institute continues to be this light. Our academic program continues in person and virtually, a rare occurrence today. Palestinians, Israeli Jews and Arabs, and students from the US, Guatemala, Germany, and Kenya continue to learn together.

As we process the terrorist attack by Hamas on civilians in Israel, as we continue to hear about people who lost family and friends, as we process this pain AND we also worry about how the war in Gaza is unfolding for the innocents, we are committed to pursuing environmental peacebuilding. By doing this work in this moment we are building a future grounded in peace and understanding."

  • Your Local Epidemiologist: Social media, terrorist attacks, war, and vicarious trauma

  • I can’t make the
    world be peaceful

    I can’t stall tanks
    from roaring down roads

    I can’t prevent children
    from having to hide in bunkers

    I can’t keep a madman from
    creating heartbreaking headlines

    I can’t convince the news to
    stop turning war into a video game

    I can’t silence the sound of bombs
    tearing neighborhoods apart

    I can’t turn a guided missile
    into a bouquet of flowers

    I can’t make a warmonger
    have an ounce of empathy

    I can’t convince diplomats  
    to quit playing truth or dare

    I can’t deflect a sniper’s bullet
    from turning a wife into a widow

    I can’t stave off a schoolyard being
    reduced to ash and rubble

    I can’t do any of that

    the only thing I can do
    is love the next person I encounter
    without any conditions or strings

    to love my neighbor
    so fearlessly that
    it starts a ripple
    that stretches from
    one horizon to the next

    I can’t force peace
    on the world

    but I can become a force
    of peace in the world

    because

    sometimes all it takes
    is a single lit candle
    in the darkness

    to start a movement

    oh, Spirit,

    let me be a candle
    of comfort in this world

    let me burn with peace

    ~ john roedel (love is bigger than war)

  • Dror Israel: Aid for Evacuated Families ● Support for Kids Under Fire ● Programs in Bomb Shelters

"Dror Israel educators are jumping into action to meet immediate needs:

  • Supporting evacuees: Day care and programs for traumatized children and families who have been evacuated from Gaza border communities under attack to Dead Sea Hotels, our boarding school in Mitzpe Ramon, and more. These are extremely traumatized children who have lost loved ones and experienced violence first-hand.

  • Youth counselors in bomb shelters: In underprivileged communities where people don't have safe rooms in their homes, our experienced youth educators are running therapeutic and educational programs for children and families in Rehovot, Kiryat Gat and Ashkelon, with more locations opening as needed.

  • Day care for children of hospital workers and other essential staff: Hospitals throughout Israel have turned to us to set up day care centers for children of doctors, nurses, and staff so they can treat the injured while schools are closed.

  • Support for children and families sheltering in place:  providing in-person and online programming, distributing activity kits and other educational materials in Sderot, Ashkelon, Rehovot, and more."

A compilation of resources on how to talk with children from various sources.

"Support the AMEN team of trauma-informed therapists caring for survivors of the Hamas attack on Israel.

Dear friends

My name is Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan. My daughter Ayelet together with her professional colleagues and Marva Zohar, founder of AMEN - a healing center for women survivors of sexual violence have heeded the urgent call for trauma-informed therapists and healers to head down south to the Dead Sea hotels and provide first-aid mental-health support to people evacuated from Kibbutzim close the Gaza border."

"Kibbutz Nir Oz in Israel underwent a horrific massacre. In the early morning hours of October 7th, 2023, dozens of terrorists attacked the kibbutz residents who fought them with their bare hands until the military arrived only many hours later. Families hid in their homes trying to stay silent while the terrorists burned their houses down on them. Dozens were murdered, suffocated by smoke or kidnapped to the Gaza Strip. Dozens are still missing.

The survivors are being evacuated today for an unknown amount of time. Their vehicles were burnt and many houses were destroyed to the ground. Any donation will be helpful. Those interested in transferring money by bank transfer and receiving tax benefits and the required approvals, please contact jonathan@givingtech.org."

"Kissufim, a kibbutz in Israel founded in 1951, was brutally attacked by terrorists this past week. Adults and children were murdered, some were kidnapped, homes were shot up and burned, and the infrastructure of the community was destroyed.

We, the people of the kibbutz, are committed to continuing our lives together in this beautiful place we've called home for more than seven decades.  We call on everyone who can help to donate to our campaign. Every donation, big or small, will help us support the families of the victims of the attack, rebuild homes and infrastructure of the kibbutz, and strengthen the future of our community."

"Kibbutz Kfar Azza is fighting for its life. A thriving tight-knit community of 1000 souls has been decimated, brutally, in less than 48 hours. 

Whole families: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents and children - murdered, kidnapped, brutalized. Their homes turned to ash, their lives to dust. These people lost their livelihood, their homes and everything they own, but more importantly, they lost numerous loved ones to one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. Those who survived had to barricade themselves for nearly two days, before being rescued under fire, with only their clothes on their backs.

Now is the time to reach out a helping hand. Help us find the missing and the taken, and help those left behind traumatized and destitute. This will take time. But our community needs help now and in the coming days and weeks, while Israel fends off its enemies in the North and South."

  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) Israel Emergency Fund:
    "100% of your donation will go toward supporitng victims of terror and addressing the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by these horrific attacks."

  • The Alliance for Middle East Peace:

    ALLMEP stands in solidarity with our members across the region: the brave Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to be enemies, and who are working to shape a reality where events such as those witnessed over the past few days become unimaginable.

    Our members are speaking loudly and clearly about their values, opposition to this horrific violence, and a commitment to Israeli/Palestinian partnership on the path to ending it, and achieving peace and equality.
    Statements from Member organizations 

  • New Israel Fund:
    "NIF is already moving to provide emergency support to grantee organizations and community groups on the frontlines working to help those in need at this moment, to reinforce solidarity between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and to counter any kind of extremism, racism, or inter-communal violence."

  • Akifim:
    "With increasing numbers of children at risk of poverty, neglect or abuse [in Israel], Afikim’s primary aim is to work with these children and their families, and address their educational, nutritional and recreational needs."

  • American Friends of the Parents Circle - Families Forum
    Unimaginable amidst such tragedy - by Shiri Ourian, Executive Director, American Friends of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, October 10, 2023

  • Combatants for Peace
    "The CfP movement believes that every human life is precious and sacred. We know that violence only breeds violence and war crimes do not justify war crimes. In this moment, we carry immense sadness for every life lost and call for the protection of all civilians.

    Thank you for believing in and empowering our activists as they do the truly radical, reality shifting work of caring for each other, magnifying humanity, and remaining united in the most trying of times. CfP will continue to nonviolently work for a future of peace and safety for every human that is caught up in the bloodshed. As they have always done, they do this work starting with themselves and call upon us to do it together. Let us amplify their message and add to their light as it is hope for our world."

  • JEWISHcolorado: Israel Emergency Fund
    "A group of JEWISHcolorado donors have stepped forward to offer a dollar-for-dollar match up to $650,000 for donations to the Israel Emergency Fund. All emergency dollars will go to support efforts on the ground in Israel, aiding victims of terror, addressing trauma issues, and assisting with emergency medical and infrastructure needs. The match was launched by Barry and Gay Curtiss-Lusher from a shelter in a Tel Aviv Hotel and JEWISHcolorado Board Chair Ben Lusher and his wife Nicole. Thanks to the many who have joined them."

  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): 
    "People in Israel and the occupied territories urgently need help. The escalation in fighting is putting lives at risk. Please give now to help protect and save lives.

    How your donation will help people in Israel and the occupied territories:

    The ICRC has been present in Israel and the occupied territories since 1967. As a neutral, independent, humanitarian organization, the ICRC visits detainees in Israeli and Palestinian places of detention. We also help improve access to essential services like water and electricity in Gaza and support livelihood projects throughout the occupied territories."

  • Doctors without Borders
    "Doctors without Borders is a non-governmental organization [is] an "independent, impartial and neutral" charity that provides humanitarian aid to people affected by conflict, disease outbreaks, and natural and human-made disasters.

    With thousands wounded by airstrikes, the organization reported overcrowding and supply shortages, including medical supplies, drugs, and power for generators, in Gaza. Medical staff are also facing dangerous conditions and are struggling to find safe ways to transport patients to hospitals, as ambulances have been hit by airstrikes."

  • Save the Children:
    "Save the Children issued an emergency alert in response to the conflict, noting the "escalating violence" has put 1.2 million children in need of humanitarian aid. The international organization is demanding de-escalation and has called for peace talks.

    The organization is providing assistance to children affected by the attacks, where many face dangerous conditions, and displacement and may suffer from "serious mental health impacts."

  • Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF):
    "PCRF is the primary humanitarian organization in Palestine, delivering crucial and life-saving medical relief and humanitarian aid where it is needed most.  Access to essential resources like food, clean water, and healthcare is severely limited. Urgent action is needed. With your support, we can continue this vital work, ensuring that the over one million children of Gaza receive the urgent care they need and deserve."

  • ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

  • Secure Community Network: National Update on Domestic Security Guidance

  • How to talk about the Israel-Hamas War: Resources for Educators
    "To help educators explain the conflict and guide students in how to talk about emotionally charged, violent events like this in measured, respectful ways, Education Week has collected several resources. Those resources are intended to help students understand historical context, process current events, and use media literacy skills to analyze news coverage and social media responses and misinformation about the conflict."

  • Your Jewish Friends are Not OK - By Molly Tolsky, Hey Alma, 

  • We All Need to Scream. There’s a Jewish Ritual for That. By Emily Burack, Hey Alma, 

    Essentially a Jewish meditation practice, hitbodedut involves internally screaming into the void, and we can't recommend it enough.

  • A Shehecheyanu for Shitty Times.  
    By Jordana Starkman, Hey Alma, 
    Reimagining this classic Jewish prayer helps me find joy and beauty in life’s big sadness.

  • A Jewish Blessing for Anxiety 
    By Kate Hennessey

    Blessed are You, Force of the Universe
    For creating me with anxiety.
    You shaped me from a billion years of stardust
    And breathed anxiety through my nostrils
    And for that I give thanks.

    I bless and thank my Anxiety Disorder for keeping me safe.
    You make yourself known when you have an important message for me,
    And at times in my life when I was not taking care of or valuing myself, and not listening to you,
    You made yourself heard by shutting down my life so I’d have to stop and listen:
    You did this by sending intrusive thoughts and a racing heart
    Until all I could do was sit on my couch, an island of refuge I was terrified to leave
    And all I could do was listen.

    And because of your extreme measures — though unpleasant — I was able to start to take care of myself and honor my value:
    I finally started therapy.
    I left the relationship in which I was not treated according to my worth.
    I turned away from other toxic relationships and focused on manifesting shalom, peace.
    I paid more attention to what I wanted and to making my dreams a reality.
    I learned more about my identity and built a relationship with myself that I sorely needed.
    I did teshuvah, a repentant turning back
    To myself.
    I used to fear and despise you, but now I know that you are a part of me;
    A confused golem in a corner of my brain, doing its best to protect me,
    For that is what it was created to do.
    Desperately trying to keep me safe
    Out of love.

    And now that I have learned to stop and listen to the message behind the feeling, I have learned to work with you rather than against you.
    I have learned that caring for myself is the key to caring for you.
    And have realized your messages are messages from Shamayim, Heaven.
    You are malach sheli, my guardian angel.
    For all of this, I thank and bless you, Anxiety Disorder.
    Amen.

  • Wildpeace 
    BY YEHUDA AMICHAI

Not the peace of a cease-fire,
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
but rather
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.

A peace
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds—
who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)
Let it come like wildflowers,
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.

  • Rikma Enoshit Echat - ONE HUMAN FABRIC 
    Lyrics and Melody: Moti Hammer

    When I'll die,
    A part of me,
    Will die in you.
    When you'll die,
    A part of you in me,
    Will die with you.

    Because all of us, yes all of us,
    We are all one living human fabric.
    And if one of us
    Leaves us,
    Something dies in us -
    And something, stays with them.

    If we'll know,
    How to comfort,
    The hostility, if only we'd know.

    If we'll know,
    how to quiet our rage,
    Despite our suffering,
    To say slicha.

    If we'd know how to start
    From the beginning.
    Because all of us, yes all of us,
    We are all one living human fabric.

    And if one of us
    Leaves us,
    Something dies in us -
    And something, stays with them.

 

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784