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Crisis in Israel

Our Temple Beth Shalom community continues to strongly support Israel and one another during this time of crisis. In addition to the special Israel-focused programming taking place in our community, we have also gathered many helpful resources below. These include opportunities to financially and materially support Israel; learning resources for adults, college students, teens and children; ways to reach out to Israelis in Israel; recommended books and media outlets; spiritual resources; and more.

 

If we may be supportive of you and your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our clergy and staff.

Community Email Outreach to Date:


October 7, 2023: Email to Community from Clergy & Senior Team

October 8, 2023: Email to Community from Clergy & Senior Team with resources

October 16, 2023: Email to Community from Clergy & Senior Team with resources

November 6, 2023: Email to Community from Clergy & Senior Team with resources

November 20, 2023: Email to Community from Clergy & Senior Team with resources

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Ways You Can Help
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL

  • United Hatzalah is the largest independent, non-profit, fully volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) in Israel.  Over 7,000 volunteers and over 120 rescue vehicles remain fully mobilized in response to the current crisis.  They work hand-in-hand with the IDF to treat soldiers, adults, and children.  Currently, Hatzalah’s highest priority is to source millions of dollars’ worth of urgent medical supplies, protective gear, and communications equipment while increasing their dispatch and logistic capabilities.  To learn more and to make a contribution, please click here.

  • The Maglan Unit is an elite unit of the IDF.  An Israeli member of our congregation has family and friends currently serving as reservists with Maglan on the Gaza border.  Contributions to the Maglan Unit enable us to make a direct difference in on-the-ground efforts to help Israel defend itself and to protect those directly engaged in the task of protecting Israel.  This fund is a 501c3 with 100% of tax-deductible donations going directly to support this essential unit.  To learn more and to make a contribution, please click here.

  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) has established an Israel Emergency Fund.  100% of contributions go towards supporting victims of terror and addressing unprecedented levels of trauma through partner agencies in Israel.  To learn more and to make a contribution, please click here.

ACT TO SUPPORT THE SAFE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES

 

E-Mail Letter to Legislators to Support Senate Resolution 408 A Bipartisan resolution (S. Res. 408) has been introduced that condemns Hamas’s terrorist attacks on Israel and demands the safe return of all hostages.  To urge Senate action, please click here.

HELPING DISPLACED ISRAELIS WHO HAVE COME TO THE U.S.

Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Yad Chessed, Jewish Vocational Services, and Jewish Family Service of Metrowest are working together to organize support for Israelis who have left Israel temporarily and are seeking refuge in the Boston area.  Currently, the greatest need is in providing housing for approximately the next 2-3 months.  The list of families able to help is growing.  If you are able to be helpful, please click here. 

ALSO: If you know any Israelis seeking temporary housing who are either already in the Boston area or wishing to come, please share this link with them.  It is a form that puts those interested in direct contact with the organizers of this collaborative effort.

IMPACT THROUGH PERSONAL OUTREACH

Online Meeting with Israelis Living in Jerusalem  Yesterday, over 40 participants from Temple Beth Shalom and Congregation Mevasseret Zion, just outside of Jerusalem, gathered for our first in a series of online conversations about the current crisis and how we might be most supportive.  The participants found our time with our friends from Jerusalem to be meaningful as we learned their stories, their struggles, and the strength that they are bringing to those in need throughout Israel.  Our next conversation is scheduled for Sunday, December 3rd at noon. If you would like to join in the conversation, please register for the program by clicking here.

Online Letter Writing to Israelis  If you would like to send a letter of support to an IDF soldier, a patient or staff member in an Israeli hospital, or a child in Israel, the Israeli American Council of New England (IAC) has simplified this outreach so that it may be done completely online. Click on this link and choose to send a message of hope. You may also upload handwritten notes and pictures.  Everyone is invited to participate!

BRINGING CHANUKAH LIGHT AND JOY TO THE CHILDREN OF KIBBUTZ NAHAL OZ

Sending Gift Baskets to the Children of Kibbutz Nahal Oz We are blessed to be able to spend Chanukah with our loved ones. There are many children in Israel who will not be able to experience this sense of security and love this year. With Chanukah around the corner, we want to make sure the children of Kibbutz Nahal Oz are able to experience some joy. Help us put smiles on their faces by gifting a special TBS Chanukah basket filled with gelt, dreidels, flashing fidgets, Israel bracelets and necklaces, a Chanukah puzzle, and more! A donation of $22.00 will enable a child to enjoy the miracle of Chanukah. Please Venmo $22.00/basket to @TempleBethShalom-Needham by Friday, November 24 or drop a check off in the main office by Wednesday, November 22nd. Thank you for helping us spread love and light! Questions? Email Gillian Cohen or Frances Tomasetti.

SUPPLIES COLLECTION FOR ISRAEL

Making Special Chanukah Bags Help us make Chanukah bags to welcome the new families that have recently joined the TBS community from Israel. All of the information needed to help with this ‘light-inspiring’ effort may be found here.  Items may be dropped off in the TBS Community Court donation bins by December 1st.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email Melissa Cohen or Keren Hurwitz.

Israeli Families Who Have Recently Relocated to Boston Are in Need Please donate clothing & home goods - Please drop off items by this Thursday, November 9 at 5pm - TBS is a drop off site this week ONLY.  Needed items include: Winter/colder weather clothes and outerwear, shoes, boots, all clothing for all ages, baby items, small home goods. Please only donate items that are in excellent condition.  Thank you. Questions?  Please contact Ellen Dietrick at edietrick@tbsneedham.org.


TBS is Collecting Items for the Israel American Council (IAC). The supplies that IAC is collecting are essential to support Israeli troops. The need is significant. You may purchase needed items via Amazon.com and have them sent directly to the IAC in Newton, MA by clicking here.  Alternatively, you may purchase needed items on your own (either by reviewing the Amazon list or by reviewing the list found at the end of this email) and bring them to Temple Beth Shalom. Please note that if you purchase items on your own that they must be exactly as selected/noted (for example, only black sleeping bags may be sent). We will then bring all items dropped off at TBS to the IAC for transport to Israel. More information can be found at the bottom of this email.

Important Note: Because the IAC is seeking very specific items, we recommend purchasing directly from their Amazon list.  This will also help them to track what has been purchased.  You may have them sent directly to the IAC offices in Newton or have them shipped to your home and drop them off at TBS.  Anything from the Amazon list may be purchased elsewhere.  Please note that items from the wish list that you purchase elsewhere and drop off at TBS must be purchased exactly as noted on the Amazon site.  (For example, only black sleeping bags may be sent.)  Thank you.

Clothing/Wearables:

  • Dri-fit Men’s boxer briefs size Medium/Large (polyester, not cotton), men’s thermal long sleeve compression shirts, wool socks (unisex), Wool Balaclava, Insoles (Dr. Scholls or similar), Fleece Zip Ups 

 

Tactical Supplies:

  • Tactical Knee pads, LED water resistant head lamps, Bullet Proof vest inserts, Camelbacks/Hydration Water bladder (for hiking) with 3 Liter Inserts or smaller, Tactical flashlights (best if it has a red light function), G-Shock Watches, Tactical glasses, Foam ear plugs, Super Bright flashlights, Leatherman/multi tools 

 

Miscellaneous Supplies:

  • Portable phone chargers, Sleeping bags, Hot hands (hand warmer packets for cold weather), Large zip ties, Batteries (AA and AAA), Thin-padded mattresses (like camping gear), Toothbrushes, Aquafor/Vaseline, Lightweight sealed toiletries, Black heavy duty duct tape (or Gorilla Tape), Fine point permanent markers (sharpie), USB-C Cable Fast Charging, iPhone cable fast charging, Band-aid brand sterile hydroseal waterproof 

Providing Resources for Displaced Israeli Families in the Boston Area  Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Yad Chessed, Jewish Vocational Services, and Jewish Family Service of Metrowest are working together to organize support for Israelis who have left Israel temporarily and are seeking refuge in the Boston area.  Currently, the greatest need is in providing housing for approximately the next 2-3 months.  The list of families able to help is growing.  If you are able to be helpful, please click here.   

ALSO:  If you know any Israelis seeking temporary housing who are either already in the Boston area or wishing to come, please share this link with them.  It is a form that puts those interested in direct contact with the organizers of this collaborative effort.

BLUE RIBBONS FOR ISRAEL


TBS is joining with Jewish communities and organizations across the country in the Blue Ribbon Program by providing blue ribbons to be worn in support of Israel and in solidarity with the hostages who have been taken and their families.  Blue ribbons are available at TBS at the Welcome Desk. This program is sponsored by Jewish Federation and is open to all.  Wearing a ribbon sends a message to the people of Israel and those connected with them that they are not alone.  You may learn more about the Blue Ribbon Program by clicking here.   

 

BLUE RIBBONS ON TREES

 

Temple Beth Shalom and Temple Aliyah are supporting a new grassroots project which publicly shows support for bringing the Israeli hostages home.  The project invites those wishing to do so to tie a blue ribbon around either a tree or a lamp post near one’s home.  For more information about this initiative, please click here.

PETITION FOR HOSTAGE FAMILIES - A MILLION WITH YOU

 

This organization has created an international petition that will be shared with the families of the hostages - ensuring that they know how supported around the world they are.  To add your name, please click here.

OUTREACH TO OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS


The weave of the interfaith community in Needham remains strong.  During this time of crisis, we are mindful that our Muslim neighbors, in particular, are also experiencing trauma and difficulty.  The terrorism in Israel was perpetrated by Hamas – an internationally recognized terrorist organization.  As Israel has properly noted, the innocent people of Gaza and the Muslim community are not enemies of Israel or of the Jewish people.  As we stand against antisemitism in any form, we also strongly stand against Islamophobia in any form.

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