The following letter was sent today from the Federation's president, Mitch Frumkin:
As someone who has been to Israel many times, when I see the news reports and look at the videos of what is happening on the streets of Israel to everyday citizens as they go about their normal lives – it scares me. When I then read some news reports or hear some political leaders with completely different portrayals of what is happening – it is shocking to me.
I see a culture of indiscriminate violence that is somehow acceptable only because it happens to Jews. Our Jewish tradition teaches us not to stand idly by while the blood of our fellow is shed. That’s why I am writing you today.
The Jewish Federation cares deeply about our brothers and sisters in Israel. We see one of our key roles as a bridge between our community and our extended family in Israel, and we encourage you to share The Federation's statement about the situation in Israel – which you can read below.
We are also proud that many rabbis from the Rabbinic Association in the Heart of New Jersey have come together to issue this statement:
“The Rabbinic Association in the Heart of NJ stands by the citizens of Israel who, all too clearly, stand on the front lines against Palestinian terrorists. Although the challenge is daunting, the spirit of Israel will never be broken. As the psalmist says, "I have set God before me. Surely God is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psalms 16:8). We affirm the right of the State of Israel to defend its citizens and we ask all members of our community, especially during this week's Unity with Israel Shabbat, to pray that God should restore peace and security to the State of Israel and to heal a broken world.”
If you wonder what you can do during troubling times such as this, the Federation offers several practical suggestions:
· Take this opportunity to connect with your friends and family in Israel to let them know you are thinking of them – and sign this virtual card in solidarity with the people of Israel.
· Learn more about the situation through our new Israel News Digest, which will be updated regularly on our web site.
· If you are interested and able to play a more active role in educating and advocating about Israel through Facebook or Twitter, email us at Israel@jewishheartnj.org.
· We encourage you to reach out to our elected officials to call for an end to incitement by those in a position of leadership and increased efforts to combat extremism. How to reach elected officials.
· One of the Jewish Federation’s key roles is supporting those in need in Israel. We support the Victims of Terror Fund, through our partners at the Jewish Agency. Your contribution is always appreciated and is one way to do the most good in Israel. Donate
· And if you have been thinking about a trip to Israel – think about coming with us this May to show your support in person. Learn more about our upcoming mission to Israel.
A vibrant and caring community comes together in times of crisis. This is one of those times!
Thank you for your support for our Jewish community.
Best wishes for a Shabbat Shalom, a Shabbat of peace.
President, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey