Every morning these past two weeks when I woke up, the first thing I did was check www.ynetnews.com to see what happened in Israel while I was asleep. I keep hoping for word of a cease-fire. Earlier in the week I was downstairs in the JCC’s Fitness Center watching Wolf Blitzer interview Prime Minister Netanyahu and a phrase that the Prime Minister uttered continues to resonate with me: “sustained quiet”. What a lovely image it provokes. I bet that when my brother and I used to fight, my parents also wished for ‘sustained quiet’.
Unfortunately this is not the current state of affairs in Israel. Last week I told you about the $5 million that had already been sent to help. Last Sunday, another $3.5 million was allocated. This morning I received a six page document that broke down [and described in some detail) how this money is being spent. In broad strokes, it is broken down like this: Respite Care (children and seniors and populations with special needs); Direct Services (volunteer activities in shelters, reaching out to confined elderly and disabled Israelis, You-niversity Educational Enrichment Classes in Secure Spaces, etc.); Psychological Counseling (intervention for new immigrants in Absorption Centers, Hibuki Puppet Therapy for nurseries and kindergarten, parent and child workshops, etc.); If you would like a copy of the document, please let me know and I will pass it along to you.
As of this afternoon, the New Haven Jewish community has been extremely forthcoming in their support of the Stop the Sirens special campaign, having donated $45,000 directly through JFGNH. To all of you who have answered the call, we say thank you. To those who have responded to our partners, the Reform and Conservative movements and donated through USCJ & URJ, again we say thank you. And to anyone who has made a contribution to any organization in Israel that his helping to alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters, we say thank you.
But we all know that the longer this crisis continues, the more the programs and services that our money helps provide will be needed. The original $10,000,000 national goal is almost exhausted. We believe that another $10,000,000 will need to be raised to fill both the current and future (on-going trauma counseling and more) needs. Here is what you can do. Speak to your friends. Speak to you rabbis and ask them to speak from the pulpit about the Stop the Sirens campaign (mine did in Norwalk last week) and put something about Israel on your synagogue’s website (something noticeably absent throughout the community). And above, keep caring about your fellow Jews here in New Haven, in Europe where anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head and of course in Israel.
I know many people who empty their pockets before Shabbat and put the coins into a pushka. This week instead, please consider clicking here: Stop the Sirens campaign