Israel Update - October 27, 2023

As Shabbat approaches in Israel, Jewish Federations’ Israel Office presents a shortened summary of the latest developments in the War. Full updates will resume next week. Meanwhile, from Jerusalem, we wish all of Israel, and Jews around the world, a comforting, safe and peaceful Shabbat.

The Latest

  • At the end of third week of the War with Hamas, Israel sent tanks and troops into Gaza for the second time. They went in overnight for a limited incursion that struck terrorists and sites on the ground. The raid, in eastern Gaza City, was carried out by infantry, combat engineering and armored forces, with Israeli Air Force drones and helicopters providing air cover. All Israeli forces left the areas several hours later, and no injuries to IDF troops were reported. See footage from the incursion here and video from the command center during the operation, here.

  • Jewish Federations of North America announced that we have collectively raised $554 million for the Israel Emergency Campaign. The campaign was launched on October 12th with an initial goal of $500 million. To date, $121.6 million has been allocated to over 60 organizations in Israel to support frontline communities, the Fund for Victims of Terror, trauma relief, medical equipment, support for first responders and volunteer efforts. One hundred percent of all funds raised are making it into the hands of the organizations that can do the most good on the ground.

  • Once again, sporadic heavy rocket attacks from Gaza were launched against Israeli targets yesterday, including strikes directed at Tel Aviv, Petah Tikvah, Jaffa, Bnei Brak, Rishon LeZion, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Holon, and Givatayim. One rocket caused damage, but no injuries, in Rehovot.

  • Israel continues to strike Hamas targets from the air. One attack yesterday killed the deputy head of Hamas’s intelligence directorate, Shadi Barud, while another hit the head of Hamas’s North Khan Younis rocket array, Hassan al-Abdullah. In the evening, an IDF strike killed three senior commanders in Hamas’s Daraj-Tuffah Battalion: the battalion’s commander, Rifaat Abbas; the deputy commander, Ibrahim Jadba; and a combat support commander, Tarek Maarouf.

  • In the north, attacks by Hezbollah, followed by Israeli reprisals continue daily. Yesterday, the IDF targeted a cell of terrorists who attempted to launch anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Lebanese territory towards an IDF position on the border. An Israeli UAV struck the terrorist position in response to the attack.

  • Meanwhile, on the Home Front, citizens of all stripes are contributing to the war effort. A study just released showed that 48% of Israelis have participated actively in some form of volunteer activity since the war began, including 3% from Israel’s Arab sector. In total, there are over 1,000 civilian initiatives in support of the IDF and of the communities that have been displaced in the south and in the north. Over 240 “command centers” for civilian volunteer operations have been set up around the country to coordinate these activities. See also, this article on why the ultra-Orthodox are suddenly enlisting in significant numbers in the IDF.

  • In a sign of both increasing American and Iranian involvement, the U.S. military used precision strikes in Syria, to attack weapons and ammunition storage areas that were connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Two F-16 fighter jets carried out the sortie on sites near the town of Boukamal near the Iraqi border. See this analysis by Ehud Ya’ari, one of Israel’s top specialists on the Muslim world, on Iranian involvement in the conflict.

  • Read this article by JUF Jewish Federation of Chicago’s Israel representative, “Resetting the Israel-Diaspora Relationship” in light of the war.

  • And read this account from one IDF Givati Company Commander who grabbed his weapon and headed south when fighting broke out on October 7

  • As the war continues, so does Aliyah. Yesterday, 26 French Jews immigrated to Israel together. See more here.

Key Resources from Jewish Federations

  • Listen to the new episode of our Podcast “The Glue,” in which we discuss our community’s response to the horrific Hamas attack on Israel, take comfort in the acts of hope we’re witnessing, and discuss how we can restore our sense of security. Listen now.

  • Join our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel, for a webinar - Israel at War: Media, the War, and Helping the Victims, October 31, 2023 - 11am EDT, featuring Avi Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post, and Yehuda Setton, Chief Operating Officer of The Jewish Agency. Register here.

  • Join Jewish Federations on Monday, October 30, at 12pm ET for a basic introduction on how to prepare for and navigate interviews with the press, tackle tough questions, and make sure your message gets through. The webinar is open to all Federation professionals and board members, but is specifically recommended for CEO/Presidents, Board Chairs, and Marketing/Comms professionals. This training is an offering of the newly launched Community Mobilization Center. To register for the webinar, please click here.

  • Jewish Federations have produced a document answering questions about funding impacted localities and municipalities in Israel. See here

  • Readers can access a Jewish Federations toolkit of resources here. For full details about the home front and military operations, see this update.

  • For those in Israel looking for help, critical information about the situation on the ground, or other assistance, see this resource page put together by Jewish Federations.

  • See also this Jewish Federations information page on requests for personal protective equipment which are circulating and this update regarding volunteering.

  • Read the latest communication from the Community Mobilization Center here.

  • As many funders struggle to distinguish between the multitudes of organizations looking for important resources, the Jewish Funders Network has produced this thorough page of guidance.

  • Over 120 communities have held solidarity gatherings. Watch here. For a guidebook on hosting a gathering in your community, click here.

  • Jewish Federations have launched The Blue Ribbon Campaign, which symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas. Wearing a ribbon publicly unites people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time.

Our Israel Office, having activated emergency protocols, is working closely with our partners on the ground, and is close contact with the Government of Israel and the IDF. We will continue to update as the situation develops.


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