Our PJCC community is heartbroken by the tragedy in Israel and will continue to share resources and opportunities for support and gathering in the days to come.
We encourage you to connect with community over Shabbat and the weekend. Please contact whichever synagogue you have a relationship with, have been wanting to visit, or want to share your solidarity with. If you need an introduction, email Rabbi Laurie, and she will connect you with her appropriate colleagues.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties (JCRC) is compiling a list of Bay Area gatherings where you can show your support.
Update on Ethnic Studies in California Webinar
Presented by Congregation Kol Emeth, Palo Alto
Thursday, November 16 • 7:00 pm • On Zoom
Ethnic Studies programs have been plagued with controversy surrounding their politicization, particularly with regard to Israel and antisemitism. Lia Rensin lays out the connection between anti-Israel activists and Ethnic Studies in our classrooms and what you can do to stop it. Register here.
Voices from Israel: Teachings by Shalom Hartman Institute
Ongoing through Tuesday, November 21 • 9:00 – 9:45 am • Online
How are Israelis grappling with the horrors of October 7 and its aftermath? What sources are they turning to for perspective, solace, and inspiration? Hartman faculty will teach Jewish sources about loss, resilience, hope, and grief that illuminate their personal experiences during this unprecedented moment in Jewish history. See the website for upcoming dates and faculty and to sign up.
PJCC Book Discussion: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth by Noa Tishby
Monday, December 4 • 10:00 – 11:00 am
Join PJCC community members Rene and Tom Blanco for a meaningful discussion. This fascinating chronological timeline, spanning from Biblical times to today, explores the portrait of a tiny country of outsized relevance: Israel. Author Noa Tishby has taken on a large public role of Israel advocacy. Sign up here.
Guided Meditation with Rabbi Lavey
Mondays, 9:30 am • Via Zoom
Cultivate awareness of the present moment without judgment and approach each moment with courage, curiosity, and compassion. Register by email.
Life, It’s Complicated with Rabbi Lavey
Thursdays, 10:15 am • PJCC Conference Room A and Via Zoom
Explore and discuss ideas, beliefs, and practices found in Jewish wisdom, as well as Jewish perspectives on contemporary issues and personal experience. Register by email.
Upcoming Melton Peninsula Classes: Generous Scholarships Available
Press Pause: Rest, Assured
Taught By Rabbi Moshe Heyn, Coastside Jewish Community
Six Fridays, 9:30 – 11:00 am • October 27 – December 8, 2023 • $179
Delve into the ideas behind Shabbat and its significance in Judaism, along with other practices that encourage reflection and renewal.
Biblical Women: Emerging from the Margins through Midrash
Taught By Rabbi Laurie Matzkin
Ten Fridays, 9:30 – 11:00 am • January 5 – March 15, 2024 • $295
Discover a captivating array of over a dozen biblical heroines, rich and complex characters, exploring classic and modern midrashic commentary.
2023 Israel Emergency Fund
The Jewish Community Federation has established the 2023 Israel Emergency Fund, a local community fund for the Bay Area. We are working with Jewish Federations across North America and the Jewish Community Center’s Association to raise funds for urgent needs such as trauma counseling and emergency medical support, relocation, cash assistance and support services to victims of terror. We will distribute funds to core partners like the Israel Trauma Coalition, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and Jewish Agency for Israel. 100% of your donation will go directly to these partners.
One Minute a Day
Together, we can raise our voices and force the US government to ensure the safety of all the hostages and their swift release. The oneminaday.com website was created to simplify the process of contacting your elected representative by inserting your ZIP code and making phone calls and emailing your congressperson and senators.
American Friends of Magen David Adom
American Friends of Magen David Adom, the primary organization on the front lines of emergency response, with 33,000 volunteer and staff paramedics, EMTs, first responders, and first-aid providers. MFDA provides immediate medical assistance to victims of the initial assault and the subsequent, ongoing rocket attacks across Israel.
American Friends of The Israel Association of Community Centers
American Friends of The Israel Association of Community Centers, known in Hebrew by their acronym Matnasim, supports a network of local community centers—our sister organizations across Israel. They are coordinating efforts to collect and distribute supplies for thousands of Israelis who have been displaced from Southern Israel, including basic hygiene supplies, clothing, and other necessities, as well as to provide entertainment and emotional support for children who are out of school and have faced great loss.
United Hatzalah provides free emergency medical service throughout Israel. Their humanitarian services are universal and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with an average response time of three minutes or less. Learn more and donate here.
IsraAID Emergency Fund
The IsraAID Emergency Fund will provide psychosocial support, stress relief activities, and relief supplies for victims of the attacks in the south of Israel. Donate here.
Assuta Hospital Donations
The hospital, located near the Gaza border, needs urgent financial help for medical emergency equipment. For donations in Israel and the USA, various methods are available including credit card and bank transfers. Website: www.AssutaAshdodFriends.org, Bank transfers in the USA: JPMorgan Chase Bank, ABA# 021000021, SWIFT# CHASU33, Account number: 939921786.
Friends of the IDF
Friends of the IDF is the organization officially tasked with accepting donations on behalf of the IDF, the Israeli police and other security services. Critical needs include temporary field hospitals, intensive care ambulances, hygiene kits, plasma kits, as well as equipment for soldiers and units on the front lines. Friends of IDF ensures that the equipment being purchased is military-grade and is distributed to military units that need it most.
Support Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts
The “Sulha Peace Project” aims to facilitate encounters between Palestinians and Israelis to help heal the wounds of conflict.
Support the Return of Hostages by Posting Signs
Help bring home the hundreds of Israeli women, men, and children who remain hostages in Gaza. To raise awareness in your community, you are invited to print and post these signs.
More organizations may be found listed here.
Adapting Podcast: Israel at War: The College Campus Conversation
Imagine that you work on a U.S. college campus today while Israel is at war. Meanwhile, your Israeli cousin texts you from her mamad (safe room in an Israeli home) asking if you’re okay given the rise in antisemitism on college campuses.
That’s what happened to Merav Fine Braun, executive director at Hunter College Hillel in New York City, given the staggering rise in antisemitic incidents on college campuses across the country.
In this week’s episode of Adapting, Merav engages in a heartfelt conversation with David Bryfman. She recounts her campus experiences from the past month and provides insights into how educators can lend support to their students during this time of uncertainty.
Personal Self-Assessment of Anti-Bias Behavior
Reflect on your anti-bias behavior with an assessment provided by the Anti-Defamation League. Download the worksheet here.
The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) has launched a national campaign to mobilize all Americans to #StandUpToJewishHate by using the blue square emoji 🟦 as a unifying symbol of support. For resources, and to learn more, visit FCAS’ website.
The Jewish Studies program at UC Berkeley offers Antisemitism in Our Midst: Past and Present, a video that charts the history of antisemitism from its origins until today.
Hillel International provides a three-part video series on antisemitism, with segments on “What is Judaism? Who are Jews?,” “History of Antisemitism,” and “Antisemitism Today.”
The Lookstein Center at Bar-Ilan University has also created a resource page that lists activities, discussion questions, ways to take action, and more.
Resources for navigating the events with children, provided by PJ Library:
Truvie’s Responding to Crisis in Israel resource page provides a variety of materials appropriate for engaging with children of varying ages.
JFCS’ Center for Children and Youth offers guidance on how to talk to children of all ages about antisemitism, violence, and other difficult topics.
Resources from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland:
Kveller provides simple conversation starters for kids of different ages.
Unpacked for Educators: Videos to help grow your confidence as the adult speaking about Israel.
Helping Children Cope with Terrorism: An article from the National Association of School Psychologists
The Institute for Curriculum Services offers a wide selection of resources in their document Support for Classroom Discussion on the Hamas-Israel War.
JCRC Bay Area offers a Guide to Recognizing Problematic Rhetoric.
Free Mental Health Support
BetterHelp is providing 6 months of therapy at no cost for individuals who have been impacted by the war in Israel. The support is provided by a licensed therapist over video, phone, or text. Learn more and sign up here.
Taking time to care for ourselves mentally and physically enables us to be focused, present, and peaceful. Jewish Family and Children’s Services offers trauma-informed counseling and support for anyone who is struggling. If you or someone you care about needs assistance, please call JFCS’ Bay Area Critical Helpline at 415-449-3700.
Prayer and Light a Candle for Peace
Download the Mothers’ Prayer for Peace, composed by Jewish and Muslim mothers and spiritual leaders, to offer a moment of quiet prayer for peace. Download: Mothers’ Prayer for Peace – in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
Leah Garber is a senior vice president of JCC Association of North America and director of its Center for Israel Engagement in Jerusalem and is providing daily updates directly from Israel.