July 23, 2014   25 Tamuz 5774
 
 
 
Operation Protective Edge - Our Thoughts Are With Israel


When it comes to crisis, unfortunately our Israeli brothers and sisters are all too familiar. This week as we welcome Shabbat our hearts and minds are with all of Israel. As operation “Protective Edge” continues and the government and army of Israel take the necessary measures to protect its citizens, we across the ocean must do all that we can. We have witnessed an increased complexity in the conflict and that the recent barrage of rockets have reached new and further targets with in Israel. For more analysis I invite you to read here.

As I speak with family, friends and members of our movement in Israel I have an increased sense of their resilience despite everyone’s worry and hopes that this end as soon as possible.


What YOU can do

The Jewish Federations of North America are mobilizing a communal response to the situation in Israel. As the Zionist wing of the Reform Movement, ARZA supports this united effort of the organized Jewish community. We encourage you to join us and the rest of the Movement in supporting this campaign.

There will be a special allocations process and all funds raised during this campaign will be immediately released to Israel and distributed among important projects, including those of our Reform Movement.



Efforts on the ground through our Movement
We at ARZA stand in solidarity with the important work that our movement in Israel is doing right now.

The IMPJ, led by Keren BeKavod, our humanitarian relief arm, immediately began carrying out the following emergency response activities:

Emergency Activity Packages
Weak families are in a situation where they are stuck at home and have no means of occupying the children. In many of the towns and cities in the south day camps have been cancelled. Some groups as noted above have spontaneously organized “home day camps”. We are supporting both individual families and home day camps by preparing and distributing 2000 emergency activity packages. Just yesterday the campers at the IMPJ youth summer camp, packed hundreds of these packages that are being distributed.


Hosting Families and Children in the North and Arava
There is a great need to engage children sitting in shelters and to provide their families with a day of “relaxation and rest” from the bombings. The following are programs that will take place over the next few days:

IMPJ Havaya Summer Camp- Next week the Havaya Summer Camp of Noar Telem (the IMPJ youth movement) will open its doors and add to its existing campers another 50 youth from the south of Israel (between ages 9-14). A special “fun” program will be developed for the youth who will join the participants in the camp and participate in Educational field trips and visit special attractions.


Our congregations and communities in the North along with the Leo Baeck Academic Campus and Community Center in Haifa, and Kibbutz Yahel and Lotan in the Arava have agreed to host families and children in homes of members. The congregations and communities in addition to hosting will arrange cultural, touring, and recreational activities for the families.

There has been an outpouring of volunteers from IMPJ congregations including those living with sirens.
We all pray for an end to the conflict, for minimal suffering on all sides, and for peace.

Let us pray for increased strength and of course for Peace:

"יְהוָה עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן יְהוָה יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם"
Adoani will give strength unto His people;
Adonai will bless his people with peace


This Shabbat, as we keep Israel in our hearts and in our minds, let us say together these words:


"Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleynu, ve'al kol Yisrael ve'imru amen, may the One who makes peace in the high heaves make peace for us, all Israel, and all who inhabit the earth." Amen.


שבת שלום
Shabbat Shalom


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