On October 7, 2023, during the holiday of Simchat Torah in Israel, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented and devastating attack on Israel from Gaza. Armed Hamas militants infiltrated on foot and by air while simultaneously sending thousands of rockets into Israeli communities. Since then, more than 1,400 Israelis have been killed and even more are hospitalized. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is at war and gave the order of the IDF to commence “Operation Swords of Iron.” Each day that has gone by since that Shabbat and holiday morning, the situation has become increasingly dire.
Israel Needs You Now More Than Ever
Here are some important numbers you should know about this situation:
- 1,400 Israelis – including babies, children, women, the elderly, and the disabled – have been murdered
- Approximately 200 innocent people have been kidnapped and are being held hostage in Gaza (this includes more than a dozen Americans)
- Thousands of Israelis have since been displaced as they flee for their lives to other parts of the country
- 300,000 IDF reservists have left their families and homes to fight in Israel’s defense
The Jewish people have not experienced a massacre like this since the Holocaust, and many historians and political leaders have described it as 9/11 and Pearl Harbor combined. More than ever, the Diaspora Jewish community must unite and support its family in Israel.
The Jewish Federation currently provides immense support to Israel through its annual campaigns and makes it possible for our primary partners such as The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and World ORT to respond immediately when emergencies like this take place.
However, those resources are NOT enough to address these unprecedented and immediate needs.
Our Israel Emergency Campaign is directing additional resources for this critical moment. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to support the most critical current and long-term needs on the ground efforts in Israel.
Those Immediate Needs Include:
- Basic Needs: Food and financial assistance for impacted families, the elderly, and the homebound.
- Evacuation, Housing, Respite, and Support for Frontline Communities: Including support for communities under fire and for new olim (immigrants to Israel) living in absorption centers through evacuations, temporary housing, respite trips, children’s activities, and increased security.
- Funds for Victims of Terror: The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Funds for Victims of Terror is a key part of our standing emergency response capacity that provides immediate cash grants to families and individuals who have been impacted by acts of terror and violence, for post-trauma care, etc.
- Trauma Relief and Psychosocial Care: To support wide-scale trauma relief and psychosocial support with expanded capabilities through telephone hotlines; providing direct care to first responders, Lone Soldiers, the injured, and families whose relatives were murdered, injured, or abducted; training and support for caregivers and responders including hospital emergency teams and municipal teams.
- Emergency Medical Services and Healthcare: Medical supplies and equipment for first responders and hospitals in close proximity to the front line.
- Special Populations: Targeted assistance to vulnerable populations and their caregivers, including the elderly, young children, people living with disabilities, and marginalized populations, such as the Ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin communities.
- Local Efforts and Volunteers: Israel’s home front has mobilized and funding is needed to enhance capacity and provide operational support to evacuees, special populations, frontline communities, and those responding to the crisis.
Did you know that you can donate in other ways than cash?
Thanks to the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, you can make charitable non-cash contributions through the following mechanisms:
1. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs): If you have a DAF with the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, you can donate online here by logging into your account and then selecting “Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta – Israel Emergency Campaign 2023”.
If you have a Donor-Advised Fund elsewhere, would like to learn about opening one, or are interested in receiving philanthropic advice, please reach out to Ghila Sanders at email@example.com.
2. Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD): A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity. QCDs can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year, as long as certain rules are met.
If you would like to donate from an IRA, please include “Direct to Israel Emergency Campaign” in the memo field and send your donation to Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (Tax ID / EIN: 58-1021791) 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta GA 30309.
3. Stock and other Non-cash Assets: The Atlanta Jewish Foundation, on behalf of the Israel Emergency Campaign, can also receive gifts of stock or other non-cash complex assets. Please note that if you donate with stock, you must call Donor Services to ensure the stock is gift is attributed to you. Contact Ghila Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Israel is in need of our vocal support during this war. Please see the following resources to help you take action.
- Report any acts of antisemitism to the ADL here
- EIE (Enough Is Enough) 2023 War Student Guide – providing context and talking points about the history and war in Israel.
- JFNA Community Mobilization Center – Resource Hub (Google Doc)
The best way to support Israel is through organizations working on the ground. This is why your donations are so important so we can get the funds to these organizations. As we hear about any additional opportunities, we will post them here.
Report any acts of antisemitism to the ADL here.
If you know of Israelis who have been displaced and are arriving in Atlanta, please contact:
Regional Director Greater Atlanta and the Southeast
Israeli-American Council (IAC)
There is a desperate need for housing accommodations for the many thousands of families from Southern Israel are being evacuated from their homes.
This is a grassroots effort led by a group of professional VCs, investors, software executives. They are working tirelessly to help relocate families from Southern Israel displaced by Hamas and are seeking to unlock available homes in Israel and make them available to Israelis in need of a place to stay.
We know this is a big ask but it is truly important and needed.
During this heartbreaking time for the State of Israel and Jews around the world, it’s important that we do our best to protect our mental health and prioritize wellness. Because of this, we have compiled a list of personal and family care resources that we encourage you to utilize and share.
PJ Library Resources:
Blue Dove Foundation Resources:
Supporting Educators and Families:
- Boundless Israel provides resources to help you “stay informed, engage in conversations, and take action.”
- The Jewish Education Project launched “Israel in Crisis: Educator Community Hub,” where you can find educational resources, prior webinars on how to engage children and teens, and a sign-up for “office hours.” Check out the recent webinar, “Strength for Jewish Educators: Voices from the Field.
- Prizmah provides “Resources for Schools on Violence and Terrorist Attacks in Israel,” including student mental health services, webinars, and virtual meetups for faculty and educators, best practices for safeguarding schools, and more.
- The iCenter is offering individual consultation with one of its senior educators to support local educators navigating this moment with your community.
- Unpacked for Educators provides video, audio, and written resources covering history and current events to help educators “frame the situation and engage students in meaningful conversations.”
Supporting Professionals in the Workplace:
- Leading Edge’s resources are designed specifically to help support people who work at Jewish nonprofit organizations.
- Maharat shares pragmatic tips on how to lead in these trying times.
- JPro offers curated “Caring and Connection” resources for professionals in a range of positions at Jewish organizations.
Meaningful Prayers and Self-Care:
- Sefaria curated the full text of some common prayers for Israel and other resources that may be helpful during this difficult time.
- The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which teaches Jewish mindfulness practices, offers “rich, accessible, and time-tested resources to cope with moments like these.”
- R&R The Rest of Our Lives provides “walkshops” that create space for reflection and introspection for professional teams and colleagues.
Understanding the complexities and history of the War in Israel will help you be a better ally.
Educator Community Hub:
The Lookstein Center:
Center on Foreign Relations:
The Times of Israel:
Israeli American Council:
Sapir: A Journal of Jewish:
Window into Israeli Society:
- The Shalom Hartman Institute’s podcast, “Identity/Crisis,” offers insights on how Israeli society is responding to the attack by Hamas.
- The Helen Diller Institute of Jewish Law and Israel Studies held a special emergency briefing with Times of Israel Senior Analyst Haviv Rettig Gur and Institute Co-Faculty Director Ken Bamberger.
Identifying And Responding to Misconceptions
American Jewish Committee:
The Washington Post:
News Literacy — A More Perfect Union Jewish Partnership for Democracy: