Stand with Israel

Dear JCHS School Community,

This is horribly real and none of us – in Israel or here – were prepared. 

It is heartbreaking to hear the stories and see the images coming from Israel since Shabbat. These stories of barbaric aggression against Israelis impossibly grow in their cruelty hour after hour. Even so, there are sparks of stories showing remarkable courage and compassion as Israelis unite across political, social, and religious divides to protect and support each other. 

At JCHS many of us have family, alumni, and friends who were directly impacted. Many of us know someone who was attacked, or those serving currently in Israel’s Defense Forces, or parents who had to leave their own homes to be called-up from reserves to active duty, or loved ones stranded there or here, or those still waiting for news about their loved ones who are missing, or those who are grieving those who were murdered.  Our hearts break with each of them too. 

With hearts breaking, still we stand wholeheartedly with Israel.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will make real our existential support of Israel, sending you links about ways to support Israel and Israelis. Some JCHS students already are organizing fundraising efforts, collection campaigns, and political advocacy. We will support these students and publicize these for you too. 

In the meantime…

At JCHS: Current parents and students should know JCHS students on Monday will share a prayer for Israel during each of the different Tefillah options in the morning. At Hakhel on Monday when all the students and educators gather in one place, the situation in Israel will be addressed along with taking care of each other during these difficult times. We will finish Hakhel standing together as a number of students lead us in singing Hatikvah – the Israeli national anthem. 

You should also know that our customary security vigilance is being renewed – of course, we do not share details of those arrangements through email or social media.

It is too soon to know how this will impact the Israel Journey. After the immediate situation resolves, we will turn to addressing the Journey with our Israel based partners and security advisors.    

At home: We have curated a handful of direct reports from Israel and the Jewish community over the last two days that are not available through mainstream media. Those links follow here:  

And some links from the American Jewish Community (AJC). At over a century old, AJC is considered the dean of American Jewish organizations:

And finally some prayerful resources for Israel and Israel Defense Forces here

In the community: We are proud that many JCHS families joined the community gatherings earlier today (Sunday) in support of Israel at Congregation Sherith Israel and the Marin JCC. There are more opportunities later this week for those in the East Bay and South Bay: 

Contra Costa County – Community Gathering for Israel
Monday at 7:00 p.m.
Temple Isaiah, Lafayette

Palo Alto – Community Gathering for Israel
Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto 

L’Shalom – Toward Wholeness and Peace,

Rabbi Howard Jacoby Ruben
Head of School