Emergencies Around the World
When need arises, the Jewish community of St. Louis plays a vital role in providing financial assistance to fund urgently needed basics like food and medicine, and long-term aid like trauma counseling.
This page provides timely news and updates on emergencies around the world, and will help you find proven resources to direct your contributions to areas of humanitarian crises, locally or internationally, whether the disasters be natural or man-made.
We stand with Israel.
We will update this page frequently with the latest information as it becomes available.
Our hearts are with our partners in Israel during this difficult time. We will update this page with the latest information out of Israel and important conversations going on about these events.
Below is a list of upcoming programs and statements from our local, national, and international partners.
Click here to read comprehensive daily reports from the Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel team about what is happening on the ground in Israel.
Day of Action Against Antisemitism — Video Recording
UPDATE: Solidarity Mission to Israel hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 9:40 am
In the first Jewish Federation mission to Israel since the start of the pandemic, 22 federation leaders from more than a dozen communities are heading to Israel to show support in the wake of the recent conflict with Hamas. Follow them on social media to join the journey.
UPDATE: Operation Guardians of the Walls — May 21, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021 | 11:39 am
From the Desk of Mark Wilf and Eric D. Fingerhut
Jewish Federations of North America
We are reminded in the Book of Psalms that the “guardian of Israel” never “slumbers nor sleeps.” I know you agree that we in the Federation system can do no less at this critical time…We are proud to report that, in just three business days, our Federation system met and exceeded the $1.3M goal by raising $1.6M with dozens of Federations participating. Our partners have already started deploying these new funds. We will continue to monitor the needs and will not hesitate to organize further fundraising as conditions warrant. We are also pleased to inform you that a special Solidarity Mission to Israel will depart from North America on Monday evening, returning to North America by Shabbat.
A Conversation with Michael Koplow — Video Recording
On Monday, May 24, Jewish Federation of St. Louis CEO Brian Herstig joined in a virtual conversation with Michael Koplow, Policy Director of Israel Policy Forum.
Koplow explained the developments of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, providing us with the facts and framework from which to have critical conversations with our family, friends, and neighbors. Click here to watch a video recording of the program.
This program was made possible by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and our Partnership Region in Israel.
UPDATE: Israel announces unconditional ceasefire with Hamas, ending Gaza combat
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 5:01 pm
From The Jerusalem Post
The Israeli security cabinet voted to accept a ceasefire late Thursday as the Israeli South and Gaza remain inflamed. The security cabinet unanimously agreed to a “mutual and unconditional” cessation of hostilities, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
A barrage of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel and reported IDF strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip continued leading up to the ceasefire, however skies have remained quiet since the ceasefire began at 2 a.m. on Friday morning.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi thanked US President Joe Biden for his role in the success of the Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. He added that both see the urgency in managing the conflict between the parties through diplomacy.
UPDATE: Live solidarity event from Israel with Amira Ahronoviz and Eric Fingerhut
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 3:42 pm
UPDATE: Community Partner Shaare Emeth Shares Resources
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 2:30 pm
Some Up-to-Date Online Resources on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from Rabbi Bennett and Rabbi Goldstein
Created on May 19, 2021
The resources listed here represent some of what we believe to be trusted sources of information and guidance for learning about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
UPDATE: Three Ways You Can Support Israel Now
Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 11:46 am
1. JOIN A VIRTUAL SOLIDARITY MISSION
Tune in Thursday, May 20, at noon CT for a virtual solidarity mission hosted jointly by the Jewish Federations of North America and The Jewish Agency for Israel.
Eric Fingerhut, CEO of JFNA, and Amira Ahronoviz, Director General and CEO of The Jewish Agency for Israel, will be our eyes and ears on the ground, bringing us personal stories of coping and resilience from a broad range of Israelis. Register here.
2. URGE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO STAND WITH ISRAEL
Join Jewish Federations in calling on the US Government and international community to do all that they can to end the rocket attacks immediately. Tell your representatives to publicly stand with Israel and support its right to defend its citizens! Take action now!
3. STAY UP TO DATE
We are committed to providing you with everything that you need to help educate, inspire and mobilize your communities to give both moral and material support to Israel in her hour of need. Share this video on your social channels, and visit our resource page for additional marketing materials, statements, action items and more, including ones that you can share immediately on social media. Learn more here.
Brief Update from our Partnership — Yokneam-Megiddo
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 11:46 am
Throughout the conflict, we have been in close contact with our global partner agencies who are now working tirelessly to protect and support the many innocent victims in cities across Israel. Megido Regional Council is hosting 150 teens from the south (mainly Ashkelon) to help them cope with the current escalating situation in Israel. The first group arrived this past Friday and stayed until yesterday (5/18). More teen groups arrived in Megiddo yesterday (5/18) and will stay until Saturday.
UPCOMING EVENT: Wednesday, June 2, at 6:30 pm CT — Realistic Reset: Restoring US Leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Policy Forum will convene a community-wide special national virtual program, “Realistic Reset: Restoring US Leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Click here for information and to register.
UPDATE: New Resource Page from Israel Polity Forum
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 11:21 am
Israel Policy Forum has created a comprehensive new resources page, “From Jerusalem to Gaza,” featuring resources from Israel Policy Forum experts on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
UPDATE: Resource Page from the Jewish Federation of North America
Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 5:01 pm
UPDATE: Israel Needs Us Now – Show Your Support! From the American Jewish Committee
Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 4:58 pm
During the past week, Hamas—the terrorist group ruling Gaza—has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities, placing millions of Israelis in grave danger. As of this writing, ten Israeli civilians have been killed. Hundreds more are wounded. Read the full update here.
UPDATE: Video Message from Brian Herstig, President & CEO, Jewish Federation of St. Louis
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 2:30 pm
Click here to view an Israeli Prayer that Brian mentions in the video.
UPDATE: Jewish Federations of North America Resource Guide & Speaker Videos
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 2:30 pm
- Update from Israel (Friday, May 14)
- Update from Israel (Thursday, May 13)
- Webinar Recording – the causes behind the conflict with former MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh (Thursday, May 13)
- Update from Israel (May 12)
- Webinar Recording – what is happening in the conflict with IDF International Media Spokesperson Lt-Colonel Jonathan Conricus (May 12)
- Update from Israel (May 11)
ACTION ALERT: Urge Members of Congress to Stand with Israel
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 1:07 pm
Israel is currently under a continuing rocket attack originating from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Thousands of rockets have been aimed at Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Ra’anana, Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak. Reports indicate that numerous civilians have been killed by these attacks and many more have been injured. Join Jewish Federations in calling on the US Government and international community to do all that they can to end these attacks immediately. Tell your representatives to publicly stand with Israel and support its right to defend its citizens! Take action here.
UPDATE: Israel Action Network Resources
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 12:30 pm
Israel Action Network has added a collection of resources to their website that you can use to immediately update your community, volunteers, and other stakeholders on the situation in Israel. These resources can be especially helpful to explain this escalation of tensions to students, who will need facts and talking points to advocate for Israel, particularly when others use current events in an attempt to delegitimize Israel. Click here to view IAN’s resources on what is taking place in Israel right now.
UPDATE: Overnight in Israel – Friday, May 14, 2021
Friday, May 14, 2021 | 7:45 am
CNN is reporting that an Israeli woman died overnight after she fell as she was running to a shelter, the Israeli military said Friday, making her the eighth Israeli to die since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian militants began exchanging fire on Monday.
The number of rockets fired into Israel has topped 2,000 this week, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The Israel Defense Forces marked the 73rd anniversary of the day Israel declared independence by proclaiming on Twitter: On May 14, 1948, 73 years ago, Israel declared independence and was attacked by 6 foreign armies. We won that battle. And we will continue to win.
The IDF also said that it undertook an operation against the Hamas’ Metro tunnel system in Gaza. According to the post, 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border struck 150 targets and damaged many miles of the Metro network.
UPDATE: Message from Wark Wilf and Eric D. Fingerhut
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | 1:08 pm
UPDATE: Watch Special Briefing with Ambassador Dr. Michael Oren and Isaac Herzog
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 1:59 pm
Today’s special briefing with Ambassador Dr. Michael Oren and Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Executive for The Jewish Agency for Israel, was interrupted when a rocket attack struck Tel Aviv, where Ambassador Oren was speaking from. He turned his camera to show the barrage. When one hit right outside his window, the Ambassador said he was moving to the bomb shelter so he could call relatives to ensure they were all right. In signing off, Amassador Oren said, “They won’t destroy us. Be strong.”
Prior to the attack, Oren and Herzog discussed the ongoing situation in Israel.
A full recording can be viewed here.
News and Statements
News and Analyses
Can Mansour Abbas douse the flames in Jerusalem? – analysis (Jerusalem Post)
Israel under attack amid escalation – in photos (Jerusalem Post)
In Jerusalem crisis, Hamas sees opportunity to retake center stage (Times of Israel)
Gaza terror factions fire more than 200 rockets at Israel; six injured in Ashkelon (Jewish News Syndicate)
What’s behind the violence in Israel and Gaza? (Washington Post)
Partner Analyses and Statements
- Conference of Presidents
JFNA Emergency Relief Fund
February 22, 2021 | 11:05 am
From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
In a Texas battered by cold, Jewish communities join a desperately needed response
Kosher Palate, a kosher restaurant in Dallas, prepares thousands of free hot meals to serve to Orthodox families affected by power outages during Winter Storm Uri, Feb. 17, 2021. (Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas)
(JTA) — One year ago, Dallas’s Jewish community convened a “health crisis management team” to coordinate the local response to the brand-new COVID-19 pandemic.
Now the community has repurposed the team, consisting of rabbis from each denomination and the CEOs of local Jewish agencies, to take on a very different kind of crisis: the unfolding effects of an unusual winter storm named Uri that has crippled large swaths of Texas and left millions of people without reliable access to heat, electricity or clean water.
So far, the group has gotten aid to seniors and people without electricity. Synagogues and their congregants are offering shelter to those without power. And the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas partnered with Kosher Palate, a local kosher restaurant, to deliver thousands of meals to Jews without power — a project the restaurant began on its own and accelerated with the federation’s aid.
“I keep saying this is what Federation was built for,” said Mariam Shpeen Feist, the group’s president and CEO. “We were built to respond to crisis.”