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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
On Thursday, May 27, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis joined the Jewish Federations of North America for a day of action as we stood against antisemitism. We participated in this program in partnership with the organizations who stood together to urge President Biden to take concrete action steps – American Jewish Committee, ADL, Hadassah, and the Orthodox Union.
 
This day gave us the tools to amplify our voice with thousands more to demand action. Click here to watch the video recording of the program and hear from prominent government officials as well as leaders from the Jewish community and civil rights organizations.
 
 
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.

Read the full message here.

 
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.

Read the full article here.

 
UPDATE: Live solidarity event from Israel with Amira Ahronoviz and Eric Fingerhut

Thursday, May 20, 2021  |  3:42 pm

For those who missed the live solidarity event from Israel (or would like to rewatch), you can do so here. Amira Ahronoviz, Director General and CEO of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and Eric Fingerhut, CEO of Jewish Federations of North America, broadcast live from Tel Aviv, Israel, serving as our eyes and ears on the ground and bringing us personal stories of resilience from Israelis.
 
 
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
israelpolicyforum.org/from-jerusalem-to-gaza

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

As Shavuot is about to begin, we are sharing the most up-to-date information and resources regarding the ongoing conflict in Israel.
 
Please watch this video for an overview of the devastation that the barrage of rocket attacks has caused. Also, the Jewish Federations of North America has assembled additional information on this Resource Page.
 
Wishing everyone a meaningful Shavuot holiday and praying for peace.
 
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

Since Monday (May 10, 2021), over 2,000 rockets have been fired by the Hamas terror organization from the Gaza Strip, sending millions of Israelis rushing for shelter. Iron Dome has successfully intercepted around 90% of those aimed at populated civilian areas and many have fallen short landing in Palestinian territory. In response to mounting property damage and casualties, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Guardian of the Walls.
Jewish Federations have mobilized to help. Following approval by JFNA’s Israel and Overseas Committee and Officers, communities have been invited to join in and support an initial effort to meet urgent needs identified by our partners at The Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC and the Israel Trauma Coalition and a special mailbox is in place to enable individual donations.
Even as Israel faces this onslaught of rockets and unrest in the streets, important constituencies in the U.S. are not getting the full story and teens, college students and others in our communities face efforts by organizations to delegitimize Israel using current events.
Together the I&O and IAN teams have set up a resource page to be used by partners across our system and in other important sectors to help provide the facts and talking points to advocate for Israel and have asked our community to urge Congress through to support Israel.
Below are resources including information, videos, photos, links to articles, webinar recordings and more, created and produced by JFNA and our overseas partners to keep you informed and updated.

 

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

Jewish Federations of North America Board Chair Mark Wilf and CEO Eric D. Fingerhut sent a message to Federations this morning, reminding us how important our purpose is and offering ways we can take action to support Israel and those affected by this violence now.
 
“At this time, we cannot adequately express how proud we are of the ongoing support flowing from the Jewish Federation system across North America. Through all your words and deeds, you have demonstrated once again what it means to be am echad, one people.”
 
Read the full message at JFedSTL.org/Taking-Action.
 
 
 
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

Partner Analyses and Statements

JFNA Emergency Relief Fund
JFNA’s Emergency Committee, a volunteer body that allocates emergency funds contributed by the community to address disaster relief, has opened a national mailbox to ensure that additional contributions flow to communities throughout Texas and elsewhere hit by the freezing weather.
 
 

February 22, 2021  |  11:05 am
From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
jta.org/2021/02/18/united-states/in-a-texas-battered-by-cold-jewish-communities-join-a-desperately-needed-response

 
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.”

Read the whole article here.