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April 7, 2024

Israel at War


Six months have now passed since Hamas’ devastating terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7th. Six months that have changed Jewish people and Jewish communities across the world, with antisemitism rising to unprecedented levels. Alarmingly, more than 130 hostages remain in captivity after being taken by Hamas, including men, women and children of all ages. They, and their families, have suffered 181 long, intolerable nights. Their release is paramount and we, alongside the entire community, anxiously await their safe return.

We are proud to be supporting projects in Israel in the aftermath of the October 7th attacks. Our work with the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), an organisation that we also work alongside in Ukraine, has provided psychological trauma care, emotional first aid, and therapy to hundreds of Israeli adults and children displaced from Kibbutzim on the Gaza border, as well as those directly affected from Bedouin communities.

We’ve also worked with Youth Aliyah, and specifically youth village Yemin Orde, which is home, school and safe haven to over 400 at-risk immigrant youth in Israel, to provide critical food, mental health and wider support, including assistance to young Ukrainian Jewish refugees.

Meanwhile, the conflict and crisis rage on.

Israel remains in jeopardy. The literal and metaphorical sirens continue to ring across the country, with the current situation increasingly tense due to the threat of Iranian attack. Young Israeli men and women are continuing to give everything to support their people and their country. In addition to our own direct efforts, we continue, as we have done since October 7th, to encourage community support for a range of Israel focused charities, where support is very much still needed.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is severe, and Palestinians – particularly women, the elderly and children – are suffering from critical shortages of food, clean water and basic medical services. Furthermore, the tragic loss of seven World Central Kitchen staff earlier this week has had a deep impact on the humanitarian community, of which World Jewish Relief is a part, and we send our sincerest condolences to their families and colleagues.

A number of our supporters have asked how they might contribute to the humanitarian response in Gaza right now. As the Jewish community’s humanitarian agency, our mission is to provide life-saving support to people in crisis around the world, both within and beyond our community. The Israeli authorities are explicitly encouraging the involvement of trustworthy agencies to provide humanitarian relief, and our expert team is liaising with them closely to establish what may or may not be feasible. This will be reviewed in line with our emergency response criteria, which looks at humanitarian need, the desire from donors to provide specific additional funds, and whether we have trusted partners on the ground to ensure the right support gets to the right people.

We will continue to carefully assess what may or may not be feasible and what the appropriate timing of any support could be. Importantly, any funds for such an endeavour would only be raised and used specifically for this purpose.

It has been an extremely troubling six months for so many, and the tragedy of October 7th will remain etched into our hearts and minds forever. In these uncertain times, we thank you for your remarkable support.