A Letter From Our Founder: Our Hearts and Hope are with Israel
On September 27th, Shari and I began our journey to Israel, anticipating an 11-day reunion with our youngest child, Olivia, who is on a gap year in Jerusalem. We were eager to spend the latter half of the Jewish holidays with Olivia, splitting our time between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
On the morning of Saturday, October 7th, our peaceful slumber was abruptly shattered by what initially resembled a loud ambulance siren. Still drowsy and half-asleep, it wasn’t until a loud explosion shook us that we realized this was no ordinary occurrence. Gazing out of our window, we saw people rushing through the streets, marking the moment we grasped the gravity of the situation. Despite our numerous visits to Israel, I was taken aback by the absence of the familiar Israeli reassurance: “Don’t worry, everything will be okay.” On that fateful day alone, we found ourselves seeking refuge in a bomb shelter five times.
After a grueling 48-hour journey back to Los Angeles, we are now safely home. Nevertheless, our hearts are still with Israel, as it appears this conflict is only just beginning.
Deep-seeded, generation-spanning conflicts persist, perpetuating unending disputes. Global politics are inherently intricate, with media outlets often sensationalizing headlines. However, there are moments when a line is irrevocably crossed, demanding condemnation from everyone. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has certainly crossed that line. The acts of terrorism in southern Israel far exceed any boundary or division, especially as they targeted innocent individuals and families from diverse backgrounds, subjecting them to persecution, torture, and death on a scale not seen since the Holocaust.
As President Biden aptly expressed, “Hamas is pure, unadulterated evil,” and their actions are “an act of sheer evil.” He further affirmed, “For 75 years, Israel has stood as the ultimate guarantor of the security of Jewish people around the world, so that the atrocities of the past could never happen again.” “Let there be no doubt: The United States has Israel’s back. We will ensure that the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow, as we always have. It’s as simple as that.” “These atrocities, they’re sickening. We’re with Israel. Let’s make no mistake.”
Once again, we find ourselves in unprecedented times, a phrase I have found myself using far too often in these letters over the past few years. However, in times of conflict, suffering, and tragedy, it is crucial that we do what we can, from wherever we are in the world, to assist the Israeli population during this trying period. Below are organizations that our firm has thoroughly vetted and confidently recommend supporting during this ongoing crisis:
Israel Emergency Relief Efforts
Several highly effective nonprofit groups are actively aiding the victims of the recent attacks in Israel, with their efforts poised to expand in the coming weeks and months. The following organizations consistently receive top ratings from Charity Navigator, a leading charity evaluator:
Jewish National Fund (JNF) jnf.org: JNF is currently providing temporary housing for displaced residents, fire and rescue equipment, respite activities, psychological support, and more.
United Hatzalah israelrescue.org: A volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization responding to medical emergencies across Israel.
IsraAid israaid.org: Bringing disaster relief to Israelis through psychosocial support, emergency assistance, and supplies.
AMIT amitchildren.org: AMIT is supporting Israeli schools and students, including the families of the Israeli Defense Force.
For additional guidance, contact our our Director of Philanthropic Planning, Lisa Glick, at email@example.com.
Our firm, JSF Financial, is committed to matching any contributions made, after receiving this letter, to the aforementioned charitable organizations dollar for dollar, up to $25,000.
Please email Lisa Glick at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contribution receipt so we can match your donation.
I invite you to join me in offering prayers for the comfort of the thousands of people affected by these horrific acts and in mourning the loss of innocent lives to terrorism. Let’s also hope and pray for the safety and well-being of the hostages being held in Gaza. We ache for peace and resolution for the entire region and hope that our next trip to Israel will be marked by celebration, returning to the times of saying, “Don’t worry, everything will be okay.”
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