Beth El Stands with Israel

Beth El Stands with Israel

Saturday, October 7th was supposed to be a day of Shabbat and Festival joy, but those intentions were shattered when we heard the devastating news of the horrific attacks on Israel. The words and images coming from our homeland continue to fill us with shock, rage, anger, and deep sadness.

To our brothers and sisters in Israel: our hearts are in the East. We stand with you in unwavering solidarity and support as we pray for your safety. We grieve for those who were killed. We send Refuah Shleimah to those who are wounded. We send prayers of safety to those who were abducted. And we send our deepest love to Israeli families who are living through this war. You are not alone.

To our American leaders: we are deeply grateful for your total support for Israel at this pivotal time. 

And to our own community: We are strongest when we partner together with other organizations doing amazing work; many of these are  highlighted on our website’s homepage by clicking the link under
NSS Beth El Supports Israel
. We encourage you to consider them as well. 

Please scroll down to read the details (after ways to visit Israel) on how you can participate and save a life.
Click here for more info.

Beth El Purchased 2 ambulances for MDA campaign!

The Beth El community’s response to the MDA* campaign to sponsor an ambulance in Israel was unbelievable. 

We ended up sponsoring two ambulances with a total of $230,000 raised.

Ways to visit Israel now to volunteer and show solidarity

Full Programs:

Ramah: There is enormous volunteer work to be done in the fields, rebuilding homes, and working with displaced families. We hope you will consider joining your fellow Ramahniks on one of our upcoming solidarity and service missions. This is your opportunity to be counted and to let our family in Israel know that we stand alongside them. Some missions are geared for bringing children. 
Four-Day Missions

Five-Day Mission with Shabbat

JNF: Israel needs us now more than ever! Join one of our Volunteer for Israel Missions as an opportunity to provide immediate relief to the land and the people of Israel.  

Taglit Birthright for 40 and under: Taglit-Birthright Israel’s unique opportunity to stand with the people of Israel during these difficult times.  Join our Onward Volunteer Program today!

Volunteers for Israel: ISRAEL IS AT WAR! VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED ON IDF BASES Programs are available now, subject to change.
Volunteers For Israel | Volunteering Abroad Programs ( 
Apply Now

Masa Israel Journey: is offering a new six-week volunteer program, designed in response to the ongoing conflict.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Leket Israel in addition to its usual volunteer opportunities at its Logistics Center in Gan Haim (near Kfar Saba) and fields in Rishon Lezion, has begun matching volunteers with farmers in need of assistance in harvesting their produce.

Emergency Volunteers Project EVP offers an unforgettable experience to meet Israeli soldiers face to face and bring a smile to their faces and at the same time give our volunteers an unforgettable experience where they get to travel across Israel to different IDF units to set up a “pop-up” kitchen in the field to prepare and serve meals such as fresh falafel, burgers, schnitzels, shawarma’s and BBQ’s in one of our mobile kitchens/grills and BBQ’s. This is a unique opportunity to build bonds of friendship between you the IDF and Israel.
LINK: (EVP) Make a Soldier Smile

Pantry Packers of Jerusalem provides Meals on Wheels to 37,000 families every month, and also runs soup kitchens. Now, with thousands of refugee families from the south sheltering in Jerusalem, the city asked Pantry Packers to commit to providing 6,000 meals, three times a day. Lots of extra hands are needed.
LINK: Come and Pack 

Here is what we can do to help our homeland in its time of need:


JUF opened an Israel Emergency Fund to funnel vital support from our community to the Israeli people. Donate here.

Magen David Adom is supporting paramedics and first responders.

Friends of the IDF –

Purchase Israel Bonds here.

Jewish National Fund –

Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon –

Jewish National Fund –

Hadassah Hospital –


The Mayanot Israeli Egalitarian congregation is supporting the survivors and evacuees of the Gaza border communities –

Project Aid and Rescue is donating medical equipment and supplies to Israeli hospitals –

Na’amat is Israel’s largest women’s organization and provides counseling services –

(We recognize that there are many other worthy charities and encourage supporting them as well; there are simply too many to be listed here)

Locally sponsored fundraisers:

  • Pizza 4 Moms Fundraiser  Send a meal to a family or an IDF unit and give them one less thing to worry about. You can make a general donation of any amount that will go toward IDF Shabbat dinners and family pizza meals without being matched. Learn more at the website above or on Instagram (@pizza4Israel) to learn more about what it is all about, see thank you tributes, photos, and more.
  • “I Stand With Israel” T-Shirts  Show your love and support for Israel with soft T-shirts for the whole family. Cost is $25/T-shirt and are available in toddler, kids and adult sizes. 100% of profits will be donated to JUF’s Israel Emergency Fund. For more information, please contact Franci Kind at 
  • Direct Aid Equipment and Supplies Donation: Please make donations to Leah & David Mindell Venmo: @David-Mindell Zelle: or (248) 939-0007 There is a critical need in Israel right now for military equipment, food, clothing, and other basic items for battalions on the front lines. Items needed include food, military supplies like ceramic bulletproof vests, guns, night vision for snipers, emergency vehicles to rent for use in the war, head flashlights, warm items, hygiene items, etc. We have people ready to coordinate the purchase and delivery of the items in Israel and only need the urgent funds. If you would like to see the requests in real time, where money is needed (and for what), you can view it here. If there’s a specific campaign you’d like to designate money for, please include it in the notes. Otherwise, we will forward your contributions in real time to the campaigns that are most in need.
  • SHABBAT CANDLES: minimum donation of $18 (please consider giving more generously if you are able) Venmo: @MarissaSchiffRosenberg Zelle: (847) 606-6230 Join together as we literally light up the world by committing to light Shabbat candles not just for a week or two, but eternally. The time is now to invest in our collective Jewish future and light our souls on fire to give our Israeli family the spiritual capital and the physical requirements necessary to fight for our survival. For a minimum donation of $18 (please consider giving more generously if you are able) AND a commitment to starting to light or continuing to light Shabbat candles in your home every Friday night, I will gift you two gorgeous candles to get you started, handmade in Tzfat, Israel. Funds will be distributed to United Hatzalahs Emergency Campaign. Once payment received, Marissa will be in touch with you about how you’d prefer to receive your candles.
  • Lone Soldier Center: Abby Silberman, a Cohen Religious School student,  is choosing to support the Lone Soldier Center in Israel.  She chose The Lone Soldier Center because of her cousin Drew Silberman. Drew is a Lone Soldier from Buffalo Grove, IL. After high school he went to Israel to serve in the military because Israel is very important to him, to their family, and an important part of his life. He believes in the importance of protecting Israel and the Jewish people. Drew is currently protecting Israel as a member of the IDF. What is a Lone Soldier?  They are non-Israeli citizens who join the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) but have no family in Israel to support them. Unlike other IDF soldiers who regularly get to spend weekends and holidays with their families, the more than 6,300 Lone Soldiers have no immediate family in Israel to help support them when needs arise. The Lone Soldier Center provides emotional and physical support to Lone Soldiers before, during, and after their service in the IDF. They provide everything from basic necessities and equipment to advice and a place to have a Shabbat meal. They also help them navigate the unique  challenges presented by serving in the Israeli army as a non-Israeli citizen. Here is the link to donate
  • Am Yisroel Chai fundraiser for Sderot: Cohen Religious School student Dylan Buzin is raising money for AMIT Children, a Jewish non profit, serving of 40,000 Israeli children in 87 schools throughout Israel. These donations will directly fund maker-spaces for the children of Sderot, the first city targeted near Gaza. All donations over $18 (chai) will reeie an original “Am Yisroel Chai” kippah. This Buzin original design commemorates Dylan’s commitment to tzedakah and mitzvot. Email with your name, donation, and mailing address or send Venmo: @Melissa-Buzin-1

Visiting Israel:

With Ramah:

With Jewish National Fund:

Articles Identifying Many Ways to help:

“The Many Ways American Jews Can Help” by Gil Troy –

Where US Jews can donate to support Israel’s hospitals, troops, survivors and more” by JTA staff –


Contact elected officials –

Tell US House members to cosponsor a new resolution standing with Israel –

Fight Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism on college campuses –

Sign ADL petition to call for responsible media coverage of the war in Israel –

Post pro-Israel messages online –

Send a message of love and support to Israelis:

Send an email through the American Jewish Committee –

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (frequently asked questions) –

Anti-Defamation League –

Local reflections:

Rabbi Vernon and Bryna Kurtz had a Zoom call with Beth El on 10/11. Click here for recording.

“Why The Words ‘Never Again’ Have Far More Meaning To Me Now!” by Pastor Chris Harris

Recommended Reading:

Israel Reading List for Adults compiled by Rachel Kamin, Director of Lifelong Learning. All titles are available from the Maxwell Abbell Library

Resources for parents talking to kids about the war: 

“Note to Cohen Religious School Parents” 

“Unpacked for Educators”

Community Resources:

From the Jewish National Fund (daily emergency briefings at 11 am CDT) – 

From the IDF English website –

From the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a global advocacy organization for Jews. –

From the Anti-Defamation League –

From the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism –

Daily Israel Briefings from the Jewish National Fund (11 am daily) –

“Israel Story,” a popular Jewish podcast, has a series called “Wartime Diaries” to share important stories from Israel these days –


Full Prayer for Israel (Koren) –

Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces –

Prayer for Missing/Captured Individuals –

Consider reciting any number of Psalms: 23, 55, 121, 130. –

Beth El Israel solidarity Gathering Video: