These are dark and terrible days for the people of Israel, their loved ones and friends, the Jewish community, and for all of us. The acts committed by Hamas are deplorable and simply must be condemned. The heartbreak and loss that is being suffered is like nothing we have experienced previously. It is in times like this that we must come together as a community and work to end hatred and injustice.
As we continue to watch our brothers and sisters in Israel in the midst of war, we know that it is difficult to ensure we have accurate, up-to-date information. Even more difficult to find are resources to help us when navigating conflicting reports, supporting loved ones that are hurting, and talking to our children about such tragedy. The J has created a webpage as a resource for those in our community. This page includes reputable news sources, podcasts, advice from professionals about talking to your children, and more. We hope that you find it helpful.
Prayers from the J Family
Am Yisrael Chai. Together we will eliminate Hamas!
To all of the ones at war. Pray for safety and peace. God's blessings to you.
I feel very sad about the horrific attacks on October 7 and I feel very scared about the rise in antisemitism in the US. I wish I could do more to help Israel. Israel is always on my mind, even when I am doing other things. Am Yisrael Chai!
Prayers for the hostages and Israeli soldiers. Am Yisrael!
I pray for all in war. Peace to all.
May the state of Israel live in perfect peace... no more war!
May our hostages taken by Hamas be released.
Pray for peace!
For peace to return to Israel and the Gaza Strip
I am grateful for all the people who are praying for those that are fighting.
You are loved! Stay strong!
God be with the people of Israel. You shall prevail.
Love, peace, and prayers to all Jewish, Israeli, and Palestinian lives lost as well as our human families still navigating the conflict.
Prayers for peace!
I pray for increased compassion, understanding, empathy, and humanity.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am praying for peace and sanity as I am constricted with sadness and pain. I wonder what it would take to heal the deep wounds of a bleeding nation. I choose to see the resolve, the resilience, the inner power, and the light of my brothers and sisters in Israel.
I pray for no more terrorist attacks on Israel.
Security at the J
- We have received several questions about security at the J in the wake of the tragedy in Israel. While it is our policy not to publicly disclose specifics regarding our security plans, it’s important that you know we take security very seriously at the J and already practice best practices.
- We are supported by a large and well-run security team, led by Security Director, Scott Biondo. Many of you know that Scott was engaged several years ago to assist all Jewish agencies in their security planning and preparedness. Scott and his team of security professionals are located primarily on our I.E. Millstone Jewish Community Campus, but they also provide additional physical presence when appropriate throughout the community.
- Through Scott, we have a special relationship with both St. Louis County and Chesterfield Police Departments, as well as the St. Louis Fusion Center, a collaborative effort that includes myriad law enforcement agencies to provide resources, expertise, and information to help detect, prevent, investigate and respond to terrorist activity. It is important to note that THERE ARE NO INDICATIONS OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA AT THIS TIME.
- Under Scott’s leadership, our staff is trained regularly for worst-case scenarios in Situational Awareness and for a variety of unlikely events including active shooters and bombs. It has always been our guiding principle that a well-trained and well-educated staff is the single most important commitment we can make to the safety and security of all.
Our programs continue to operate as previously scheduled, and our business hours remain the same. We are open to serve you with the full scope of activities, programs, and services that you expect from the J.
Background Information, Key Facts, and Analysis
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was formed in 1910 to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”
ADL is on full alert, leveraging our capabilities and leaning into their expertise in monitoring how antisemitism emerges from crises like this. They are tracking reactions to these crimes and monitoring threats affecting Jewish communities around the globe. They are tracking anti-Israel protests and events, including on college campuses, and working with their partners to ensure Jewish students have what they need during this difficult time.
They are sharing what they learn with elected officials and policymakers and actively engaging and supporting local partners, communal allies, and their partners around the world. They have called on workplaces to update their policies, procedures, and practices to address antisemitism. They also call on responsible members of the international community to take concrete actions both in support of Israel and against those who support the Hamas terrorists.
Stay up to date, learn about the history, and help support Israel at their website below.
American Jewish Committee (AJC)
American Jewish Committee (AJC) is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. We work to shape a brighter future by taking on the toughest challenges and pursuing the most transformative opportunities.
Get context on the Israel-Hamas War through the AJC’s live archive at their website below
StandWithUs empowers and energizes students and communities with leadership training and educational programs on hundreds of college campuses, high schools, and middle schools. StandWithUs informs through social media, print and digital materials, films, weekly newsletters, and missions to Israel.
Visit their website for live updates, ways to support, and reliable social media information.
History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This video presents the History of Israel-Palestine conflict that rooted a few thousand years ago.
The Origins of the Word Palestine
We often hear claims that Palestinians are “native” or indigenous to the land of Israel, but does history back this up? It’s worth taking a look.
Live Updates from Israel
The Times of Israel
The Times of Israel is an Israeli multi-language online newspaper that was launched in 2012. Based in Jerusalem, it documents developments in Israel, the Middle East, and around the Jewish world.
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post is a broadsheet newspaper based in Jerusalem, founded in 1932. Its editorial line is critical of political corruption, and supportive of the separation of religion and state in Israel. It is also a strong proponent of greater investment by the State of Israel in World Jewry and educational programs for the Jewish diaspora.
Inside Israel is a podcast that takes listeners beyond the superficial headlines to discover the real uncensored story of Israel, its diverse people, politics, economy and culture. Historian, entrepreneur and author Itai Tennenbaum is your guide for a behind-the-scenes tour of Israeli society, and objective analysis of the key issues of the day for anyone who wants a deep and authentic look Inside Israel.
In a frenzied media cycle, Identity/Crisis delves into the big ideas behind the news from a uniquely Jewish perspective. Host Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, talks with leading thinkers to unpack current events affecting Jewish communities in North America, Israel, and around the world, revealing the core Jewish values underlying the issues that matter to you.
In this episode, Yehuda Kurtzer collected voice messages from seven friends and colleagues in Israel that offer a window into their experiences and capture their perspectives on this unprecedented moment of uncertainty, pain, loss, and resilience.
Unholy: Two Jews on the News
Yonit Levi of Israel’s Channel 12 News and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian are two of the most prominent journalists in the world today. They are also Jews. Each week, join the hosts as they dissect and debate current events shaping Israel, Jewish life – and the wider world in a blend of nuanced discussion and sparkling conversation.
This podcast has been covering the latest events of the Israel-Hamas War in their podcasts, and will likely continue its coverage in the coming weeks.
Resources for Families with Children
As events continue to evolve, The iCenter is providing resources and opportunities to learn and think strategically about ways to engage in meaningful conversations about the current and evolving events in Israel. See their website below for programs, webinars, and consultations on ways to educate yourself, your students, and your children.
The Jewish Education Project
View the evolving collection of resources in response to the horrific violence in Israel in October of 2023. The Jewish Education Project will update this space with resources educators may use to help learners engage with what is happening in age- and setting-appropriate ways.
Jewish Insider Opinion – “Guidance for talking to our kids”
“We urgently need to support parents, teachers and other communal professionals who work directly with children with resources for speaking with young people about what is going on as the present conflict continues to evolve.”
The Jewish Education Project – “How to Talk to Children About Israel Today”
Join The Jewish Education Project’s Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath and noted expert Dr. Sivan Zakai for a conversation and the sharing of resources and best practices on talking to children about Israel and the current situation.
Rabbi Edythe Held Mencher, L.C.S.W. – “How to Talk to Children About the Conflict in Israel”
“There are no simple answers, but Jewish tradition teaches us to face difficult questions and difficult times by gathering together to develop responses that best reflect our values. It is in this spirit that we offer some suggestions, knowing that every parent, grandparent, teacher and friend will adapt these to create responses that are right for the children in their lives.”
The Jewish Education Project – “How to Talk to Teens About Operation Iron Sword”
“As the crisis in Israel continues to unfold, The Jewish Education Project recognizes that our teens and tweens are experiencing complex, ever-changing emotions as this reality sets in. They are seeing horrors on social media – and may be feeling the silence of their peers. They may be worried about Israeli friends and family, or may be confused as to why, and how this is happening. As educators, we are asked to support and guide our teen learners against this backdrop, and as such, we need our own support. Join The Jewish Education Project’s Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath and Sarah Gordon of OpenDor Media for a conversation on best practices for working with teens at this unprecedented time.”
National Association of School Psychologists – “Helping Children Cope With Terrorism”
“Intentional acts of violence that hurt innocent people are frightening and upsetting. Children and youth will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Families and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. As information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions and, perhaps, even use the process as a learning experience.”