Dear South Jersey Jewish Community,

Amidst the rocket attacks and social unrest, the tragic loss of life, and widespread safety concerns, we know many in our community want to help support Israel and the Israelis living there during this difficult time. Our Federation partners are already responding to the crisis.

You can help, too, with a gift to our Jewish Federation's Global Connections Area of Impact. Join us in standing with Israel, now and always.

The full amount of your contribution will be sent to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) which is distributing funds from Federations across the country to our partners on the ground in Israel.
You can designate your gift to our emergency Global Connections campaign in the following ways:

An unrestricted gift in support of Israel
These funds will be directed to the most pressing needs as requested by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Psychological services for new immigrants and employees
These funds will provide tailored psychological intervention for the 3,000 new immigrants and program participants living in Jewish Agency Absorption Centers in the south and, in particular, for the 900 children who are already displaying signs of trauma.

Victims of Terror Fund
This fund is a critical part of JFNA's crisis response strategy in Israel, providing relief and support to victims and their families within 48 hours of an attack.

Masa Israel Journey
Masa is the global leader in long-term immersive experiences in Israel for young Jewish adults from around the world. They are dealing with unexpected expenses as a result of this crisis on behalf of the 7,000+ fellows living in Israel.

The rocket fire continued unabated last night, including three projectiles (thought to be large “Grad” rockets) fired from Lebanon towards Israel presumably by the terror group Hezbollah. The rockets were shot from south of the Lebanese city of Tyre and fell into the sea, directly across from the Israeli city of Nahariya, and did not cause any damage. Unfortunately, two more Israelis were killed, bringing the total to nine Israeli lives lost during this conflict. However, Magen David Adom reports having treated over 500 from violence. Nearly 400 people were hurt as a result of rocket fire while 160 more were injured during clashes and riots. Palestinians are reporting that 115 people have been killed and 600 injured since the fighting began.
 
In the largest attack since the fighting began, around midnight last night, some 160 aircraft conducted a simultaneous massive attack, dropping 450 missiles on a network of terror tunnels dug by Hamas under Gaza City. According to the IDF, the operation, which lasted 45 minutes, is a severe blow to Hamas’ ability to operate in the city. During the aerial bombings, Israeli tanks, artillery cannons, and infantry troops on the Gaza border fired barrages at Hamas targets that had emerged during the assault to attack Israeli positions. The IDF stressed that its ground forces remained on Israel’s side of the border. In total, some 500 artillery shells and 50 tank shells were fired by Israel during the exchange. The IDF has said it will call a further 9,000 troops, as speculation mounts that Israel may be considering a ground offensive into Gaza.
 
Of grave concern is the rioting that is happening throughout Israel. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin met yesterday with the mayors of a number of Arab and Jewish towns.

The President told the council heads, “Condemn these events outright. Do not allow them to happen. We are better than this. Our home is on fire, and we don’t have another one. We are determined to maintain the security of our citizens, and that determination must direct us in dealing with the violence that is raging on the streets of Israel. This is home to us all, and we all bear the right and the duty to protect it. To defend it from all those who seek our harm beyond our borders, and to defend it from criminals fomenting disorder at home.” 

The President added, “The violent disturbances we saw yesterday are a genuine threat to Israeli sovereignty. We must not allow it – even through silence – but must speak out clearly to commit to the rule of law in Israel, and to our shared existence. We must not allow extremists to set the tone. We must not allow violence to triumph. We are the moderate majority, Jews and Arabs, who want to continue to live here together.”

Please read here for a full report from JFNA.

Yesterday morning, the Jewish Federations of New Jersey coordinated a briefing with the acting Israeli Consul General in New York with NJ State legislatures and their staff.
Behind the Scenes
The Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey are here to support Israel and our community during these trying times.
Israel Crisis Update resource webpage
Visit jcrcsnj.org/israelupdate for regular updates on the crisis in Israel throughout the day.

Advocate for Israel
Use our guide to help advocate for Israel in your daily conversations.

Contact your elected officials
Use AIPAC's "Contact Your Elected Officials" form to encourage our members of Congress to speak up in support of Israel at this time.

Teen Israel Education & Advocacy event
Thursday, May 20, at 3:00 pm. Please share this tip sheet and event flyer with your kids and neighbors.

Become a JCRC Social Media Ambassador
Help change the narrative on social media about the current conflict and pro-Israel support beyond. Fill out our JCRC Social Media Ambassador Intake Form if you are interested in helping with social media.

Do you have family, friends living in Israel?
If you have family or friends currently living in Israel who may be will to provide "on the ground' email or video updates, please contact Sabrina Spector, JCRC Associate Director, at sspector@jfedsnj.org or 856.751.9500 x1108.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Israel
Our thoughts and prayers are will all the Lone Soldiers, IDF soldiers, and the family and friends of our community currently living in Israel. If you should need any assistance in coping with anxiety and stress during this crisis, please reach out to our Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service (JFCS) agency at info@jfedsnj.org or 856.424.1333.
Additional Information
We will continue to provide updates as developments unfold on our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) website at jcrcsnj.org/israelupdate and on social media.

The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and its agencies will be closed on Monday, May 17, and Tuesday, May 18, in honor of the holiday of Shavuot. We plan to continue with our updates on Wednesday, May 19.

If you have any questions, please contact Sabrina Spector, JCRC Associate Director, at sspector@jfedsnj.org or 856.751.9500 x1108.
This community update brought to you by: