Dear South Jersey Jewish Community,

The onslaught of rockets from Gaza continued overnight, targeting cities throughout Israel. Seven Israelis have been killed, including a five-year-old boy. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has stepped up their counter-strikes on terror targets in the Gaza Strip, and is now openly discussing the possibility of a ground offensive.

In addition to the airstrikes, unprecedented disorder continues on the Arab-Israeli street, with large-scale violence in many mixed Arab-Jewish towns. Some 375 people were arrested for rioting yesterday alone. An alarming fear of lynching between Arabs and Israelis is concerning political parties across the country, who are strongly condemning these actions. A curfew is already in place in Lod, where the most rioting has been seen; a country-wide curfew may be imposed soon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the violence saying, "Let us unite together to do the task we need as citizens of our country - to restore governance, eliminate this anarchy, and preserve and restore the security and peace we all deserve."

Please read here for a full report from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) earlier today.

The Jewish Agency for Israel issued a special update from CEO Amira Aharonovich reporting on rocket damage to an Absorption Center in Ashkelon.
On the homefront:
Social media has exploded with biased information about the situation in Israel. This is causing great stress for all, but especially for our teens at home.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), in partnership with BBYO, StandWithUs, the Israeli American Council (IAC), and NCSY, will be hosting a community call for South Jersey teens next Thursday, May 20, at 3:00 pm to offer practical advice on how to handle the current situation. For more information and resources, visit jcrcsnj.org.

In addition to our program next week, there are two additional opportunities for parents and teens TONIGHT, May 13:

StandWithUs | 7:00 pm
Zoom meeting ID: 854-6016-6280

IAC Eitanim | 8:00 pm
Supporting Israel:
As you can imagine, the damage physically and emotionally on our Israeli brethren is overwhelming. The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is working with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and our overseas partners to help support the critical needs that are emerging as a result of this conflict.
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.

If you have any questions, please contact Sabrina Spector, JCRC Associate Director, at sspector@jfedsnj.org or 856.751.9500 x1108.
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