Dear South Jersey Jewish Community,

It has been an active couple of days during Shavuot in Israel with the loss of more life, including two Thai workers and the injury of 10 Israeli civilians. Hamas fired numerous rockets towards three major Israeli air force bases in the country's south yesterday, but none of the rockets hit the bases.

A measure of calm has returned to mixed Jewish-Arab towns, with considerably less rioting and violence. 

Yesterday morning, the Keren Shalom Crossing from Israel into Gaza was set to be opened by the IDF to allow for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population and the exit of foreign nationals. However, Hamas fired mortars at the crossing, preventing 40 trucks of food, medical equipment, and humanitarian aid to cross. There were two additional attempts to allow the convey through but both times, Hamas fired mortars again. Despite the attacks, Israel has said that it remains committed to ensuring the transfer of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
 
Israel continues to strike at terror targets inside Gaza and reports that considerable damage has been inflicted on the terror group’s infrastructure and ability to carry out future attacks. Overnight, the IDF continued to strike Hamas’ underground tunnel network (known as the “Hamas Metro”). Some 52 Israel Air Force planes dropped over 100 bombs in 25 minutes along 7 miles of the tunnel network. In total, some 65 miles of underground tunnels and terrorist infrastructure have been destroyed during the current campaign.
 
In the last 24 hours, repeated reports of an impending or unofficial ceasefire have been received, and there have, in fact, been numerous periods of several hours without rocket fire for the first time since the fighting began. However, on each occasion, the lull ended and Hamas rockets resumed their attack. Nonetheless, various media reports in Israel suggest that the fighting will likely end in the coming days when some sort of ceasefire agreement is reached.

Please read here for a full report from JFNA earlier today.
Upcoming Events
Thursday, May 20 | 2:30 pm Eastern
ADL's Fighting Hate from Home webinar - "Under Attack: The Surge of Anti-Semitism During the Conflict in Israel and the Region"
Thursday, May 20 | 3:00 pm Eastern
Teen Israel Education & Advocacy event
This event is for teens only. Learn more here.
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.

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.

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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