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Recent Events In Israel

RECENT EVENTS IN ISRAEL

Over 500 missiles have been launched against Israel by Hamas and other terrorist outfits over the last 48 hours. Millions of Israelis are in shelters. Children in both Israel and Gaza are traumatized. Both sides have suffered loss of life.

No grievance aired justify these horrific attacks against the Jewish people. We pray for peace as we stand in full solidarity with Israel.

The attacks against the Jewish State must stop.

On this page you will find information on virtual events, places to get updated information in real time, resources, and personal accounts from our Israeli staff.

EVENTS

VIRTUAL: AIPAC BRIEFING
Wednesday, May 26, 8pm
Register

VIRTUAL: DAY OF ACTION AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
Thursday, May 27, 4pm
Register

PERSONAL ACCOUNTS FROM OUR ISRAELI STAFF

We sat with our coworker, our bridge to Israel, Gili Dvash, the Director of the Center for Israel, as she shared her experience living so far from home, so far from loved ones, while the strikes continue to rattle the skies of her homeland.

As Americans, we have never lived a day with this as a reality. And while we can sympathize and empathize, there is so much we cannot share in this experience.

Gili remains our bridge into Israel, with pride, love, compassion, and pain. Please read on. Please gain an understanding of what these moments are bringing to those whose reality this is.

I received a photo on the family group chat – all my nephews and nieces in one room with mattresses lining the floor. One might think, slumber party! But I recognize this routine all too well. This is the only safe room in the house. Creating a space that is as easy as possible to go through the night without having to run.

A voice recording of my 3-year-old niece comes through. “I want to see fireworks with mommy.” My twin replies, “I am shaking. I was never afraid of alarms in the past. Now I am a mother. How does one cope?” The next set of texts are surreal. “Didn’t they say shooting at Tel Aviv will start at 9pm? It’s only 8:50!” and a flow of swear words follow. As if the change in time is the horrible part in this.

My family is scattered around the country, as so my friends. Another sister writes that she is happy that their bedroom is the bomb shelter in the house, as the baby stayed asleep. A friend is in labor in the hospital in Ashqelon, one recovering from surgery in Ashdod, others are just living their lives until the next alarm.

Another group chat is made up of friends living in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and in the Sharon area. One wrote that when the alarm sounded, she was breastfeeding and had to go to the main staircase, as she never made it to the shelter in the building.

I can say full heartedly, that by living in NY, I am the only one on this thread that is safe. I tell Tom, my 5-month-old baby, that the fire department siren she is becoming accustomed to is nothing to worry about, so when she stares into my eyes, she sees my calm. I think of all of my family and friends that cannot make the same promise to their children.

No functioning government in years, a community recovering from a health crisis that leads to an economic one, do we really need this now? Either of the sides?!

When talking about what my home is facing, I was told, “no one in the US would understand what it’s like to have missiles coming from Canada or Mexico.” I replied ” It’s not the same. The missiles would be coming from Connecticut to NY. Some as far as the Adirondacks, or the Hudson River. Some as close as right here on the North Shore.”

The last few weeks have been tense. Police brutality in protests, rocks thrown at people, acts of violence with justifying agendas all over social media, news as the ground starts burning. There is suffering on both sides. I cannot imagine what a Palestinian who lives here would say about this, but I am sure that the extremists on both sides are the ones running the show.

Now this operation has a name. It’s official. Guardian of the Walls. But who will guard the walls of the heart?

— Gili D’vash, Randie Waldbaum Malinsky Center for Israel Director


I’m sitting in an ambulance right now. Not to worry, I’m on the giving side. Sitting as a medic next to my friend Rami.

Sitting in Beer Sheva, about 5 kilometers from the city of Sderot where a 6-year-old was just critically wounded. I’m close, but not close enough to help.

Israel is under fire for several days now.

No, it’s not the first time, but this time is different.

I live deep in the south, in a remote region where it takes 1.5 hours to get to a hospital.

There is one road leading to us, Rt. 25.

In the past couple of days, Israeli Arabs have blocked the road, throwing stones and lighting up tires trying to attack Jews in their own land. Our homeland.

This morning I’ve decided to join my friend and drive up to Beer Sheva to lend a helping hand and give aid to those in need.

In the Arava where I live, there are no rockets, it’s simply too far away.

But the rest of Israel, from Beer Sheva to Haifa, all is under fire, and the status quo between Jews and Israeli Arabs has been broken.

It feels weird bring in our own home and not feeling safe.

It is wrong when again and again terror groups take everyone hostage and shoot at innocent people.

What about the other side? I simply don’t care anymore.

When a 6-year-old is critically injured due to hideous attacks on innocent citizens, the other side simply does not matter.

I have three kids. I want to see them grow up peaceful in Israel, the land my grandparents, parents, and I fought for and still fight for.

I can’t have it ripped apart by terrorists and Arab Israelis who think they are better off under Shania Law.

This has got to change…

— Nadav Eylon, former Randie Waldbaum Malinsky Center for Israel Director

PERSONAL ACCOUNTS FROM THE JCC GLOBAL TEAM MEMBERS IN ISRAEL

Menachem Revivi, JCC Global Chair, who lives in Jerusalem, was asked by his worried grandchildren: “Grandpa, what will happen? ” Menachem told them how their great grandfather came to the land of Israel in the 30s as a pioneer. He dried the swamps, fought with the Wingate troupes and did everything possible for them to have a thriving state. We can’t take this state for granted- he told them- nor can we stop building and strengthening it. We are destined to share this piece of land and must find ways to live together in partnership and mutual respect; making sure to also build bridges with Jews overseas. Meachem is proud that three of his grandchildren serving in the IDF- one in the Arrow Missiles unit, the second as a lookout soldier and the third in the armoured forces reserve unit- feel that they are not only soldiers for the state of Israel but also for the Jewish People.

Sara Bogen, JCC Global board member, who lives in Tel Aviv, heard and felt the rockets flying over, one of them hit her building’s parking lot but luckily there were no casualties. She was fortunate to have in her apartment an enforced protected room and despite the tension, felt secure.

Noa Tal (who is in parental live and lives in Motza-outside Jerusalem) and Cathy Trifonov (who lives in Jerusalem) are both safe and sound.

Smadar Bar-Akiva, Executive Director, said living in Tel Aviv, the rockets started falling a short while after we concluded a moving JCC Global online event with 132  in partnership with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, جمعية ميمونة Association Mimouna, Kivunim: New Directions to celebrate the hope that Muslims and Jews can find common ground despite adversary with Morocco as a case study. I was inspired by the words of Peter A. Geffen who said that “Morocco teaches us that Islam and Judaism are not worlds apart and can join hands together.” He quoted the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel who said that history is not about the past, but rather about the promise of the future. Sadly, this cycle of war will not end the dispute and we therefore need to continue striving to find paths for understanding and dialogue even though today this task may seem naive or impossible. At JCC Global we continue our programs and not giving in to despair.