Neil and I are just back from a few weeks in Israel. It was such an important time to be there, to be able to share in the pain and trauma that the entire country is feeling, to offer our support, and to be inspired by the amazing resilience of the Israeli people. We visited with families of hostages, parents who lost their children in the Nova music festival, survivors of the heinous attacks on Kibbutzim and villages near the Gaza border, and injured soldiers in the hospitals. Their stories are tragic and horrific and their pain is immeasurable. It was an honor to bear witness to what occurred in Israel on October 7th and to be able to share these stories as we work to do all that we can to get the 136 remaining hostages released and to prevent Hamas from being an ongoing threat to Israel, the Gazan people and to the world.
Our hearts are aching for all of Israel at this devastating time. Everyone knows someone who was killed or injured or who barely survived the horrific massacre on October 7th. And everyone has loved ones serving in the IDF now, seeking to defend Israel from future attacks which Hamas has committed to perpetrating unless they can be stopped. This is such an important time to stand together with Israel and as a strong and united Jewish community, with antisemitism rearing its ugly head in the United States and around the world.
If you would like to read more about our how we spent our time on our solidarity mission with CJP, and to see the meaningful impact of the support we have raised through the CJP Israel Emergency Fund, please see this detailed report from Sarah Abramson, CJP’s Executive Vice President of Strategy and Impact. You can also view some photos from the trip below.
One of the many houses at Kibbutz Kfar Aza that were ransacked and burned on October 7th. We went house by house and heard the horrific stories of how the residents were killed, tortured, or kidnapped.
At an IDF base that houses a new unit in the IDF call Phoenix. A group of men in their 40s found a way to salvage around 100 old tanks from the junk yard and to build them into 30 new tanks and they formed a unit of other older former tank commandos who are now using these tanks to defend the Gaza border and carry out operations. An amazing story of resilience, ingenuity, and commitment to the State of Israel!
An empty Shabbat table set up in Tel Aviv’s Hostage Square, where families of those taken hostage come together to pray and share stories of their loved ones and their commitment to bringing them home.
Image at top: Our group at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.