Israel Response and Resources

Strengthening Israeli Society is More Important than Ever

For over two decades, the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund has worked tirelessly to realize a vision of Israel as a pluralistic, democratic, and shared society with equal opportunity for all of Israel’s citizens – secular, religious, Ultra-Orthodox, Arab, and Ethiopian.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve watched in shock and disbelief at violence on the ground and rockets from above threaten to undo all the work we’ve achieved – the very foundations of our shared society buckling under long-simmering frustration and marginalization spilling over, turning neighbors against neighbors in areas previously seen as models of shared existence.

But far from discouraging us, these events have only furthered our belief in the importance of continuing such work. As such, the Federation is committed to supporting our partners in Israel as they strive to rebuild and keep advancing our goal of a shared society for all Israelis. And you, as a Federation donor, play a critical role in continuing this critical work.

On this page, you will find several ways to stay informed of the situation, donate to our trusted and vetted Israeli partners, and secure the future of an equal, free, and just Israel for everyone who lives there.

Federation Emergency Funding Update

On May 27, the Federation's Board of Directors approved an emergency grant of $63,990 to the The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to support immigrant families experiencing acute trauma and loss due to the past several weeks' violence and unrest. These flexible funds will help JDC-Israel expand the safety net and address immediate needs for 80 families in the Gaza Envelope, Greater Tel Aviv and Lod.

Federation Webinar: The Crisis in Israel and Building a Shared Society

On Tuesday morning, May 25, 2021, the Federation hosted a special briefing with Barak Loozon, Director of the Federation's Israel Office, and our Israeli partners. The speakers, who each represented different segments of Israeli society, gave frank assessments about all the pain and heartbreak the violence has caused. But they also told inspirational stories about how our Israeli partners are nevertheless forging ahead—far from defeating them, the past month's events have emboldened them. Now, more than ever, they are as convinced in their work's critical importance as they are resolute in carrying it out.

We encourage you to watch the recording, and share it with your peers, colleagues, and family. If you cannot see the video above, you can watch it via this link.

If you felt inspired by any of the speakers, we recommend learning more about them, and how their organizations are building a shared society in Israel. Remember, your gift to Federation helps our Israeli partners to do their vital work.

Giving Opportunities

The Federation’s Annual Campaign invests in partnerships with Israeli organizations that aim to change the social infrastructure in Israel to be more equitable and interconnected. We prioritize working with diverse Israelis representing all facets of Israeli society and forge relationships based on belonging, mutual commitment, and ownership of a shared future. 

Recommend a grant from your donor-advised fund to the Federation or to one of the following organizations by going to the donor portal. 

  • JDC is our funding partner for international aid. Currently, the JDC remains focused on responding to the most urgent and emerging needs of vulnerable Israelis. They are working with government partners, local municipalities, and key human service organizations to meet the needs of vulnerable Israelis, including poor families, children at risk, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Our Israel office has also recommended the following three, established Israeli organizations that do essential community-building work:

  • Co-Impact empowers the largest companies in Israel to become diverse and inclusive workplaces and builds strong multi-sector partnerships to increase the number of Arab employees working in the private sector in Israel. Co-Impact believes that employment is a change agent for making Israel more equitable.
  • AJEEC is an Arab-Jewish Center for Empowerment, Equality and Cooperation in the Negev, run by a joint team of Jews and Arabs working together to promote socio-economic development and peacebuilding among communities in transition, focusing on the local Bedouin community.
  • The Living Together Center is an initiative working to create a new social partnership among all communities and sectors in Israeli society, driven by an appreciation of the inherent richness of that diversity. The Living Together Center helps advance the common good across the fields of academia, education, culture, and public awareness.

To recommend a grant to one of these three Israeli organizations, you will grant through Jewish Federations of North America Inc. See donor portal for further instructions.

Resources

Jewish Education Project: Exploring the Current Israeli-Palestinian Crisis: Ongoing collection of resources, including analyzes about the May 2021 Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how to talk to your kids about the violence in Israel. 

J. The Jewish News of Northern California: Covers the full range of what it means to be Jewish today – from the arts to religion, food, lifecycle events, and news of our local, national, and global communities.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC): JDC staff are supporting local psychological counseling services and working with the Ministry of Education to plan trauma care treatment within the education system in cities and villages most affected by the current crisis. They're also working with families living in poverty and distress to resolve urgent issues. Responses range from releasing funds for food and other basic needs to families who are sheltering from rockets to assisting a family who lost all their possessions when a rocket destroyed their home in southern Israel.

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA): Representing 146 independent Federations and a network of 300 smaller communities across the continent. Their mission is to protect and enhance the well-being of Jews worldwide through meaningful contributions to the community, Israel, and civil society.

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC): JCRC is a public-affairs organization that represents the Bay Area Jewish community in matters that affect us individually and as a community. They've been hard at work conducting outreach in the public sphere and build a shared society both in Israel and here in the Bay Area. In addition to pressing civic leaders to address the increasing antisemitism that the conflict has brought, JCRC's Invest In Peace initiative seeks to change the zero-sum game narratives dominating the current conversation and instead center the work and voices of Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers who are advancing a shared society. You can do your part in changing the conversation by following Invest in Peace on Facebook or Instagram, and inviting your friends and followers to do the same.

The Kitchen (SF) – Jerusalem Crisis: The Kitchen, a famously innovative and inclusive San Francisco congregation, has compiled and is maintaining a list of resources on the current crisis.

The Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues: The task force continued its webinar series, "May 2021 Escalations: Socio-Economic and Shared Society Insights," on Tuesday, June 1. The lively and informative session saw experts and activists to try and piece together exactly what happened, why it happened, and where the work goes from here on out. Watch the recording for informative, on-the-ground perspectives and analyses on the crisis.

Shalom Hartman Institute: The institute has recently published several episodes of its Identity/Crisis podcast that specifically focus on the recent violence in Israel, and its implications for making peace. You can listen to the podcast on the institute's website.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.