October 13, 2023
- Jewish Community
It is hard to put into words the unimaginable pain and sorrow of the past few days. We are only beginning to bear witness to the full depravity of the brutal terror attacks launched by Hamas and the ensuing violence they have caused. As we grapple with the magnitude of this moment, we express our love and unwavering support for the Israeli people, including our colleagues, grantees and partners, who are experiencing tremendous hardship and uncertainty.
This crisis has touched everyone in some way, with both gut-wrenching stories of loss and extraordinary stories of heroism and survival. We mourn for the more than 1,200 (and rising) lives lost. We continue to hope for the safe return of those still missing, held hostage and in harm’s way. We pray for the safety of those called up to serve their country. And we pray for the many innocent Palestinian families also caught in this crisis.
In times of hardship, the Jewish people have always tapped into our tradition of strength and resilience—and this moment is no different. We are incredibly inspired by the efforts that many of our grantees are leading—providing urgent humanitarian aid, sharing trustworthy news and updates, bringing communities together in solidarity, raising funds to provide necessary protection and supplies for Israel’s reservists and much more. To name just a few examples:
IsraAID is partnering with local and civil society organizations to coordinate humanitarian efforts and provide psychosocial support and urgent aid to vulnerable communities, evacuees and their families. They have provided disaster relief and trauma counseling around the world, including for Syrian and Afghani refugees and in South Sudan. This is the first time IsraAID is doing trauma counseling in Israel.
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has activated its emergency team and protocols to support those now in the line of fire—including elders, people with disabilities, children and families.
Jewish Federations of North America is raising and distributing vital resources to organizations supporting terror victims, rebuilding damaged infrastructure and addressing unprecedented trauma.
OLAM is collating and disseminating information on the work of Israeli organizations responding to the situation.
We will continue to lift up our partners’ efforts throughout this time in the hopes that we can inspire and support each other.
At Schusterman, we are supporting emergency response efforts to help the Israeli people with immediate needs, humanitarian aid, trauma response and more. We are also supporting reservists, who are the children, friends and relatives of our colleagues and loved ones in Israel. As the situation evolves, we will provide additional help to meet near and long-term needs.
“Israel has been core to our family’s philanthropy for more than three decades,” said Stacy Schusterman, Chair of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.
“While we do not yet know the full impact of the horrifying attacks by Hamas terrorists, it has already been catastrophic on an unimaginable scale. We mourn the lives lost, pray for the safety of all who are missing and being held hostage, and wish those being called to serve their country a safe return. Through our Israeli colleagues and grantees, we are working to support and strengthen Israeli society while witnessing the spirit and resiliency of the Israeli people. We will persevere, and we will be there to support Israel.”