As we all process the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel, we are working to understand what has recently happened, the implications on the broader world and Jewish people everywhere, and how we can help support one another here and in Israel. Our hope is that this page provides information and links to other resources and organizations that have more to add.
This moment in history feels different. People around the world stand shocked and disgusted by the stories of the terrorist attacks in Israel. Many Jewish people around the world also fear what this could mean to each of us, wherever we live, and no matter what our recent lives have looked like. Historical events like these haven’t ended well in the past.
Given the history of Jewish people, the limitations based on Jews in society for millennia, and the Holocaust, the global Jewish population is not very big (just under 16 million worldwide) and is closely connected through family, friendships, and community. This is why the October 7 attacks feel so personal. Most Jews know someone in Israel who personally died, is searching for or has lost a family member, needs to fight in this unexpected war, or is supporting someone now in active duty. We are all connected.
And while Jews around the world may comment on and critique decisions of the Israeli government, most also appreciate Israel as the heartbeat of global Judaism. These attacks disgust and scare us for many reasons. We mourn the loss of life and torture we hear about on the news, we fear what this means for Israel’s future in a volatile global neighborhood, and because there is nothing scarier than knowing people want to kill you just because you are Jewish.
Here in the US, Jewish Americans make up less than 2% of the population, which is why many of us have been perplexed by the fact that most protections for and advocacy in support of minorities don’t extend to Jewish people. Our hope is that the broad awareness of this week’s atrocities motivates people to learn, support their Jewish friends and each other, and most of all, eliminate hate in all forms.
On October 10, we gathered as a local Jewish community and had the privilege of hearing from elected officials who all gave strong statements in support for Israel. This level of public support helps local Jews feel safer in an uncertain world. Below are several statements from our federal, state, and local leaders. They include clear educational information, condemn terrorism, and affirm support for Israel.
Statements From Federal, State, and Local Leaders
- President Biden’s remarks on the terrorist attacks in Israel
- Senator Murray Affirms Unwavering Support for Israel, Condemns Hamas Terrorist Attacks – Senator Patty Murray (senate.gov)
- Press Releases | News | U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington (senate.gov)
- Flag Lowering 10-11-23 (tmp).pdf (wa.gov)
- ‘We must stand in solidarity’; Local leaders condemn Hamas attack on Israel (yahoo.com)
- Mayor Harrell Statement on Local Antisemitism Following Terrorist Attacks in Israel – Office of the Mayor (seattle.gov)
Statement from Mercer Island Mayor Nice and Deputy Mayor Rosenbaum:
Mercer Island stands in strong and unequivocal support of the Jewish Community and the State of Israel. We are mortified by the heinous terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas against innocent Israelis and pledge to support our local Jewish community throughout these unprecedented and terrifying times.
We are united, the first Ismaili Mayor in the United States and the son of a Rabbi, to denounce these abhorrent actions and call for our community to support our Jewish neighbors, so that Mercer Island remains a community grounded in unity and safety for all. We encourage all Mercer Island residents to stand against hatred, prejudice, and violence in all its forms and promote understanding, dialogue, and peace among all community members
Checking in on Your Jewish Friends
Several articles have been written this week stating some form of “your Jewish friends are not OK”
- A Letter to My Non-Jewish Friends | Jonathan Jaffe | The Blogs (timesofisrael.com)
- Your Jewish friends are not OK: Lori Wald – cleveland.com
- Notes from a Jewish mother (msn.com)
- Jewish Americans are not OK.
- Opinion: After Hamas attacks on Israel, we Jews are not okay | CNN
This article has some thoughts on how to help Jewish friends: To my non-Jewish friends, it’s time to show up (msn.com)
Supporting the Cause
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has launched a local effort in coordination with Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to collect and distribute funds in the areas of greatest need. One hundred percent (100%) of the funds will be allocated; there is no overhead or fee taken. JFNA has professional staff on the ground in Israel working collaboratively with a lay committee and is best equipped to assess needs holistically, ensuring dollars are put to their most effective use.
Please click here to give.
The list below includes a sample of many other impressive organizations working to support this cause.
Supporting Soldiers and Families
- Brothers and Sisters for Israel | We need your help!
- Donate – Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (fidf.org)
- America-Israel Democracy Coalition: Donate to Support Israel’s South Under Attack
- American Friends of Magan David Adom, Israel’s equivalent to the Red Cross: Home – AFMDA
- Hadassah Hospital: AT WAR: HEAL ISRAEL NOW | Hadassah (gospringboard.com)
- Volunteer EMS: Saving Lives in Israel with Rapid Urgent Medical Response – United Hatzalah (israelrescue.org)
- Supplies and equipment to first responders in Israel: Zaka Israel Need You Now! 🚨🙏 – Zaka (zakaworld.org)
- Jewish Federations of North America’s emergency fund: We Stand in Solidarity with Israel – Jewish
- Jewish National Fund: Donate to Israel for Emergency Relief (jnf.org)
- Jewish Agency for Israel: Home | Jewish Agency for Israel – North American Council (jafina.org)
- American Jewish Committee (AJC): Send notes of support to Israelis (AJC)
Here are educational resources for information on antisemitism and some that may be helpful in the workplace.
Resources on Antisemitism
- Shine a Light, tools for learning about antisemitism: Shine A Light Workplace Toolkit (shinealighton.com)
- ADL: Homepage ORG | ADL
- The Jewish Education Project: How to Talk to Your Children about Israel Today
- The Jewish Education Project: Resources for Teaching about Israel in Crisis
- Shine A Light: Navigating the Hamas Attacks + Supporting your Jewish Employees: Shine A Light Workplace Toolkit (shinealighton.com)
- Guidance for corporate leaders
U.S. citizens seeking to be in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Israel, please click here or call +1-833-890-9595 and +1-606-641-0131.
Please check back as this page will be updated.