On the way back to North Carolina from the November 14th March for Israel demonstration in Washington, I mentioned to those on our bus six actions that American Jews should undertake now.
Here are the six actions that I recommended.
- Donate to the JFNA’s Israel Emergency Fund. In our community, we are encouraging people to donate to the Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Emergency Fund. Many of the movements and organizations in Jewish life are supporting this fund. To donate, contact your local Jewish Federation.
- Increase the Awareness of Others by joining the Blue-Ribbon Campaign. According to the campaign: “The blue ribbon symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists in Israel. It symbolizes solidarity with the hostages, their families, and all who care about their safety. Wearing a ribbon publicly unites you with people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time.” But there is more. People may ask: “Why are you wearing that blue ribbon?” When they do, you can mention your solidarity with the hostages and with Israel.
- Stay aware and informed. One of the great sources of information on Israel at present is The Times of Israel Daily Briefing. 15 minutes a day is all that it takes to listen to this podcast. You may access it here and also on many popular streaming services.
A second great source is a daily briefing put out by the Israel consulate. It may be subscribed to by writing to this email address: email@example.com. There is a good amount of “shareable” information on this daily update.
For Reform Jews, the ARZA weekly email by Josh Weinberg is excellent. To subscribe, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I would like to say that any webinar with IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus is worth listening to. His briefings are usually from the battlefield. Keep your eyes open for them.
- Post and share on social media. It is important, for those of us on social media of any sort, that we post often and frequently. Israel’s official voice in the US has always had its limitations and this time is no different. Israel needs our help in this area! It is up to us to help them out and we can do so by sharing things that others have posted and posting and/or making our own posts. Often the shorter and more graphic the post the better. Encourage others to share your posts. The information from the consulate is quite useful in this regard. At present, I believe that it is critical that we keep on posting about the fate of the more than 240 hostages as well as the genocidal cruelty that Hamas perpetrated on October 7.
- Speak with Congress. There are two issues on which I have been lobbying. One is the $14.3 billion emergency aid to Israel. This is becoming more critical every day. Israel’s battle is not just against Hamas, but is against a medieval theology with 21st century weapons. The support of the United States, as well as a strong US Israel relationship, is critical at this juncture.
According to some congressional offices, calls against additional funding are running at a 10 to 1 ratio.
I am also lobbying to let our members of Congress know that Jewish institutions here are having to spend additional tens-of-thousands of unbudgeted funds in order to increase security. I do believe that there will be money set aside for this as well, but we need to make sure that this is on their radar screens.
You may determine and access your Members of Congress and Senators at action.aipac.org/congressional-call-center or by calling the Congressional Switchboard at 202 224 3121.
- Be Jewish and Connect to the Jewish Community. Now more than ever it is important to connect with the Jewish community. Make a personal vow to yourself that at least once a week, you will do something Jewish and do it with other Jews. This could be social or educational or it might be a weekly Torah study and, of course, worship services. Now is also a good time to invite people to your house for a Shabbat dinner. Now more than ever, we need to feel connected to the Jewish people!
So, these are the six actions that we need to do now.
Am Yisrael Chai! Yahad Ni-na-tza-ach! Together we will prevail!