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Sadly, the people of Israel remain under attack.
What began with brutal riots in the Old City of Jerusalem has grown into unrelenting rocket attacks targeting southern and central Israel. Terror groups in Gaza have launched over 1,000 rockets into Israel as Hamas' campaign of terror against Israelis continues to violently escalate. For the first time in many years, thousands of young Arab Israeli civilians have unprecedently been participating in vandalizing Jewish homes and cars and stone throwing at Jews. Everyday life in Israel has come to a complete halt as millions of Israelis, faced with trauma and fear, are forced into bomb shelters and safe rooms. Sadly, many citizens are trapped in their homes, frightened for their lives, with nowhere to turn for safety.
|"This evening I was terrified and cried because I was afraid for her life. We don't have a bomb shelter in our apartment or even in the building. I was so shocked that I took her and ran outside without my phone or shoes." Corrin spent the evening holding her baby daughter tight and continuously reassuring her as rockets were fired relentlessly over Tel Aviv.
Thousands of frail seniors in the Jewish Agency for Israel's public housing are all under the line of fire and hundreds of immigrants in their Absorption Centers, as well as Masa program participants from overseas, are confronting their first experience with an attack on Israel.
We are devastated by the innocent lives lost. The images, videos, and stories of terrified individuals and families facing the attacks and the reports of the many injured—including young children and the elderly—unable to reach shelter on time are heartbreaking. We extend our prayers for a speedy recovery—refuah shlema—and offer our condolences for all lives lost.
We don't know what's going to happen an hour from now, let alone tomorrow. We do know that we stand united in strength with the people in Israel. In this moment of crisis, and always, we offer our unwavering support through the following measures, and more:
- Support for Israeli victims of terrorism. Through Federation CJA's funding for the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), we are enabling the agency's Victims of Terror Fund to deliver emergency financial aid to Israelis. This week, funds are being deployed to help Israelis who have suffered the worst of the rocket attacks.
- Strengthening resilience in the Negev and in Beer Sheva. Federation CJA continues to work with our partner community by developing and funding programs that connect citizens to their neighbourhoods and providing support in regular times as well as in times of emergency. We are continuing to do so and are assessing the need for additional support during this terrifying time.
- Advocacy to share the truth about this conflict with our fellow Canadians. As proud Jews and proud Canadians, we have a unique perspective to share on this issue. We also have a democratic right and responsibility to make our voice heard. Through our advocacy agent, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), we are in constant communication with government officials, media, and leaders throughout Canadian society to share the truth about the rapidly evolving situation in Israel.
CIJA has also launched an action alert to mobilize thousands of community members to urge the Government of Canada to stand with our ally Israel. Now more than ever, we must remind Canadians that there can be no moral equivocation between a democracy that defends its citizens and a terror group that attacks children and seniors while using its own civilians as human shields. If you can spare two minutes, please join CIJA in sending a strong message to our elected officials. Click here: https://www.cija.ca/israelunderfire/
Through Federation CJA partners, we have also identified the following special briefing for community members to learn more and to understand what is happening beyond the headlines:
Thursday, May 13 at 12:00 - 12:30 PM EST – Click here to register
Join former Montrealer and former Member of Knesset and expert in international law Michal Cotler-Wunsh as she addresses the questions "What are the causes behind the current flare-up of violence in Israel?" and "What's really going on in Jerusalem and Gaza?"
Our team in Israel continues to closely monitor the situation on the ground. As always, Federation CJA and the Montreal Jewish community continue to stand in unity and strength with our brothers and sisters in Israel. We are ready to deliver any additional support we can and help the people of Israel get through this crisis.
Many members of the Montreal Jewish community have loved ones in harm's way at this very moment, and we join them in praying for their safety and wellbeing. We will continue to provide you with updates and the responses of our partner agencies on the ground in Israel as the situation evolves. We remain hopeful for a peaceful solution and an end to the violence.
Yair Szlak, LL.B
Chief Executive Officer,