Over the past few days, Hamas has escalated its campaign of terror against Israelis. This began with violent riots in the Old City of Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount. It grew into a brazen rocket attack targeting Israel’s capital, yesterday on Jerusalem Day. Over the past 24+ hours, it has further escalated with terror groups in Gaza firing multiple barrages of rockets at the residents of southern and central Israel – including 137 rockets in the span of just five minutes at one point.
We are deeply saddened and outraged that multiple Israelis and at least one foreign national were killed in today’s attacks. So too, we are gravely concerned by the many images, videos, and stories coming out of Israel this evening. Perhaps most heartbreaking are media reports that the injured include children and elderly Israelis who were not able to reach shelter in time.
This week and always, we reaffirm with pride that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Israel. But actions speak louder than words, and we also wanted to update you on the various measures we have taken – this week and over the years – that are helping to make a difference in this moment of crisis. In particular:
- Supporting Israeli victims of terrorism. Through Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver’s national funding for the Jewish Agency for Israel, 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. While this fund continues to provide immediate financial assistance to families whose households have suffered a direct hit, additional funds are needed to ensure the safety and security of our people and build long-term resilience among those who are impacted the most. In support, Jewish Federation has set-up the Israel Under Fire Fund. Donate now.
- Mashabim the Community Stress Prevention Centre (CSPC) in Kiryat Shmona, is a 24/7 emotional assistance and support hotline centre in six languages. Funded by Federation, CSPC’s expert therapists provide service to individuals, families and groups, and they specialize in working with children using creative methods. The centre treats patients on a wide variety of issues from stress and anxiety, to depression, OCD, eating disorders, coping with illness and recovery, and PTSD of various types, including from military service.
- 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 voices 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. Click here to help CIJA urge the government of Canada to stand with Israel.
To learn more about the crisis in Israel, we invite you to participate in the following:
- Jewish Federation of North America webinar
Join 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? What's really going on in Jerusalem and Gaza?"
Thursday, May 13 from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem webinar
Community Conversation: Straight Talk About the Current Events in Israel with Ambassador Aharoni
Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.