Dear PSJC Community,
Sukkot was a beautiful, joyful time at PSJC. After a very rainy start, the sukkah
was filled with wonderful, well-attended gatherings for people of all ages.
But Zman Simchateinu—The Season of our Joy—was crushed early Saturday
morning when we heard of the horrific and ongoing attack on Israel by Hamas
terrorists. The exuberance of Simchat Torah was replaced by deep sadness,
grief and shock. . .
Many of us came together on Shabbat morning, grateful for the gift of community,
supporting one another, offering prayers for the state of Israel, the soldiers of Israel,
the people of Israel, adding those who had been killed only hours prior to our Yizkor
With heavy hearts, as this war began, we gathered on Saturday night and again on
Sunday for subdued but emotional Simchat Torah observances which focused our
hearts and our prayers even more on Israel and the hope for safety and peace,
reminding us all that we continue to be steadfast in our commitment to Israel.
Prayer is one way we can express that commitment, but there are actions that are
needed as well. Please consider making a donation to organizations such as those
below that you know to be reliable partners:
UJA-Federation of NY Israel Emergency Fund
American Friends of Magen David Adom
Friends of Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital. (Near the Gaza Border).
These donations will help cover a variety of medical emergency equipment.
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
Hundreds of thousands of Israel’s reservists have been mobilized to the front line,
but they are fitted with outdated gear from the ‘80s. A donation for the best
protective gear out there—a Ceramaic vest + helmet—is $690. If you have the
means, please donate to help provide this life-saving equipment:
Many Israelis are stuck in New York with no flights back home.
If you can offer temporary housing, please fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfeoIEjjyF2AhRhSm3zY2tHuyTGEryWA3pF5JLWxptfACyv_Q/viewform
The UJA and JCRC will be setting up a large vigil and rally on Israel’s behalf on
Tuesday at 5:00PM at a MidtownEast Manhattan. We will send out more details
as they become available. I will be leaving from PSJC at 4:15PM if anyone
would like to go with me from there.
Elad, our Shaliach, has organized a zoom with Neil Lazarus on Tuesday,
October 10 | 12PM EST He will speak about the relationship of Israel and Hamas,
Gaza Strip, and will give an update from Israel about the situation "on the ground."
We will have the zoom link available on our website.
The pain of these days is immense, and we know that many in our community are
affected quite personally, fearing for friends and family alike. We at PSJC are here
to support one another. To that end, Nir Sadovnik and I will be holding an
open-circle for people who would simply like to process together.
This gathering will be Wednesday, October 11th, from 5:15-6:45PM in the
PSJC tent. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you would like to talk during
these challenging days.
Showing our support for Israel—as a PSJC community—and as a broader Jewish
community—is particularly important right now. As we learn of communal gatherings
in New York, we will be sure to share it with you.
Prayer alone is not enough in moments like this. But perhaps it can give help us
center ourselves. Perhaps it can help us work our way through the mix of emotions
that is flooding our hearts and our minds as the reality of this horrific time comes
forward. Perhaps it can be a place to start as we go about the work of connection
and support so needed at this time. And so, I will close with a simple prayer:
Y’hi Shalom b’heilech—Shalvah b’armenotaiyich—May there be peace within your
walls, (O Israel)—serenity within your homes. May the rockets and the violence
come to an end. May all who have been captured, be returned safely.
May the people of Israel regain a sense of security and wholeness.
And may we help them know that they are not alone.
As we sang repeatedly this weekend: Adonai Oz L’amo Yiten, Adonai Y’varech
et Amav Ba-Shalom. May God give strength to God’s people,
and may God bless God's peoples with peace..
Rabbi Carie Carter