Community Update: Israel, the War, and Our Community

It’s been over a month since the atrocities of October 7 changed our world and worldview. Our collective pain, grief, sorrow, fear, and anger are even stronger today than they were immediately following the Hamas terrorist attacks. We continue to stand with Israel and mourn those whose lives were taken in the most brutal way imaginable and those who have since sacrificed in her defense. We pray for the safe return of the more than 240 hostages in Gaza, for the safety of the IDF soldiers, for the families of innocent civilians who’ve been killed or displaced by this war, and we pray for peace. Our hearts may be broken, but our resolve is unwavering. 

This past month has reminded us what the Boulder JCC means to our community and underscores our value and unique role. Every single day, we have conversations with community members — people who are feeling a deeper sense of connection with Jewish friends far and wide, parents who are scared for their Jewish children on college campuses, Israelis who are missing family and feeling a strong pull to be in their homeland, and our allies who want to show up for us in this moment. 

Since October 7, there has been a shocking rise in antisemitism in the United States and abroad. While there is no direct, credible threat to any Jewish institution in North America, we continue to prioritize safety and security on our campus and at off-campus programs. Please remember if you see something say something. The JCC condemns all acts of hate and dehumanizing propaganda, and we invite you to join us this Wednesday, November 15 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. as we partner with the ADL, JEWISHcolorado, Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors, and other organizations to learn how the Jewish community is responding in this defining moment. Register to attend the meeting in person at Temple Emanuel or via Zoom.

During this time, the Boulder JCC’s focus has been addressing the community’s immediate needs — safety and security, supporting Israeli families, creating opportunities to come together, and providing education about Israel and the war. More than 1200 people participated in Coming Together: A Community Vigil for Israel (in person and online), where we came together with our Boulder County Rabbinical leaders for an evening of healing and connection. We will continue to listen and learn, foster connections, and hold space for all of us who are hurting. 

Our staff continues to engage in conversations with all those we serve, to better understand how the JCC can support our community as the war continues. Each of us has a role and responsibility, whether it’s the simple act of supporting friends and family, courageously speaking out against acts of antisemitism, educating ourselves so we can have tough conversations, or finding ways to connect with Jews in our community and throughout the world. 

Based on community feedback, we are offering programs to educate and support our community in learning and connecting around Israel and the ongoing war. For a full list of upcoming events and opportunities please visit our resources to support, learn, and gather. Here are some of the highlights:

In addition, our wonderful partners throughout the country have put together important programs and trainings to help in key areas where we have heard your interests:

If you have any additional thoughts or suggestions about program ideas, we encourage you to share them with us via this form and we will do our best to take all of these suggestions into consideration.

In addition to the programs specifically about Israel, we will always be a place for bringing people together, and we look forward to seeing you at one or more of our programs this month: 

Our hearts are with all those whose innocent lives have been taken in this war, civilians displaced from their homes, soldiers fighting on the front lines, and the hostages who remain captive in Gaza. Our doors are always open as we continue to process our collective heartbreak. It is during these most difficult moments when the strength of our community shines brightest.

Together,

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director

Marcia Segall
Board President

To show our solidarity and support for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas, we are partnering with Blue Ribbons for Israel. The blue ribbon symbolizes solidarity with the hostages, their families, and all who care about their safety and will be available at the Boulder JCC front desk for anyone who would like one.

About Jonathan Lev

Jonathan Lev, MPA, joined the Boulder JCC as Executive Director in 2010. He is a passionate educator and entrepreneur who combines his experience at Jewish summer camp and involvement with the startup of Boulder based Renewable Choice Energy to influence his leadership as a nonprofit executive and Jewish professional. He was certified as high school teacher and Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. For more than six years, Jonathan was a leader in the field of Jewish summer camp where he worked to enhance the level of supervision and mentorship for both campers and staff through innovative summer and year-round trainings. In 2007, Jonathan continued his studies and was selected as a Taub Fellow at New York University in the dual-master’s degree program for a Master in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and Master in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Since starting his role in 2010 at the Boulder JCC, Jonathan has led the community's $30M capital campaign to build a new JCC campus, which opened in summer 2016. He speaks regularly about making philanthropy fun and the role that inter-generational giving has on creating a legacy. Outside of work, he and his wife, Lyndsay, and their daughters, Mira and Susanna, can be found hiking, skiing, practicing yoga, listening to music, and planning their next great adventure. Follow him @jonathanlev on twitter.

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