Fifty years, almost to the day, after the Yom Kippur War, Israel was surprised again Saturday by an enemy attack on a holiday and shabbat. After launching thousands of rockets across southern and central Israel, Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israeli border towns, indiscriminately killing civilians and soldiers and reportedly taking both military and civilian hostages.
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Statement and appeal from JEWISHcolorado:
Dear JEWISHcolorado Community,
We continue to monitor the devastating news out of Israel today where Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented land, air, and sea attack on Israel from Gaza, firing more than 2,500 rockets, breaching the country’s borders, killing at least 900 Israelis, injuring more than 2,000, and inflicting significant damage on border communities. The attack comes 50 years and a day after the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
In response to this significant and unprovoked attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was at war to defend its sovereignty and its people and gave the order for the IDF to commence “Operation Swords of Iron.”
Many of JEWISHcolorado’s partners live in southern towns, and kibbutzim. We are reaching out to friends and colleagues to verify their safety and offer support to help them return home to Colorado if possible. A Colorado trip with Ibex Investors was in its initial stages, and many from the Denver and Colorado community are in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We also have people in our community whose families, as part of the IDF reserves, have been called up to fight. Both of us also have family members traveling, living, and studying there.
JEWISHcolorado is working with our core partners to support victims of terror, help rebuild damaged infrastructure and address the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by this horrific attack. You can support these efforts here: https://www.jewishcolorado.org/donate/. Barry and Gay Curtiss-Lusher, writing from a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv, and their children, including JEWISHcolorado Board Chair Ben Lusher and his wife Nicole, have offered a $20,000 dollar-for-dollar match for immediate help. All funds given will support efforts on the ground in Israel. We know there will be tremendous need. Additional support can be directed to Jewish Federations of North America, or the Jewish Agency.
We are also working with Phil Niedringhaus locally and the broader Secure Community Network. At this time, the Duty Desk is not aware of any threats to the Jewish community in North America but is actively monitoring for any potential Hamas sympathizers that may consider taking action against Jewish facilities domestically. Past events in the Middle East have served as a catalyst for protests, targeted action, and acts of violence against Jewish institutions and community members.
SCN recommends that Jewish facilities ensure their security protocols are in place, and both state and local law enforcement are cognizant of the potential for an international event to have domestic implications.
We will communicate with any shifts in upcoming JEWISHcolorado events, including CHOICES and the JEWISHcolorado Public Officials Mission as soon as we have that information. We are also working with our Israel-focused global and local partners to plan local events of support. Jewish Federations of North America is hosting a webinar for further updates on Sunday, October 8 at 10am MT.
We will continue to keep you apprised.
Renée Rockford, President & CEO
Ben Lusher, Board Chair
Statement from Boulder JCC:
Dear Friends of the Boulder JCC,
Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with Israel as we begin to see and hear the devastating reports of what is happening this Shabbat morning and holiday of Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah. The crisis in the region reminds us of the fragility of peace.
We want to take a moment to express our solidarity with Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel, as well as all those who yearn for peace and security in the region.
Our partners at Jewish Federations of North America shared the following statement:
Once again, on a holy day of the Jewish calendar, the people of Israel have come under attack. Once again, the brave military forces of the State of Israel are responding and will defend our beloved Jewish state. And once again the Jewish communities of North America stand in total and complete solidarity with our Israeli brethren. We pray for their safety and will do everything we can to ensure the complete and total success of their efforts. And once again the Jewish Federations across North America will act immediately and comprehensively to support our brothers and sisters as they defend Israel.
In these challenging times, let us unite as a community and extend our support for Israel and our hope for a peaceful resolution to the current situation.