Latest Israel Update from JEWISHcolorado

We continue monitoring major developments locally and in Israel related to Israel’s war against Hamas.

What We’re Doing:

  • JEWISHcolorado continues its work to raise the needed dollars to support this effort. With your support, we have unlocked the $650,000 match to total $1.3 million. In addition to our ongoing support to the JFNA emergency fund (which is actively distributing grants to our partners at JAFI and JDC), we have also made our first grant of $25,000 to Nitzana, one of our regional partners. Please see below for more details.
  • JEWISHcolorado co-sponsored a rally Sunday at Colorado’s State Capitol. Coordinated by IAC, the rally featured Governor Jared Polis, US Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold, US Representatives Joe Neguse, Jason Crow, and Brittany Pettersen, Colorado Senator Dafna Michaelson-Jenet, and Colorado Representative Ron Weinberg, all of whom spoke in support of Israel. An estimated 2,000 people attended the rally.
  • We continue to work closely with through our Regional Safety & Security Initiative as we monitor for any enhanced threats across the community. We are also working with statewide Jewish institutions on security assessments as they reach out for assistance.
  • On Friday, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) announced an unprecedented half-a-billion campaign to which each of the 146 federations are asked to contribute. JFNA has asked that JEWISHcolorado’s Renée Rockford and Ben Lusher attend a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to get more details on this campaign.
  • JEWISHcolorado’s fair share of this campaign will be $3.1 million – and we will need your continued generosity and support.
Rally on October 15 at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

What’s Happening in our community:

  • Many of our former Shinshinim and community partners have been called up to fight. Click here for an amazing video featuring nearly every one of our former Colorado Shinshinim – all in uniform.
  • Our IST summer staff with whom many will be familiar, Talia Schwimmer, Omer Yorshansky, and Hillel Kaufman have been called up. Our former Ramat HaNegev partnership coordinator Jared White has been called up, as well as Nadav Eylon, our Jewish Agency for Israel representative.
  • In saying goodbye last night, Nadav wrote, “I was called to serve with my team of brave 25 fighters. I am not sure if all of you know, but I am a Reserves Major in the Israeli Special Forces, Counter Terrorism Unit. Some of my unit fighters perished in the first several hours. I postponed my mobilization for a week, but I cannot wait any longer. I am flying out tonight to join my brothers in arms … We can all push ourselves more, we all need to give our 130% now.”

International Updates:

  • U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Israel and reaffirmed the United States’ “unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism.”
  • A bipartisan delegation of Senators led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which included Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), also visited and pledged support for an aid package from Congress. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced today that another bipartisan group of Senators will be visiting Israel soon, in addition to Saudi Arabia, with the goal of continuing peace talks.
  • In one of the first snapshots of America public opinion, this CNN poll indicates that 71% of those polled “believe Israel’s response is fully or partially justified,” while 21% responded they are not sure and only 8% responded that Israel’s actions are “not justified.”

And Finally . . .

  • Our former Shaliach Itai Divinsky is in Nitzana in the south of Israel, taking in hundreds of evacuees. JEWISHcolorado has made some of its first funding allocations, including to Nitzana.
  • Itai wrote early today, “We are already seeing numbers of people arriving in Nitzana grow. At this moment there 104 Ethiopian Olim staying with us, and 40 Eritrean asylum seekers that had, very literally, nowhere else to go. There are families with young children and begin in Nitzana gives them the opportunity to provide some normalcy for their kids. In accordance with the values of Nitzana and JCO, we are helping populations that without us might have no one else to turn to. We are also hosting several families from the Gaza envelope area that reached out, we are expecting those requests to grow. Please convey our love to the rest of JCO and the community. Knowing you are there in partnership and support gives us strength to continue this important work.”

We cannot do this work without you,
Renée Rockford, President & CEO
Ben Lusher, Board Chair

About Renee Rockford

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