Israel Under Attack: Resources and Ways to Help

by Rabbi Audrey Pollack, October 31, 2023

Dear Solel,

As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, we are receiving frequent requests for “How can I help?” and “What can we do?” to support Israel during this time of crisis. It can also be hard to communicate and share your feelings about what is happening. Here are some resources that we hope can help.

Feel free to share this with someone who may find it useful or meaningful.


Your support is both substantively and symbolically critical. Please give at the level you are able. Please note that money is what is most helpful, not items sent from here. While we understand the impulse to want to gather and send items, donations of funds will enable community organizations to bulk purchase needed supplies, clothing, personal care items, etc. and distribute them efficiently.

Here’s a list of organizations to support:

As we follow the developing news in Israel, we urge you to keep up to date on what is happening and ways you can help:

Be An Advocate

Contact your federal, provincial, and local representatives – call, email, and write letters. Thank them for their clear support for Israel. Ask that they do everything they can for the immediate release of those taken hostage by Hamas. Express your concerns about the rise in antisemitism across Canada and the world. Share anything else you want them to know.

Support Israelis Landing in Toronto: UJA is working with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) Toronto, and other local Jewish organizations to help the Israelis who are in the Greater Toronto Area during this crisis. JIAS and UJA are assessing needs on an individual basis and providing access to help with childcare, schooling, programs for seniors, short-term accommodations, mental health support, and more. Learn more and support.

Stay informed: Now is the time to stay engaged with the unfolding events in Israel. Find trustworthy news sources to follow.
News Sources:

  • The Times of Israel claims to have no partisan political affiliation and to be fair minded in its analysis.
  • i24 News broadcasts in English, French and Arabic and aims to bring “unfiltered, unbiased, global news from where it happens.”

Social Media:
In this age of 24/7 news cycles, not to mention Instagram Live and TikTok, our feeds can be saturated, and it is hard to wade through bias, misinformation, and inaccurate coverage.
There have been a number of deeply troubling posts on social media that are antisemitic, anti-Israel, and/or contain misinformation or disinformation. This guide can help you respond to these posts online.

Also, know that you have permission to step away for periods of time from the news and from social media. There are ways to stand in solidarity with the people of Israel that is not scrolling through news and social media feeds If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, turn it off, and take time to focus on other things, and to take care of yourself. This is especially important for pre-teens and teens.

Read: A great way to quickly (or not so quickly depending on which you choose) get caught up on the history that got us to this moment.
Non-Fiction Books:


Resources from the Reform Movement

The worldwide Reform Movement is standing in solidarity and mourning with the people and State of Israel. We pray for an end to the war, healing for those injured, and the safe return of all those taken captive by Hamas.

The most recent updates from the Reform Movement can be found here.

Recent webinars:

  • Resilience, Relief, and Compassion – recorded on October 25 by the Israel Reform Movement and partners. Hear from family members of the hostages, harrowing stories from escapees from Kibbutzim of Shaar Ha Negev, and learn about the global Reform Movement’s work to provide relief, compassion, and hope during this terrible time.
  • The iCenter for Israel Education FAQ: Gaza and Israel
  • Journalist Amir Tibon’s personal story – Diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Amir Tibon shares his powerful personal story of survival and rescue.

Talk with Kids and Teens

To help adults navigate conversations about events in Israel with your children or grandchildren, we’ve compiled a list of resources:
The URJ has compiled a toolkit with resources to help parents and caregivers talk with their children about the current situation in Israel in an authentic, age-appropriate manner.

PJ Library has compiled these resources for parents and grandparents.
Resources from 18 Doors for Interfaith, Intercultural and all families:

Join the webinar Israel at Your Kitchen Table: Strategies for Talking with Teens or view the recording Thursday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET presented by Moving Traditions. A one-hour conversation about how parents and teens can keep talking even as we may find ourselves with very different sources of information, peer groups, and possible responses to the ongoing war.

View the recording of How To Talk to Children About Israel Today, a Webinar from the Jewish Education Project, for parents of young children, recorded October 10th.

View the recording of Guidance for Parents of Tweens and Teens, a Webinar from the Jewish Education Project, recorded October 16th.

Show Up for Shabbat

In moments when we feel unsettled, worried, and isolated, we need synagogue more than ever. Join us at Solel in person or on livestream for prayer and community on Shabbat Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, and on Tuesdays in person for morning minyan.

Pray for the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, the civilians held captive, and for peace. Prayer is how we give expression to our hopes for our world. Israel needs our prayers now more than ever. At home, in the synagogue, wherever you are – now is the time to pray.

In times like this, it can be difficult to find the words for such things, so the CCAR has compiled a free booklet of prayers.

Music can be uplifting and calming:
View the recording of Our Hearts are in the East, a webinar produced by Sing Unto God on October 9 featuring music, poetry, and prayer with Reform musicians, clergy, and friends.
View the recording of Unity in Harmony, a webinar presented by Judaism Alive and Jewish Rock Radio on October 26 featuring music, poetry, and prayer with lots of your favorite musicians, clergy, and friends.

Meditation can help keep you centered and ease anxiety. The Institute for Jewish Spirituality offers a free daily opportunity to meditate in community.

Tend to your physical health and your mental health. Do something life-affirming. It is also an act of resistance and resilience to lean into living and to care for yourself.

עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל כָּל בְּנֵי אָדָם וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya-aseh shalom aleynu v’al kol yisrael, v’al kol b’ney adam.V’imru amen.
May the One who causes peace to reign in the high heavens let peace descend on us, on all Israel, and on all the world. And let us say: Amen.

Rabbi Audrey S. Pollack

Filed under: Rabbi's Message

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