May this Shabbat bring us all peace

The world’s attention has been on Russia’s unprovoked invasion of democratic Ukraine, which has become the largest war in Europe since World War II.

We have seen the television images of innocent civilians dying, the evacuation of four million Ukrainians who are seeking refuge in foreign countries and the devastation of Ukrainian cities and towns. These include many of Ukraine’s 200,000+ Jews, a significant number of whom are impoverished and/or elderly. Amid the tragedies, we have also seen the compassionate responses around the world, including from our Jewish community.

The Savannah Jewish Federation is supporting the work of our overseas partners — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), The Jewish Agency for Israel, and World ORT — as they provide humanitarian life-saving services for the citizens of Ukraine and aid those who are finding safety and refuge in Israel. Thanks to you and people like you, our community has already raised over $100,000 to assist those in need.  You can join those who have already donated: Click here to donate to the Federation Ukraine Emergency Fund to immediately help these efforts.

And while our hearts and minds are on Ukraine, there have been three separate attacks in Israel that have killed eleven Israelis in just over a week (along with numerous wounded), raising fears that a new wave of terror has begun in the Jewish State.

The first incident on March 22, 2022 was a ramming and stabbing attack at an outdoor shopping mall in Beersheba during which four Israelis were killed and two others wounded. The terrorist was a convicted ISIS supporter. 

The second attack took place on March 27 in Hadera where two terrorists killed two police officers. During the attack, two Arab Israeli men opened fire with assault rifles on one of the city’s main streets. The two terrorists were both affiliated with ISIS. 

The third terrorist attack occurred on March 30 in the city of Bnei Brak. During this attack 5 people were shot and killed by a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank.

Among the dead were

7 Jewish Israelis including a father pushing his baby son’s stroller and a businessman on an errand;

1 Druze Israeli policeman trying to keep the peace;

2 Ukrainians chatting;

1 Christian Arab Israeli

Israel is on high alert and the army and police have bolstered their presence preparing for future terrorist attacks (including Gaza rockets).  Volunteers have been enlisted and those who have gun licenses have been advised to carry their weapons.

With Passover and Ramadan (begins tonight) occurring at the same time, many in the country believe that tensions will continue to mount.

Whether it is assisting those in need in Ukraine, or standing with our brethren in Israel, the Savannah Jewish Federation will continue to advocate, fundraise, and assist wherever and whenever it is needed.  It’s our sacred duty.

May this Shabbat bring us all peace.