United in solidarity
By Igor Alterman
On Oct. 7, 2023, during the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza, firing thousands of rockets, breaching the country’s borders, killing hundreds of Israelis and wounding thousands more. As we confront this crisis, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD) remains steadfast in its commitment to support our Israeli brethren and ensure the safety and well-being of our community.
JFGD stands resolutely in total solidarity with Israel, recognizing its inherent right to self-defense and the protection of its citizens. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel as they face these challenging circumstances.
In our local community, we have witnessed an outpouring of support and solidarity. Within the first few hours of registration going live, over 1,300 community members already registered for the Federation-convened Community Solidarity Gathering, a testament to the strength of our unity during trying times. This in addition to the many meaningful ways members of our community have pulled together in their schools and synagogues, to pray, cry and support each other.
To provide immediate assistance and resources to our brothers and sisters in Israel, JFGD launched the Dallas Israel Emergency Community Campaign. We urge you to show your support by contributing to this campaign, which will provide critical aid to those affected by the crisis. It is essential to note that JFGD does not charge any administrative fees associated with gifts, ensuring that all donated funds go directly to our vetted partners in Israel. We are grateful to our lead funders who stepped forward to give nearly half a million dollars within the first few hours of the campaign, including $250,000 of match funding that will be unlocked through gifts like your own, a strong start to reaching our goal of at least a million dollars in this early stage of this war.
Our efforts are magnified by our partnership with the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation (DJCF) that facilitates a lot of the donor-advised funds transactions in support of our campaign.
Locally, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, in full cooperation with local law enforcement, has implemented a heightened security posture on behalf of the community. The Federation has been in ongoing communication with all our area Jewish partner agencies and places of worship to enhance our community’s safety. We have been in coordination with Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, recognizing the immense psychological toll this crisis can have upon members of our Dallas community, many with family and friends on the front lines.
The Federation appreciates the many calls, emails and public statements of support from local, state and federal officials, as well as from many members of our Dallas interfaith community, expressing their solidarity with Israel and with the local Jewish community. These words mean much to us, inspiring pride and hope.
The Israeli response has been comprehensive, with at least 300,000 reserve soldiers called up — the largest mobilization in decades. Our partner organizations on the ground, including the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), WorldORT and the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), are actively engaged in providing emergency support, mental health assistance and critical aid to those in need.
When the terrorists attacked, their goal was to make us feel powerless. When we are united, we are anything but. Here are two things you can do right now:
Your gift to the Dallas Israel Emergency Community Campaign powers the work of our strategic partners on the ground in Israel. Please make a gift via this link: https://www.jewishdallas.org/Israel
Your voice ensures that Israel continues to receive the unwavering support and commitment of its ally, the United States, to provide for the restocking of defensive arms required to restore order and keep her people safe. Please communicate with your elected officials at the federal, state and local level via this link: https://jfeds.org/OperationSwordsofIronActionAlert
In these challenging times, we are grateful for the support of our community and our partners worldwide. Together, we will continue to stand united in solidarity with Israel, providing unwavering support to our Israeli brothers and sisters as they face this war.
Igor Alterman is JFGD president and CEO.