Beth Shalom Synagogue stands with Israel and unequivocally supports Israel’s right to exist and defend herself. We join the Jewish Federation’s statement on behalf of the Jewish community of Baton Rouge.

We support the Israeli government and the IDF in protecting and defending our beloved Jewish State, which has experienced a barrage of thousands of deadly rockets. We stand with all the people of Israel who are under attack. We mourn those who have died, Jews and Muslims alike, and we pray for the speedy recovery of all the injured.

As Jews we have been taught that we do not wait for a crisis to provide support for our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the globe. We know that when a problem arises, help will be needed immediately, and therefore a permanent infrastructure must be in place to provide that help.

We also know that when Jews are in trouble anywhere in the world, the Jewish Federation system does not wait to be asked for help. Instead, we reach out and ask what is needed, and then we deliver that help. That is exactly what JFNA has done-calling each of their core partners to determine what extraordinary needs have arisen during this crisis.

It was recommended to the JFNA Officers that Federations be asked to consider supporting these needs with supplemental support. The officers approved this recommendation this week and the JFNA staff has now opened a special mailbox to collect these donations. We, as a Federation, will make a direct contribution to this cause. We invite you, as individuals, to do the same.

The total approved list of needs equals approximately $1.3M. It covers extra support for Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) to replenish the Victims of Terror Fund that provides immediate cash relief to victims and their families within 24 hours after an attack, to work with the recently arrived Ethiopian Olim who are experiencing great trauma from this violence, and to support the MASA students who have just arrived in the country.

We would be surprised if this is the last supplemental request for support that will come during this crisis. We are aware of the need to be measured and careful, as this crisis could last longer and escalate in dimensions. However, we believe it is important, both substantively and symbolically, to respond immediately with some initial support so that our Israeli partners know without question that we are here for them.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge
Board of Directors