Dear San Diego Jewish Community,
As we stay glued to our TV sets and news feeds, call friends and loved ones and do all we can to learn more about the developing situation in Israel, I want to share news from Federation’s Israel Connections Director, Jane Fantel, who is on the ground in Jerusalem.
Earlier this afternoon, Jane spoke with Alon Schuster, Mayor of Sha’ar HaNegev, our sister community located on the border with Gaza. He reported that many people who live in kibbutzim near Gaza are leaving their homes and finding shelter with family and friends in parts of Israel where it is safer. Children's camps have been closed or moved indoors. Families find themselves sleeping together in their safe rooms as the sirens go off at all hours.
Even in the face of all this danger, Alon made a point to say that, thankfully, there haven’t been any casualties and no kibbutzim have been hit. Alon wanted his friends in San Diego to know that the people of Sha'ar HaNegev are okay, strong and resilient.
Jane reported that she, and the people of Israel, have access to a smart phone with an app called Red Alert that notifies them every time there is a missile coming into Israel from Gaza. In the past seven hours, she has been alerted 36 times. That’s an average of over five attacks an hour. Jane writes, “I had my first taste of a red alert about 30 minutes ago (about 10PM Jerusalem time) when the sirens went off in Jerusalem."
Federation is monitoring the situation in Israel through our network of relationships with Jewish Federations of North America, The Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, as well as with local and global partners including ADL, AIPAC, FIDF, Stand With Us and many others.
We will keep you informed if developments in Israel warrant additional action on our community’s part. In the meantime, I encourage you to stay tuned to broadcast news coverage and, for those with internet access, I find the most up-to-date news coming from Haaretz.comand TimesofIsrael.com, which are also streaming live on our new website.
We all stand together in our concern and support for the people of Israel and all peace-loving peoples throughout the region.
We pray for peace.