Israel is at War and Atlantans Can Help

SocialAtlanta editor DANA SHEMESH brings resources for providing assistance and support.

The past several days have been a blur.  

Saturday morning we all woke up to the unspeakable: Israel is at war.  Unlike other conflicts, this is not a skirmish or a military operation – but full out war that came from an unprovoked massacre of Israeli men, women, and children.  

Young people at an overnight music festival were murdered in cold blood from ruthless Hamas killers, who then proceeded to decimate families, communities of the kibbutzim situated along the border with Gaza. 

Dozens kidnapped, babies separated from their parents, children witnessing their parents murder, and parents witnessing their children’s murder.

My husband and I are both from Israel and have family and friends who are directly suffering from the carnage that has played out over the last several days.  It simply does not feel real to us, a nightmare scenario that we could never even imagine.  

Weekend plans to visit our local pumpkin patch and attend our kids’ sports events were scrapped as we felt paralyzed – watching Israeli newscasts and checking our phones for updates every second. 

And here we remain, frozen in time.

Thankfully, our immediate family are alive, but not well. They have been thrust into this war and are now learning the extent of murder, rapes, and torture that Israelis have suffered over the past several days.  

Aside from the despair that we feel, we struggle with a bit of survivor’s guilt. We are lucky to be safe at home with our families, while others await word of their missing relatives who were either kidnapped and taken to Gaza or killed – while their remains have not yet been identified.

We do take solace in the support from the community – including The Jewish Federation of Atlanta – who are spearheading efforts to show solidarity with Israel, and to help victims and offer their assistance making people like us feel less alone.

The Jewish Federation of Atlanta set up four initiatives to help support Israel and her people:

Donate: Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is immediately responding, working with our core partners on the ground to support victims of terror, help rebuild damaged infrastructure and address the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by this horrific attack. We have set up a dedicated mailbox in Atlanta where you can donate directly or make a grant request through your Donor-Advised Fund. You can also donate here.

Share: JF&CS Atlanta has established an Israel Crisis Support line: 770.677.9399. Calls will be returned by a clinician for anyone in our local Atlanta community who is needing support.

Advocate: Please urge our elected officials at the federal, state, and local level to speak out and make a clear and unequivocal statement in support for our ally Israel, and its right to defend itself. Find more advocacy resources here.

Stay informed: Now more than ever, Israel needs your support. Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will stand together as we always do. At this moment, the parameters of this massacre are still being assessed and documented.  This is a terrible moment in history that we are witness to, and our children are witness to.  

I urge my fellow Atlantans to reach out to their Jewish and Israeli friends and show their support and solidarity, it means the world to us right now.

Thank you,

Dana Shemesh
City Editor

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