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Special Message from Rabbi Cohen and Resources to assist Israel

Dear CBI Family,
As we continue to wrap our heads around the horrific events that have taken place in Israel, several of you have reached out asking for ways to express your feelings during this extremely sad and challenging time. 
As Jews, we know that one of the best ways to express our ideals, values, and beliefs, is through doing mitzvot that can make a difference for others.  Through G’milut Hasadim – acts of kindness – and the giving of Tzedaka, we can make a difference for those directly affected by the attacks over the weekend and what appears to be a protracted war in Israel.
How exactly can you help?  If you know of someone in or outside of our community who is from Israel or has relatives living in Israel, reach out to them. Some are still waiting to hear about whether their relatives and friends survived the massacre.  Many of us (me included) are worried about family or friends enduring the continuing barrage of rockets from Gaza and about relatives being called up to serve as IDF reservists. Simply letting others know you care or listening to their stories can be vital to the grief process.
Giving tzedaka is an important way to help as well.  Below you will find a list of Jewish organizations that are avenues for donating money.  I urge you to research the ones you may not know about and to donate to whatever organization you find meaningful for you.
Gathering as a community to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our Israeli brethren is important as well.  As of this writing, I understand there may be a rally of some kind independently being planned for downtown later this week.  Details are yet to be confirmed. 
However, as a congregation, CBI will be joining with the Greenville Jewish Federation and other congregations and organizations in the Upstate to plan a vigil aimed at bringing our Jewish community together to express not only our solidarity with Israel, but also to give us the opportunity to share our anguish, grief, and sadness in a spiritually safe forum.  We are hopeful this event will take place early next week, and I will pass along that information as soon as it is available. I hope you will join us for this important event.
Finally, our own physical security always comes into question during times like this.  As we do whenever we gather at CBI, we remain ever-vigilant with our security. I have talked with Harold Lefkowitz and our Security Committee and assure you that every step possible is being taken to assure our safety when we come to Beth Israel to share our heritage in prayer and joy.  Lines of communication are open with our local authorities.  As always, if you see something, please say something.  Quite appropriately, we have a CPR, First Aid and Peace of Mind Class scheduled for this Sunday 10/15, at 1pm at CBI.  The class is a wonderful way to refresh your care skills in response to medical emergencies.  Please RSVP to the office if you wish to attend.
Like you, we as a congregation remain steadfast in our love and support of Israel during this very challenging time. We pray that all of our efforts will help pave a path to healing and peace for all of the Jewish People.
With Hope,
Rabbi Sharon Cohen



Opportunities for Immediate Monetary Assistance for Israel


American Friends of Magen David Adom

Israel’s National Emergency Pre-Hospital Medical and Blood Services Organization.

Magen David Adom provides ambulances, EMTs and equipment nationally and serves as the Israel’s Red Cross affiliate.


Jewish Federations of North America 

Provides support to Jewish communities across the world, especially Israel.

On the online donation form, select the Community drop down screen, NETWORK and then if available, enter Greenville as the community name. 


Jewish National Fund

Known for ecology programs in Israel, especially trees as well as water reclamation programs that aid not only Israel, but the entire region.


Masorti Movement

The Conservative Movement’s organization in Israel. Masorti supports Masorti/Conservative Movement congregations and schools across Israel and provides for the spiritual well-being of members of those congregations.  They also work hard to provide pluralistic, egalitarian educational opportunities. 


Joint Distribution Committee

Global Jewish Humanitarian organization that helps support Jews in distress



The Women’s Zionist Organization of America.  Hadassah works to support many causes in Israel, especially support for Hadassah Hospital and its medical research in Jerusalem.



Opportunities for Continued Support for the State of Israel:


State of Israel Bonds

Bonds that can be purchased which support the State of Israel.


Mercaz USA

The Conservative Movement’s Zionist organization

Supports the efforts of promoting pluralism and Masorti Judaism in Israel.

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