last updated 11/21/2023
JCC Greater Boston Stands With Israel
At the JCC we stand in solidarity with Israel and in opposition to the unspeakable violence and tragedies currently unfolding in the Jewish state. At the JCC, we are fortunate to care for and work with many Israeli friends, family members, and colleagues who are part of the heart and soul of our exceptional community. The impact of this terrible and uncertain moment is felt by all of us as we stand united with our hearts and prayers in the east – libenu baMizrach. We are heartbroken in this moment but not defeated, Am Yisrael Chai.
We are deeply committed to standing by our community during this difficult time and offer the following resources.
What steps is the JCC taking to ensure safety of its members and facilities?
As many of you know, the JCC has been investing in our security infrastructure over the past several years and has a robust set of systems and protocols for safety in all of our facilities. That said, in this moment of uncertainty, we understand that many families are concerned about the potential for increased security threats. The JCC has been in communication with all of our local police departments as well as our partners at CJP, the national Security Communities Network (SCN), and our private security firm. It is our understanding that there are no known credible threats at this time. We have been in touch with local police at each of our sites and requested additional police patrols and will continue to diligently follow the security protocols we have in place at each of our sites.
How can I support Israel?
Since its launch on Saturday, CJP’s Israel Emergency Fund has raised $2.3 million from 2,100+ donors, but help is still needed. The generosity of our donors never ceases to astound us, but the scope of the devastation is unimaginable, and we need to continue to raise significant support. 100% of donations are going toward supporting victims of terror and addressing the trauma caused by these horrific attacks.
The Community Support Fund has been established to underwrite all efforts made by JCC Greater Boston to respond to families and members in need during this time of crisis.
Donate Humanitarian Goods to Israel: The IAC is collecting donations of items that are urgently needed to send to Israel.
Other organizations in need of donations:
- Hadassah Hospital Israel
- Friends of The Israel Defense Forces
- United Hatzalah Israel
- Leket food Israel
- Zaka Israel
- Magen Adom Israel
החזרת החטופים מיד: Free the Hostages Now
Currently, 199 Israeli and foreign nationals, including American citizens, are being held as hostages against their will in Gaza by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We must unite as their voice here in the United States and take meaningful steps to secure their release.
Every passing day poses an extreme risk to the lives of these hostages, and we cannot afford to remain silent. We urge each of you to take action by CALLING AND WRITING to your Senators and Representatives imploring them to work tirelessly to secure the freedom of these Israeli hostages, some of whom hold US citizenship. Please share this message with your friends and encourage them to join us in this crucial endeavor. Be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves and let them know that they will never be forgotten, not for a single day.
- Senator Markey: (617) 565-8519, https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion-
- Senator Warren: (617) 565-3170 , https://www.warren.senate.gov/contact/shareyouropinion
- Congressman Auchincloss: (617) 332-3333, https://auchincloss.house.gov/contact/email-me
Let us stand together, raise our voices, and work tirelessly to ensure the safe return of these hostages. Our collective efforts can make a profound impact, and it is our duty to make a difference.
What resources are available for families and caregivers?
Talking to Children about Hard News
Even though they are very young, our early learners may notice or have questions about the news or the big ideas, feelings, and stress that their caregivers are experiencing in this moment. We are grateful to the child development experts who have shared the following best practices to keep in mind when supporting your children:
- Our children depend on our comfort and care, and while we can be authentic with our sadness, it is important we stay calm and attuned to our children’s emotions.
- It is important to keep in mind your child’s age/developmental stage when considering what to share with them of the news.
- It is best if your child first hears information from you, as opposed to social media. Be sure you are answering their questions and not expanding into what you are thinking about. Sometimes a child might ask a question that seems beyond their years, and it is helpful to ask why they are wondering this to better understand what is underlying their question.
- As possible, limit their exposure to the news, maintain routines, and encourage normal activities.
- Be mindful of your own self-care.
- While these are a few helpful reminders, see below for more detailed resources. Also, please know you can reach out to the Directors and Ledgewood Specialists at your school with any questions or concerns specific to your child or with thoughts regarding our greater JCC community.
Some useful resources for kids:
Below, please find links for several additional resources for supporting communities during and after traumatic events, talking to children about these events, and caring for self and others.
- Child Mind Institute – Trauma Guide (English)
- Child Mind Institute – Trauma Guide (Hebrew)
- NASP – Helping Children Cope With Terrorism
- APA – How to Talk to Children about Difficult News
- How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening in Israel Right Now
- PJ Library Israel Hub
Supporting communities during and after traumatic events
If you grappling with sadness, anxiety, and grief during this difficult time, you can reach out to JF&CS Mental Health Connect by calling 781-693-5562 or by writing to email@example.com. JF&CS offers free and confidential advice, referrals to therapists (including Hebrew-speaking), support groups, and other resources for addressing mental health concerns.
Supporting Our Youth & Teens: Learning & Talking About Israel: Resources and opportunities for connection and conversation for Jewish teens, parents, educators and professionals.
Mental Health Services for Adults:
- CJP Mental Health Access
- William James Interface find a therapist matching service
- CJP’s Path to Wellbeing Virtual self-paced 6-8 week CBT program, with a coach from McLean. (free)
Resources for Educators:
Jewish Educator Portal Community Hub: The Jewish Education Project invites you to find them all in one place, along with a space for you- educators in the field- to come together and talk about what you need right now. Includes discussion board and virtual discussions/events.
What events are the JCC holding to bring together our community during these unimaginable times?
It has always been our mission at JCC Greater Boston to create and maintain an inclusive community by providing opportunities for our community to come together. In difficult and uncertain times, we remain dedicated to providing moments for our community to lean on one another and provide much needed stability.
With our mission in mind, and the determination to not let those who wish to stop us from gathering in community succeed, we look forward to creating more opportunities to gather and to care for one another.
Self–Care Fitness Classes
The JCC offers a number of mind body classes (both in-person and online) that aim to reduce stress, ease anxiety, and can help you feel more grounded and stable during these times of uncertainty and fear.
Reserve your spot on the My J app or join us online at JCCGB+ and view our group fitness class schedule here.
Program Director of the Diller Teen Fellows in Boston, Zach Goldberger, shared his perspective with eJewishPhilanthropy on how we can help the teenagers in our community navigate and process this difficult time for Israel and the Jewish people. Read his full article here!
Interested in events and news from our community partners?
Jewish Boston: Live Events, Updates, Resources & More
We will be updating this page with new resources and information as we receive it, so check back for any additional resources.