Israel Crisis Relief

What we are witnessing in Israel is unlike anything previously seen. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has always mobilized our community during times of crisis, and we are working around the clock to ensure Israel has our support. Federation has staff members on the ground in Israel 365 days a year, empowering us to respond immediately through the deep partnerships and relationships that we have built over decades. Your donation will ensure Israel continues to receive the help they need today and as the crisis continues.

Your gift enables Federation to support immediate and long-term recovery efforts.

Israel Crisis Relief Fund

Other Ways to Give

Through your Jewish Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (EIN: 53-0212445). Note “Israel Crisis Fund” in comments.

By check to The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, 6101 Executive Blvd, Suite 100, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852. Note “Israel Crisis Fund” on check.

Take Immediate Action

Demand the Immediate Release of the Hostages
Call your elected officials – now and constantly – to remind them that the return of all 240 hostages continues to remain a top U.S. and global priority. Take one minute today and every day to join the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in making direct, urgent, and repeated appeals to elected representatives.

Calling for Overseas Volunteers in Israel
The people of Israel are experiencing a terrible reality. In this moment, volunteers are stepping up to fill critical gaps and power Israeli resilience. The Jewish Federations of North America has compiled a list of opportunities open to foreign volunteers, including medical and mental health professionals.
Learn more about volunteer opportunities in Israel

Call on our Allies
Ask your non-Jewish friends, networks, and local clergy to stand with us. It was heartening to see so many non-Jewish attendees at the March for Israel. Urge them to continue to show up and speak out against antisemitism on social media, amongst their own networks, and wherever they see hatred.

Urge Your Congressional Representatives to Maintain Their Support for Israel
As Israel’s war against Hamas continues, the US is experiencing a dramatic 316% spike in antisemitism. The elected officials supporting the Jewish community and Israel in this moment need to hear from us. Join our JCRC partners to contact them today. Thank them for their support and urge them to continue defending Israel’s right to protect itself, to call for the release of the hostages, and to stand against rising antisemitism.

Combat Antisemitism on Campus
Do you donate to your alma mater? Have children or grandchildren on college campuses? Sit on a local PTA or support a private school? Reach out to the school administration today to demand campus-wide action plans to combat antisemitism and advocate for education on antisemitism, and contact your campus Hillel to offer your support for their essential work. Visit Hillel’s resource pages for students and parents. For more on how to combat antisemitism – on campus and everywhere – explore resources and tools for addressing antisemitism, intolerance, & bias.

$5.6 Million in Support

Our Greater Washington Jewish community is providing essential aid to those in Israel and continues to send a powerful message of solidarity to Israel and Israelis in their time of need. Your generosity and our staff on the ground in Israel year-round with deep partnerships built over decades empowered Federation’s immediate and long-term response. Today, this includes addressing the well-documented and widespread trauma experienced by both Israeli soldiers and civilians since the onset of the war. 

Together, we are addressing Israel’s urgent and evolving needs. Our Israel Crisis Relief Fund grants to date total $5.6 million, including our inaugural grantmaking efforts by the Women’s Fund through the Jewish Community Foundation by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Emergency and Medical Care | $1,025,000

Magen David Adom, United Hatzalah, Assuta Ashdod Hospital/Medical Center, Barzilai Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, and Soroka Medical Center (Be’er Sheva): Providing access to life-saving supplies and essential trauma counseling to help treat severely wounded soldiers and civilians, including to reach the 2,200 survivors of the Nova Music Festival, and purchasing oxygen tanks, defibrillators, trauma bandages, tourniquets, and more.

Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP): Deploying American disaster relief and rescue volunteer teams to Israel. Our funding will assist in recruiting and training American firefighters, medical professionals, and others to be deployed to assist Israeli teams and provide relief for the Israeli teams exhausted after weeks of providing life-saving assistance.

Mobilizing Support for Evacuees & Displaced Families | $550,000

Brothers and Sisters for Israel: Mobilizing volunteers and critical resources for those in need in partnership with the largest Israeli civil aid organization. Our funding will help provide essential support including accommodations for displaced families, food, water, clothing, medical equipment, assistance in locating missing individuals, and more.  

Dror Israel: Funding evacuation efforts for displaced families and those seeking respite from violence. We are expanding and supporting essential therapeutic and educational programs for children and families in Rehovot and Ashkelon, with more locations opening as soon as deemed safe. Funding also covers daycare costs for children of hospital workers and other essential staff so they can treat the injured while schools across Israel remain closed.

Hostages and Missing Families Forum: The Forum is a volunteer-based organization focused on bringing Israeli hostages home. They are leading awareness campaigns in multiple languages around the world and providing professional assistance to advance the ongoing legal and diplomatic efforts to return the hostages. Our support will provide resources to continue this crucial work.  

Caring for Victims of Terror and their Families | $500,000

Fund for Victims of Terror, a program of The Jewish Agency for Israel: Supporting families whose loved ones have been injured or killed, as well as those whose homes and property were damaged or destroyed, by providing immediate financial aid, counseling, housing, and more. A Jewish Agency representative personally visits victims to provide emergency aid within 48 hours as a statement that the Jewish people around the world are with them.

Trauma Response | $500,000

Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC): Providing immediate trauma response across Israel, including in Ramle, where ITC has opened a center to identify victims. Our funds will provide treatment at ITC’s 12 resilience centers in Sderot and surrounding communities — centers Federation has funded for years — and to train and support first responders, teachers, and community leaders managing this crisis.

Direct Support for Kibbutz Bordering Gaza | $250,000

Kibbutz Re’im: Assisting with recovery and rebuilding. The Kibbutz was overrun by Hamas on October 7th, with five Israeli casualties, multiple members taken hostage, and 200 suffering severe trauma. Hamas also overran a music festival on the kibbutz grounds, leaving hundreds dead and many others wounded or taken hostage. The funds will be used to help fund basic necessities while the kibbutz members are out of their homes as well as purchase and install closed-circuit cameras and early warning systems for the kibbutz perimeter to protect community members when they return.

Humanitarian Support for Soldiers | $186,000

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF): Providing critical medical and humanitarian support for IDF soldiers, including the 360,000 reservists called up for duty on multiple borders. This funding will help purchase medical equipment and supplies, including a portable x-ray machine, plasma kits, a critical response monitoring system, and a cardiology critical care kit. 

Orr Shalom: Purchasing and delivering essential supplies to meet the needs of young adult civilians and soldiers operating in northern Israel and along the Gaza border, furthering the expanded mission of Orr Shalom, the leading Israeli non-profit foster care organization for at-risk youth.  

Training Israeli Clinicians in Trauma Care | $1,800,000

Sheba Medical Center
Intensive Mental Health Training Courses: Funding will provide two-week intensive courses for certified mental health professionals with advanced psychology and social work degrees who may not have studied or practiced trauma in many years or ever, built on the expertise of Sheba’s trauma specialists. Participating professionals commit to at least one year of work in a public mental health clinic in northern or southern Israel.  

Medical Simulation Training: Sheba is a leader in simulation-based medical education. Funding will provide simulation-based training courses (using sophisticated robotics and specially trained “patient” actors) for medical and other professionals within Israel’s formal and informal education and welfare systems. Courses will take place on-site in the northern and southern periphery towns and cities to increase the nation’s capacity for trauma care as the need continues to grow.

Trauma Services for Nova Festival Survivors and their Families | $325,000

SafeHeart Therapy Sessions for Survivors of Nova Festival: Funding will provide 26 weekly individualized therapy sessions for Nova Festival survivors. SafeHeart will also work to connect survivors with certified mental health professionals with understanding in treating trauma of the significance and nature of that experienced at the Nova festival.   

Merchav Marpeh (‘Healing Space’): Funding will provide training to professionalize the operations of Healing Space, an emergency mental health facility established during the current war to care for thousands of traumatized young people who attended the Nova Festival. Their unique model offers a holistic, integrative, and community-based approach using yoga, music, art, and nature in conjunction with trained mental health professionals.  

HaGal Sheli (‘My Wave’): ‘Tools from the Waves,’ an innovative program of HaGal Sheli, integrates physical activity (surfing) with structured emotional processing to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress and empower individuals on their journey to healing. Funding will support five groups, totaling 75 young adults.

Trauma Care and Prevention for IDF Soldiers | $300,000

Bshvil HaMachar (‘The Path for Tomorrow’): Bshvil HaMachar helps IDF soldiers overcome combat-related trauma to help them return to normal life. The program includes professionally guided meetings, support-group activities, and ongoing personal support, as needed. Funding will provide 10 combat units (200 soldiers) with interventions for one year. 

Through the Jewish Community Foundation by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, The Women’s Fund is designed to help shape an equitable world in which all women and girls can thrive, and is dedicated to supporting women and girls in Greater Washington and in Israel. Grants will aim to address immediate obstacles and systemic challenges holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential.

Our Women’s Fund Israel Emergency Grants Committee spoke with organizational leaders and women affected by the October 7th terror attacks and the ongoing conflict to understand women’s critical needs at this moment. We learned that women in Israel are navigating layers of distinct and overwhelming challenges. They are processing rape and violent injuries, severe trauma and loss, single parenthood (often the result of a partner leaving for war), enormous caretaking demands, internal displacement, and more. And yet, as is often the case during times of conflict, support tailored uniquely to women and girls is falling by the wayside.

In response, the Women’s Fund focused its grantmaking on three urgent needs: trauma and therapeutic services, relocation support, and aid for single mothers.

As part of our inaugural grantmaking efforts, the Women’s Fund is directing $100,000 in emergency funds to organizations helping women and girls in Israel impacted by the Israel-Hamas War.

Relocation and Support Services for Displaced Women and Girls | $50,000

Bonot Alternativa: Funding will provide support for emergency operations and centers, which is leveraging over 100,000 volunteers and deploy their team to provide treatments (e.g., psychologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, etc.) to services such as laundry and babysitting, as required. The first Bonot emergency communal center is up-and-running in Eilat where scores of families from Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim are in hotels and empty flats. They plan to open 8 more centers.

Eden Association: Funding will support the Eden Association’s ability to maintain psychological and trauma services for the 60 displaced young women (ages 12-18) who were evacuated from the Eden School in Kibbutz Karmiya (which is in the Gaza Envelope 3 km from the border) while simultaneously rebuilding the structures that were destroyed by missiles during the attack.

Women-Centered Trauma and Therapy Services | $30,000

Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI): The October 7th attack has created trauma for survivors and victims that is resulting in huge increases in outreach and need for services. This grant would help the ARCCI and nine regional Rape Crisis Centers (RCCs), the only centers in Israel whose main aim is to combat sexual violence, meet that need. The RCCs provide services, including hotlines, support groups, workplace education, help through the legal process, and counseling for victims of sexual violence.

Counseling Center for Women: Funding will provide psychotherapy to community members impacted by the October 7th attack, including survivors of the music festival; citizens from the South who were able to escape the Hamas attack; evacuees; families who lost close relatives; journalists, social workers and other psychotherapists experiencing 2nd degree trauma; and others. The Center is also helping evacuees via support groups for single mothers, English-speaking Israeli women, women volunteering in emergency relief initiatives, and women with family members in the armed forces, among others.

Social Services and Financial Support for Single Mothers | $20,000

Ruach-Nashit (Women’s Spirit): Ruach-Nashit helps victims of violence find employment and establish financial independence so that they can escape from situations of poverty and risk. Funding will support three social workers and help purchase computers for the organization’s southern branch. Their staff in the south have been overwhelmed with an increased flow of physical and psychological requests as well as growing needs from their participants, women survivors of abuse, many of them living in the cities that were infiltrated by terrorists.

Federation is continually identifying and evaluating the needs in coordination with the national federation system of 146 colleague organizations. Our Israeli staff is part of the Forum of Community Representatives that determines needs in coordination with NGOs, government offices, and the IDF.

Thank you to the Israel Crisis Relief Allocations Committee and The Women’s Fund Emergency Grantmaking Committee for their dedication to helping those in need during this crisis.
Israel Crisis Relief Committee Members: Co-Chairs: Johanna Chanin, Michael Friedman. Committee Members: William Kreisberg, Daniel Raskas, David Selden, Kevin Fishkind, Jillian Copeland, Liza Levy, Shary Levitt, Sophie Buslik, Zach Friedlis, Toby Frank.

Women’s Fund Emergency Grantmaking Committee Members: Rachel Faulkner, Beth Swibel, Meryl Rosenberg, Lisa Benjamin, Stuart Kurlander, Marla Schulman, Amy Schwartz, Emily Berman, Jennifer Snyder.

Resources

Contact the Israeli Consulate in New York at 917-756-8387 or 212-499-5321 for information about loved ones currently in Israel.

703-J-CARING: The Jewish Community Support Line: For those in need of mental or emotional support, Federation, JSSA, and our network of human service organizations are here for you. Call (703) J-CARING (703-522-7464) to connect with a professional ready to assist you. Serving residents of DC, MD, and Northern VA, support is available Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. All calls are confidential.

Bender JCC’s Resources for the War in Israel: A list of upcoming gatherings and resources to help navigate the war in Israel.

Calling for Overseas Volunteers in Israel: The Jewish Federations of North America has compiled a list of opportunities open to foreign volunteers to fill critical gaps and power Israeli resilience, including medical and mental health professionals.

GatherDC’s Guide for Navigating the War in Israel: Connect to people and resources to help you navigate this time. Whether you’re looking to be in community, to process the news, to talk about loved ones, or to know what support is available.

How to Talk to Children About Israel Today: The Jewish Education Project’s Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath and noted expert, Dr. Sivan Zakai, share resources and best practices for talking to children about Israel and the current situation.

How to Talk to Children About Terrorism and War: By the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Israel Experience Virtual Solidarity Mission: An online opportunity to gather with people from around the world who are interested in hearing more about everything going on in Israel from experts, first-hand testimonies, and Israeli grassroots organization leaders.

Navigating Israel from the Den Collective: A growing list of opportunities for learning, gatherings, and resources for getting and giving support at this time.

Updates and Resources from the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC): A regularly updated guide with resources, local events, and ways you can help support Israel.

News & Stories

Continuing Our Vital Work

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Building a Stronger Community Together

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

On Increasing the Light

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Our Continued Solidarity with Israel

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

With Gratitude

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

What Comes Next

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington