Condemning the Persecution of Religious Minorities
The leadership of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California is compelled to express its horror at the murderous persecution of Christians, Yezidis, Kurds and other religious minorities in the Arab world, along with fellow Muslims, by IS/ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Recently, this terror spread to Europe, where IS supporters in Germany attacked a Yezidi refugee.
We join our colleagues in condemning these cruel and despicable actions, which have created a severe moral and humanitarian crisis. We urge the international community to take immediate steps to protect the persecuted and hold accountable those responsible.
As The Torah commands, Lo ta'amod al dam re'echa, “You shall not stand idle while your fellow bleeds,” Jews are required to intervene to save lives, including those of non-Jews. We ask Jews everywhere to publicly condemn this oppression, voice their concern to elected and other leaders, and take whatever action they can to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings.
Based on and including content from the statement authored by Rabbi Rick Block, President, and Rabbi Steve Fox, Chief Executive, of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Support The Jewish Federation’s Israel Terror Relief Fund
Your generous donation will show that our community stands with Israel and its people during this incredibly difficult time.
Nearly all of Israel is now vulnerable to rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups. Our family in Israel needs our support now! Your donation will provide emergency relief to provide for the safety, physical and psychological needs of families, children and elderly. 100 percent of collected donations will be distributed to our network of partners and our Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles will absorb all administrative costs. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
Special Cable: Operation Protective Edge
From the Consulate General of Israel, Los Angeles
The Consulate has created an 11-page document with a wealth of facts, statistics, graphics, photographs, video, quotes and extensive links, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section, focused on the current situation in Israel, for your use in sermons, talks and discussion. Download it here.
Prayers & Thoughts During The Crisis
A selection from our members
Statement on the Murder of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal
On behalf of our Los Angeles Jewish community, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles joins with our brothers and sisters across the Jewish world in mourning the tragic loss of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach. We express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, and can only begin to imagine their pain and suffering. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorists involved in the senseless murder of three innocent teenagers, and pray that justice will be served. As always, we stand in solidarity with Israel, especially during this difficult time. It is imperative that we do not forget Naftali, Gilad and Eyal. May their memories always be a blessing.
For Naftali, Gilad and Eyal
from our colleague Rabbi Sharon Brous
Agonizing days have passed since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenage boys. We share the anguish of their families and join in praying for the safe return of Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Shaar (16) and Eyal Yifrach (19). Throughout Israel and the Jewish community worldwide many have turned, in their grief, to the recitation of Psalms that are suitable for times of communal distress – especially Psalms 41, 121, 130, 142 and 143. (You can find them in Hebrew and English, here.) May Naftali, Gilad and Eyal’s parents see their beloved children return home safely. And may we see the day when there will be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, a day in which no parent will have to fear for her child’s safety and well-being. Ken yehi ratzon (May it be God's will).
Israel Arguing with Itself
An Evening with Yossi Klein Halevi
Members of the Jewish community gathered for a special conversation with acclaimed author Yossi Klein Halevi about his recent book, Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. The program was co-sponsored by The Board of Rabbis, The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Through the personal stories of a these IDF veterans, Halevi traces the relentless optimism of the kibbutz and first secular Zionist generations in shaping Israel, as well as exploring with equanimity the factions of Israeli society that these same men represent and in some cases helped to create.
"These men fought in many wars, some wars that didn’t even have names, and between those wars they were struggling with each other to determine the nature of Israeli society," said Halevi. Read More.
Board of Rabbis Learning Sessions Online
The Board of Rabbis is making available all of its learning sessions, including the Hartman Beit Midrash Series, Leaders on Leadership, and the High Holy Days Conference keynote addresses and breakout sessions. There are currently 23 sessions available, on video or audio, featuring some of the foremost rabbis and scholars in the Jewish world: Avi Weiss, Rick Jacobs, Yitz Greenberg, Arthur Green, Donniel Hartman, Mimi Feigelson, Yosef Kanefsky, Noam Zion, Yehuda Kurtzer and more. Visit our YouTube channel to see the full range of offerings.