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October 27, 2023

Dear Maharat Rori,

It feels impossible to imagine that it has been three weeks since our lives were turned upside down and we watched with horror as Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel’s borders, perpetrating one of the most violent and traumatic terror attacks in modern history. We continue to pray for all those who have been injured, all those who have been impacted, all those who are fighting in the IDF, and most especially all those who continue to be held captive, their status unknown.

Here at the JCRC, we continue to work tirelessly to bring the most up-to-date information to our Jewish community and to all within our region. Over the past few weeks we have been in touch with elected officials and civic leaders, spoken at interfaith houses of worship, and brought our students’ love of Israel into area schools. We are delighted this weekend to join in St. Louis Israel Solidarity Shabbat and to sponsor in our community two exceptional experts on Israel to bring a better understanding of what is happening from two unique perspectives. On Saturday night, join us at United Hebrew Congregation to hear from David Makovsky on The US, Israel, the Arab World and the Gaza Crisis: Convergences and Divergences and then on Sunday night at the Jewish Federation Building to hear from Gil Hoffman on Israel Under Fire: An Insider’s Look at the Fight for Israel on the Military and Media Battlefields. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

And of course, continue checking in with the people around you, giving them the grace and the space to process their own pains at their own speed. When we honor one another's humanity, we honor that which is best in ourselves. When we take care of each of our needs, we are standing up for a world in which peace and compassion are the lights that guide our path. That is the best thing we can do for one another, and it is what I hope will guide us forward in this confusing time.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Scott Shafrin,

Deputy Director and Lee & Milford Bohm Director of Social Justice

Opportunities to Support Israel

Israel Solidarity Shabbat

This Shabbat, communities around the world are gathering in synagogues and shared spaces in order to show solidarity with our siblings in Israel. Click here to learn more about ways you can join with others in support.

Donate to the Israel Emergency Fund through the Jewish Federation of St. Louis


Call to Action: Urge Officials to Support Israel

Urge your 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

Click Here To Contact Local Officials

Upcoming Israel Programs

The US, Israel, the Arab World and the Gaza Crisis: Convergences and Divergences

Saturday, October 28

7:30 pm: Havdalah Service | 8:00 pm: Presentation

United Hebrew Congregation | 13788 Conway Road, Creve Coeur

Come out after Shabbat for Havdalah, dessert and a presentation from David Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute and Director of the Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations, as he discusses the US and Arab angles of the Israel-Hamas War.

This program is free and open to all.

This event is co-sponsored by:

Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis

United Hebrew Congregation

Jewish Federation of St. Louis - Israel Center

Bais Abraham Congregation

Congregation B'nai Amoona

Congregation Shaare Emeth

Congregation Temple Israel

St. Louis Friends of Israel

St. Louis Rabbincal and Cantorial Association


Israel Under Fire: An Insider's Look at the Fight for Israel on the Military and Media Battlefields

Sunday, October 29 | 7:00 PM

Jewish Federation | 12 Millstone Campus Drive

Gil Hoffman will discuss what led to the worst attack on the Jewish state, the lessons to be learned and the possible outcomes. He will analyze recent Israeli political developments and discuss coverage of the war and whether Israel has been treated fairly.

Co-sponsored by JCRC and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis


We know that so much is evolving and changing in Israel day to day, and want to be able to meet the need for deep, nuanced conversation with our ongoing series. Please join us again on November 15.

HaKol Koreh: Everything Happening in Israel

with Rabbi Scott Shafrin, Dr. Ayala Hendin, and Ellen Futterman

Wednesday, November 15 at 12:00 pm

Zoom | Click to Register

You can still register for this new monthly series on Israel, featuring Rabbi Scott Shafrin (JCRC Deputy Director), Dr. Ayala Hendin (Washington University Israel Fellow), and Ellen Futterman (St. Louis Jewish Light Editor-In-Chief) tackling the current events in Israel.


Israel Updates

Office of Rep. Cori Bush Responds to JCRC Letter

On October 17, JCRC sent a letter to Representative Cori Bush, once again requesting a meeting with the Jewish population in her district and to listen to their stories and recognize the validity of their voices and concerns in this moment. You can read the full letter here.

You can read the response to the letter from Danielle Spradley, the Outreach Director for Representative Cori Bush's office here.

Letter of Unity from the Ecumenical Leadership Council

JCRC received a letter from Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, PhD., President of the Ecumenical Leadership Council—St. Louis Chapter, offering prayers and condolences while acknowledging the loyal partnership between the African American and Jewish communities in the fight against racial injustice and discrimination. You can read Bishop Wooten's full letter here.

Senator Hawley Unveils Resolution Condemning Hamas and Antisemitic Student Activities, calls out Palestinian student group for anti-Israel messages on campus building

On October 19, Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a resolution condemning Hamas and the antisemitic student groups on college campuses. When attempting to pass it, it was initially blocked by Democrats. The following week, Sen. Hawley once again spoke about the resolution and the urgency of passing it using the events at George Washington University and Cooper Union College as examples. The resolution was passed on October 26.

Senator Josh Hawley addresses the Senate and the Resolution condemning antisemitism and pro-Hamas college groups passes.

Operation Swords of Iron

The War on Israel Continues

Yesterday, families of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. An estimated 224 hostages still remain in the Gaza strip. Four have been released in the last week as diplomats continue to work on negotiations.

Also on Thursday, Israel’s National Emergency Management Agency announced that 125,000 displaced Israelis have been provided funding to stay in alternative housing through the end of the year with most staying in Airbnb housing or hotels.

For more information and resources, please visit JCRC's webpage dedicated to understanding the current Israel-Hamas war.

Relevant Articles

JCRC is heartened to receive so may messages of supported from elected officials and community partners

Click Here to View Messages of Support from the St. Louis Community

A Special Note About JCRC Programs

As news out of Israel continues to develop, JCRC is committed to meet the needs of the Jewish community and will adjust our program schedule as needed. Please keep and eye on your inbox for updates.

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