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February 21, 2024

Dear Elyse,

Over the past two months, JCRC has engaged dozens of leaders from every district in St. Louis County to speak with members of our County Council on the harms that resolutions calling on Israel for a ceasefire can cause locally. As of now, no such resolutions have been introduced, despite increasingly vitriolic pressure the Council members have faced over the past weeks. JCRC would like to thank each of the County Council members who have graciously met with us, heard our concerns, and have been standing up to enormous pressure in order to do the important work of county business, build trust with the public, and work on measures that keep our community safe.


Please, reach out to your elected leaders, especially at the County Council, and let them know that you appreciate their efforts to focus on the needs of the St. Louis community, and not to take up measures that serve to increase hostility within our community.

We know that there is so much hurt, division, and trauma throughout the local Jewish and Muslim communities, and we appreciate all of our partners who continue to work together to hold open communication and possibilities for collaboration in these trying times. We continue to advance efforts to not only secure our community, but to build the bridges that will allow our voice to be heard, and our values to guide us throughout the region.

Kol tuv,

Rabbi Scott Shafrin,

Deputy Director and Lee & Milford Bohm Director of Social Justice

Talking Points on Local Ceasefire Resolutions

  • Local resolutions have no bearing on the policies of other nations, and don’t advance the business of local government.
  • These resolutions are performative and sow division locally; they advance infighting between communities and discourage discourse.
  • Resolutions like this are popping up around the country because of a national effort designed to push Hamas-supported propaganda and narratives. 
  • The text of the resolutions is, in many ways, immaterial
  • Even when bans call on Hamas to cease aggression alongside calls for Israel to cease fighting, these resolutions are billed as calls to “end Israel’s violence and oppression,” not as a call for a negotiated end to the war.
  • Engaging in this debate only adds fuel to the argument that one side is right and one is wrong.
  • Passing these resolutions allows people to reframe Hamas terror as legitimate acts of rebellion against oppression.
  • Compels others to see black and white lines where nuance is needed.
  • Ceasefire agreement only works if both parties are ultimately looking for a peaceful solution. In this war between Israel and Hamas, Hamas has made it clear that peace is not an option. 
  • The terrorist organization has broken every ceasefire agreement they and Israel had in place in the past, including on Oct. 7 when they attacked Israel. 
  • Hamas also broke the most recent agreement back in November when they began firing rockets into Israel, and just last week Egypt put forward a new ceasefire agreement that Hamas rejected. 
  • While it is acceptable and even responsible to criticize the Israeli government for particular policies or actions, it is equally important to acknowledge that groups like Hamas use violence and terror to achieve their goals, which is unacceptable in any civilized society. We must unequivocally condemn terrorism and the atrocities committed by terror groups so that we can work towards creating a more just and peaceful world for everyone.

Local Israel Programs

Israel & Antisemitism | Past. Present. Future

7 week course for teens beginning Monday, February 26

Additional classes: 3/4, 3/11, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15

Dinner at 6:45 PM | Class 7:00-8:30 PM

Congregation B'nai Amoona | 324 S. Mason Road

In this crash course on Israel and antisemitism, participants will develop an understanding of the history of the Land and State of Israel and Zionism. This will serve as a backdrop to explore October 7 and antisemitism today.

Presented by JSU and B'nai Amoona, this program is free, dinner is provided and is open to all high school students.


Courage Under Fire | An Evening with Israeli Hero Ron Harir

Sunday, March 3 | 5:00 PM

United Hebrew Congregation | 13788 Conway Rd

Meet Ron, gravely injured during the Hamas attacks on October 7, and hear his story of bravery in protecting the people of Israel along the Gaza border.


This program is co-sponsored by United Hebrew Congregation, JCRC, IAC, and St. Louis Friends for Israel.

Jewish Federation Community Solidarity Mission to Israel

April 7-12, 2024

Join Jewish Federation of St. Louis CEO Brian Herstig and members of the St. Louis Jewish community to support the people of Israel and our partnership communities.

Mission Highlights:

  • Visit Kikar Hahatufim, Hostage Square
  • Bear witness to the devastation in the Gaza Envelope
  • Meet with survivors and heroes of the October 7 attacks and hear stories of Israeli resilience
  • Discuss the challenges and realities of post-October 7 life in Israel
  • Visit with hostage families and social service agencies serving on the front lines
  • Visit our partnership community and learn about St. Louis’ commitment to members of Kibbutz Nahal Oz
  • Participant in hands-on volunteer activities
  • Hear from, and speak with, Israeli government, military & professional experts
  • Travel with one of Israel’s top guides



  • 3 nights at a 5-start hotel in Tel Aviv
  • All meals
  • Gratuities for guide and driver
  • 4 days with licensed guide and armed security guard


Price: (land only) 

$4,900 single occupancy & $4,550 double occupancy

Reserve Your Spot
Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Those Still Captured and Missing
Names of Those Still Held Captive (Updated 2/12/2024)

Israel In the News

Debate at the UN

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a U.N. resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the embattled Gaza Strip, saying it would interfere with negotiations on a deal to free hostages abducted in Israel.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the United Kingdom abstaining, reflecting the strong support from countries around the globe for ending the more than four-month war, which started when Hamas militants invaded southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage. 

Further Reading:

Opportunities to Support Israel

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


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
Israel At War Resource Page
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