Ansche Chesed Stands with Israel – Ways to Help and Resources

How to Help
Thinking About the Conflict
Prayers and Songs

How to Help

If you are looking for ways to help, we encourage you to read Rabbi Kalmanofsky’s letter regarding things we can do to try and make a difference.

In particular, several organizations are highlighted as good channels for financial support:

  • The UJA-Federation of New York has an Israel Emergency Fund. Their connections with the government and Jewish Agency are unmatched. They’ll know where funds are needed and see to it that they arrive.
  • Am-Ehad is a coalition of this year’s protest movements. In this emergency, they are focusing on person-to-person help. Hosting families driven from their homes. Ferrying soldiers to their assignments. Offering mental health support for traumatized people. Caring for seniors and babies.
  • Magen David Adom, the Israeli Red Cross, always comes through with ambulances and emergency medical support. Friends of the IDF helps soldiers on the front lines.
  • Israaid sends volunteers to help and heal in disasters around the world. Now they are doing so at home.


We Have Come to Banish the Darkness: A Chanukah Concert and Communal Candlelighting

Thursday, December 7 at 7pm — All Donations Will Support Israel Relief

Join us to hear a concert by Cantorial students from the Conservative and Reform movements, as they raise their magnificent voices together to lift our spirits, banish the darkness and support our beloved Israel in time of great need. Register here

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Thinking About the Conflict

Rabbi Kalmanofsky expanded on his Dvar Torah from Sanctuary Shabbat Services (originally from October 14) on the Shemini Atzeret War and Parshat Bereishit, discussing the anxiety, fear, and ethical issues surrounding the war.

He also shared his thoughts on his experiences during a recent trip to Israel and participating in the November March for Israel Rally in Washington, D.C.


Shabbat Chanukah Guest Speaker from Israel: Rabbi Noga Brenner Samia

Saturday, December 9 during Sanctuary Services and Kiddush

During Sanctuary Services, Noga will give a Dvar Torah.

Following Services, at Kiddush in the multi-purpose room, Noga and Rabbi Kalmanofsky will lead a study session on a – sadly – pressing topic in contemporary Israeli life and classical rabbinic literature: The Mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuyim [Redeeming Captives], seen as the ultimate form of Tzedaka.

With a passion for pluralism and peoplehood, Noga holds an MA in Jewish Education (HUC/HUJI) and Rabbinic ordination of the Rabanut Yisraelit (Oranim/Hartman). Currently serving as CEO of Hillel Israel, a network of seven Hillel centers on university campuses across Israel, Noga has served as Deputy Director of BINA, taught at the Secular Yeshiva in TA, and lead a spiritual community in Tel-Mond, where she lives with her husband and three children.

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Prayers and Songs

Prayer for the State of Israel
Parent in heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ
Bless the State of Israel, the first flower of our redemption.בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, רֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ.
Guard it with Your kindness and shield it with Your shelter of peace. הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ, וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ, 
Share Your light and truth with its leaders, its ministers and every citizen in Israel,שְׁלַח־אוֹרְךָ וְאֲמִתְּךָ לרָאשֵׁיהָ שָׂרֶֽיהָ וְכָל הָֽאֶזְרָח בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
So that they may sustain a country based upon the principles of freedom, justice and peace, as envisioned by the biblical prophets.לְקַיֵּים מְדִינָֽה מֻשְׁתֶּתֶת עַל־יְסוֹדוֹת הַחֵרוּת הַצֶּדֶק וְהַשָּׁלוֹם לְאוֹר חֲזוֹנָם שֶׁל נְבִיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
Plant within Israel the love of Torah, whose paths are pleasant, whose ways are peaceful..טַע בְּתוֹכָהּ אַהֲבַת תּורָה שֶׁדְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם
Strengthen those who defend our Holy Land. May they go forth proudly, and may they return home safely. חַזֵּק אֶת יְדֵי מְגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ קׇדְשֵׁנוּ,כִּי בְשִׂמְחָה יֵצֵאוּ וּבְשָׁלוֹם יוּבָלוּן
Grant peace throughout the land and eternal joy to all who live there. וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְכׇל־יוֹשְׁבֶֽיהָ
May Israel realize the prophetic vision: וְקַיֵּים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מִּקְרָא שֶּׁכָּתוּב :
“May Zion be redeemed in justice, and those who return to her in righteousness.”צִיּ֖וֹן בְּמִשְׁפָּ֣ט תִּפָּדֶ֑ה וְשָׁבֶ֖יהָ בִּצְדָקָֽה׃
And let us say Amen.וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן
As long as within our heartsכָּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
The Jewish soul yearns,נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה
As long as toward the Eastוּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח קָדִימָה
An eye gazes to Zion.עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה
Our hope is not yet lost,עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ
The hope, 2,000 years old,הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם
To be a free people in our homelandלִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם

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Advice on how to talk to children:
Kids ages 2–6:
  • Avoid discussion of or exposure to really horrific news. As much as possible, wait until after young kids are in bed to watch the news, and save conversations about difficult subjects for child-free moments.
  • Don’t bring it up — unless you think they know something. There’s no reason to bring up violent events with young kids. If you suspect they do know something — for example, you hear them talking about it during their play — you can ask them about it and see if it’s something that needs further discussion.
  • Affirm that your family’s safe. In the case of scary news — even if you’re a little rattled — it’s important for young children to know they’re safe, their family is OK, and someone is taking care of the problem. Hugs and snuggles do wonders, too.
  • Simplify complex ideas — and move on. Abstract ideas can complicate matters and may even scare young kids. Use concrete terms and familiar references your kid will understand, and try not to over explain. “The police are working to make sure people are safe.”
  • Distinguish between “real” and “pretend.” Young kids have rich fantasy lives and mix up make-believe and reality. They may ask you if a scary story is really true. Be honest, but don’t belabor a point.

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