Ansche Chesed Stands with Israel – Ways to Help and Resources

How to Help
My Heart is in the East: AC Trip to Israel, June 16-20
Hostages and Missing Families Forum
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 (from October) 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.

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My Heart is in the East: AC Trip to Israel, June 16-20

We are excited to be traveling to Israel together in only a little more than a month! Please join us for an impactful experience from June 16-20. We have a great group of participants, and there still are additional spaces for new participants.

Trip highlights include:

  • Bearing Witness: We’ll visit southern communities devastated by the Hamas attacks, and engage with residents now rebuilding their homes. We will visit the site of the Nova Festival at Re’im Forest and hear from survivors and/or first responders.
  • Helping: We’ll volunteer in help centers, aiding those displaced by the fighting. We’ll visit IDF soldiers on duty now and meet with wounded people who found the strength to rehabilitate their bodies and rebuild their lives.
  • Supporting: We’ll visit with hostage families at Kikar Hatufim, “Hostage Square.”
  • Learning: We’ll meet Arab citizen activists and their Jewish partners, building a shared society for all Israelis. We’ll study with religious and secular teachers, poets and Tel Aviv graffiti artists, who confront this trauma with Torah and art. We’ll meet journalists who can help us understand the unfolding political and security landscape.
  • And … it’s Israel: We will visit the amazing new National Library in Jerusalem for a guided tour of its stunning collection, and other places where we will experience the long connection of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel.

If you’d like to join us, please promptly complete the online registration form to reserve your spot, book hotel accommodations, and indicate your method of payment. If you’d like to join, we recommend you make your flight reservations through Rachelle Preiserowicz at Ariel Tours ( You can also use another agent and let us know your arrival and departure dates.

Email with any questions.

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Hostages and Missing Families Forum NY

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum hosts a weekly Run for Their Lives solidarity walk/run around the reservoir in Central Park every Sunday at 11am (at 90th Street and Central Park West).

For more events, subscribe to their newsletter or join their WhatsApp group.

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

He also posted his sermon from Shabbat HaGadol (from April 20) about celebrating Passover in this unique year.

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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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