Shalom dear friends from anguished, heartbroken Israel.
As you are all, obviously, aware by now, yesterday [Shabbat/Saturday] morning we woke up to a catastrophe. Just like 50 years ago, during a special Chag and Shabbat, without warning, women and men had to leave our shuls (synagogues), in the middle of Shacharit (morning prayers), to fight for our lives. Doctors and therapists were also called to duty, from one moment to the next.
In my own home alone, two of my children, my son-in-law, my brother, my brother-in-law and 5 of my nephews were all called to reserve duty. My third son, who is overseas, is desperately looking for a flight back to Israel, so that he, too, can volunteer to serve.
With a heavy heart that I need to share that the EMUNAH family has not been spared in this tragedy.
The home of the director of the EMUNAH chapter in Ashkelon, Anat Bat Sheshet, suffered a direct hit by a rocket from Gaza. The damage is extensive and while nobody was physically hurt, family members have been traumatized and are being treated.
We all pray for the speedy and full recovery of Amichai, the son of Tami Beck, the director of the EMUNAH Counselling Center in Sderot, who was injured in an attack on a military base. Tami and the rest of her family are still locked down at this time in their safe room in Sderot and cannot even be at her son’s bedside.
I have also just learned the most tragic news – that one of the over 600 (now over 700) people murdered by Hamas, was a therapist in an EMUNAH Counselling Center.
Numerous EMUNAH Children’s Home staff members have been called up and homes are short staffed. All Israeli day care centers and schools are closed today.
At this time EMUNAH will be focused on a number of short term but urgent initiatives.
First, EMUNAH is committed to providing aid and support to any of our 3,000 employees and members of their families and to the children and young people in our care and their families. For this, we have initiated an emergency response program that will be operated by our 13 counseling centers throughout the country, allowing our families access to professional help.
Also, through our network of chapters, EMUNAH will provide assistance in finding solutions for any Israelis who are in need of a place to stay.
I promise to update you regularly over the next few days as the situation unfolds, Meanwhile, together with you, we send condolences to the hundreds of Israeli families who have lost children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses and other loved ones and pray for the full recovery of the thousands of wounded and the safe return of the hostages, brutally kidnapped by Hamas.
We know that you are with us and for us and that inspires us and provides us with strength to keep going during these troubled times.
B’sorot Tovot (With Good wishes and Blessings)