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Flag of Israel flying on a flag pole at a military post with text the reads Stand by Israel


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Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

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Now, more than ever, it is critical that we come together and publicly display our love and support of Israel and the people who live there. 100% of your donation will go directly to the relief efforts. Special thanks to Israel and Valeska Zighelboim for co-chairing the Israel Emergency Campaign.

We apologize in advance for writing to you on Shabbat and a holiday, but we felt it important to share the following message. 

Letter Dated October 7, 2023

To Our Dear Community Members,

Once again, on a holy day of the Jewish calendar, the people of Israel have come under attack. Once again, the brave military forces of the State of Israel are responding and will defend our beloved Jewish state. And once again the Jewish communities of North America stand in total and complete solidarity with our Israeli brethren. We pray for their safety and will do everything we can to ensure the complete and total success of their efforts. And once again the Jewish Federations across North America will act immediately and comprehensively to support our brothers and sisters as they defend Israel.

The prayer for the State of Israel we recite in synagogue every week, including this morning, says ונתת שלום בארץ ושמחת עולם ליושביה – "Grant peace in the land and happiness to all its residents." On this day, which is the holiday of Simchat Torah in Israel – we usually sing and dance with simcha, with happiness. Today is not a day of simcha in Israel, but a day of solidarity, determination, and utmost seriousness.

We pray for our beloved Israel, our family and friends, and our Partnership2Gether region, Yoav.

Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will stand together as we always do. Am Yisrael Chai.

What We Know So Far

This morning, dozens of Iranian-backed terrorists invaded Israel in an unprovoked invasion and assault that has left more than 100 Israelis killed and over 1,000 injured. The true numbers are still to be known.

The nightmare unfolding across southern Israel is unprecedented. The fear and concern we have heard from our friends and family in Israel is heartbreaking.

Palestinian terrorists burst through the security perimeter and began a rampage across Israeli communities, going door to door killing and injuring innocent Israelis. Several Israeli civilians and soldiers have been abducted and taken into Gaza. At the same time, thousands of rockets have been fired at cities across Israel – including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The IDF is engaging with terrorists. More than 1,000 Israelis have been taken to hospitals, and Magen David Adom is now using bullet-proof mobile intensive-care units to reach and treat citizens in the south.

The IDF has launched an operation, Swords of Iron, to confront Iranian-backed terrorism and protect Israel. The Israeli Air Force has already hit several targets in Gaza in what is said to be the start of a sustained and broad operation.

The full extent of the devastation this morning is still not known. The photos and videos are gut-wrenching and inconceivable. The days and weeks ahead will be extremely difficult for Israel and for its supporters.

The Times of Israel has a live blog with live updates on the situation.

Please Note

The Jewish Federations of North America is assessing the situation, in close touch with its partners at the Jewish Agency, JDC, and local Federation partners. President and CEO Eric Fingerhut is in Israel coordinating with Rebecca Caspi, senior vice president for global operations, and the Israel office on the response.

We will keep you apprised of the situation as more information becomes available.

Bruce Reich

Community Relations Council Chair

Robert Wax


Aaron Gorodzinsky

Director of Campaign and Security Planning

Jeri Zimmerman

Executive Director

Magen David Adom - Israel's emergency medical system

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Israel is under siege. Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical system, needs your support. Your donations help provide the ambulances, protective ballistic vests, and supplies, including hemostatic bandages, MDA needs now.

The men and women of Magen David Adom are now risking their lives, rushing to treat Israelis injured by rockets and terrorist gunmen. Three of our colleagues have already made the ultimate sacrifice, killed while treating patients or in their ambulance en route to the emergency.

The people of Israel — and our EMTs and paramedics — desperately need your support. MDA urgently needs more ambulances, protective vests and helmets, and critical supplies and equipment, such as monitor-defibrillators and hemostatic bandages to stanch wounds.

Lives are at stake! Israelis are counting on you. And, if you donate today, your gift will have twice the impact. Because, for a limited time, Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies will match your gift one-to-one. Please Support Magen David Adom today.

Magen David Adom is Israel's national paramedic and Red Cross service. A leader in mass-casualty response and EMS technology, MDA treats and transports almost 1 million people to hospitals every year; collects, safety tests, and distributes nearly all the blood to Israel's hospitals; and, through its affiliation with the Red Cross movement, responds to disasters around the world.

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Lone Soldier Center's Emergency Fund

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As you may know, our beloved Israel is facing a severe crisis. Innocent civilians, including women, men, children, the elderly, and the infirm, are in grave danger.

Our lone soldiers, who have dedicated themselves to defending the State of Israel, have had to return to their bases due to the escalating situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we need your support to send them love and assistance during this critical time.

It is with heavy heart to inform you that we have suffered causalities, injuries, and at least one of the our own soldiers is missing. We will update you as soon as we can.

The Lone Soldiers Center is on the front lines of providing care and support to these courageous individuals. However, our soldiers need our help now more than ever. We are reaching out to you, our community, to join us in supporting our lone soldiers.

We have established an emergency fund specifically aimed at providing essential assistance to our lone soldiers. Your generous contribution will go directly towards ensuring they receive the support they need. Whether it's food, medicine, shelter, trauma counseling, or emergency supplies, your donation will make a meaningful impact on their lives.

Please donate to the Lone Soldier Center's Emergency Fund.

The situation is evolving rapidly, and the needs are immense. Our lone soldiers and their families are counting on us to stand by them during this difficult time. Your support will make a real difference in their lives and show our unwavering solidarity.

Additionally, we encourage you to share this message on your social media platforms and with your friends and family. Together, we can amplify our impact and ensure that our lone soldiers know they are not alone in their service and sacrifice.

We thank you for your compassion and support during these trying times. Let us continue to pray for peace and healing for our beloved Israel.


Liora Rubinstein

A "lone soldier" is an IDF soldier with no family in Israel to support him or her. A lone soldier may be a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan or an individual from a broken home. Every day, tens of thousands of soldiers are defending the State of Israel and its citizens. These soldiers regularly spend weekends and holidays at home where their parents provide for all of their needs: food, laundry, and even a hug. For more than 6,300 lone soldiers, there is no immediate family in Israel to support them. Though highly motivated and proud to serve, when on leave, many of them struggle with basic needs that a family would solve.

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Jewish Family Services Is Available for Support Services

The devastation unfolding in Israel has filled us all with sadness and compassion for the innocent victims. Many in the community have personal connections to family and friends who are visiting or living in Israel during this unimaginable time.

There is so much to take in and sometimes it helps to not process it alone. This is a time when as a community, we must embrace one another and find the strength to cope. We join Jewish communities around the world in standing in solidarity with the people of Israel.

For more information or to schedule an individual appointment, contact Debbie Zoller at 610.821.8722 or

Please contact Co-Presidents Marc Abo and Vickie Semmel with any questions.