Dear JEWISHcolorado Community,
We continue to monitor the devastating news out of Israel today where Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented land, air, and sea attack on Israel from Gaza, firing more than 2,500 rockets, breaching the country’s borders, killing at least 150 Israelis, injuring more than 1,000, and inflicting significant damage on border communities. The attack comes 50 years and a day after the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
In response to this significant and unprovoked attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was at war to defend its sovereignty and its people and gave the order for the IDF to commence “Operation Swords of Iron.”
Many of JEWISHcolorado’s partners live in southern towns, and kibbutzim. We are reaching out to friends and colleagues to verify their safety and offer support to help them return home to Colorado if possible. A Colorado trip with Ibex Investors was in its initial stages, and many from the Denver and Colorado community are in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We also have people in our community whose families, as part of the IDF reserves, have been called up to fight. Both of us also have family members traveling, living, and studying there.
JEWISHcolorado is working with our core partners to support victims of terror help rebuild damaged infrastructure and address the unprecedented levels of trauma caused by this horrific attack. You can support these efforts here: https://www.jewishcolorado.org/donate/. Barry and Gay Curtiss-Lusher, writing from a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv, and their children, including JEWISHcolorado Board Chair Ben Lusher and his wife Nicole, have offered a $20,000 dollar-for-dollar match for immediate help. All funds given will support efforts on the ground in Israel. We know there will be tremendous need. Additional support can be directed to Jewish Federations of North America, or the Jewish Agency.
We are also working with Phil Niedringhaus locally and the broader Secure Community Network. At this time, the Duty Desk is not aware of any threats to the Jewish community in North America but is actively monitoring for any potential Hamas sympathizers that may consider taking action against Jewish facilities domestically. Past events in the Middle East have served as a catalyst for protests, targeted action, and acts of violence against Jewish institutions and community members.
SCN recommends that Jewish facilities ensure their security protocols are in place, and both state and local law enforcement are cognizant of the potential for an international event to have domestic implications.
We will communicate with any shifts in upcoming JEWISHcolorado events, including CHOICES and the JEWISHcolorado Public Officials Mission as soon as we have that information. We are also working with our Israel-focused global and local partners to plan local events of support. Jewish Federations of North America is hosting a webinar for further updates on Sunday, October 8 at 10am MT.
We will keep you appraised.
Renée Rockford, President & CEO
Ben Lusher, Board Chair