Shabbat Shalom from CEO Nora Gorenstein

Dear Friend,

This week in Israel was devastating, as more than 800 rockets were launched at the Jewish State. One Israeli was killed, and many others injured, by a rocket that hit a residential building in Rehovot yesterday. The latest round of violence, in which at least 30 Palestinians have been killed, came in the wake of Israeli airstrikes that wiped out leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group; those missiles also tragically killed a number of other Palestinians in Gaza. 

Jewish Federations’ partners, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, and the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), are addressing needs on the ground. The Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror is aiding families whose homes were directly hit by rocket fire. ITC reports that close to 60% of residents living near the Gaza border have temporarily left their homes and are staying in areas further away from the conflict. We are providing respite services to the residents of 25 small communities close to the Gaza border and to the city of Sderot.

Separately, two Jewish Tunisians—one of whom was an Israeli citizen—and four security guards were shot to death this week in what appears to be a terror attack at the Djerba Synagogue during a pilgrimage for Lag B’Omer that brought thousands of pilgrims to the holy site. For more on this situation, click here.

On a local note, we will once again join together with our network of Jewish Federations of North America to invite local Jewish adults ages 20-25 to apply for the Jewish Changemakers Fellowship. Over the course of a six-week online training, participants will meet inspiring professionals and peers in a fellowship designed to expand their network, hone their leadership skills, and jumpstart their career. They will leave with a clear path to making a difference in their community. The Spring session runs from Monday, May 15-Friday, June 23. For more information, visit

I hope you will join us on Sundays at 7pm May 14 or 2pm June 4 for a special LIVE reading of original works from The Braid’s emerging artists, performed by professional actors. For information about more upcoming events and opportunities, check out our Community Calendar!

Join us for this LIVE performance on Sunday, May 14 at 7:00 pm
or  Sunday, June 4 at 2:00 pm!

Updates and reminders from our national network:

Jewish Federations held a virtual rally this week to call for the release of Evan Gershkovich, the Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter who is being wrongfully detained in Russia. ABC News covered the wide-ranging campaign by Jewish Federations to bring Evan home. Please read our letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken and sign on for your organization. 

Jewish Federations’ Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma participated this week in the annual Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA) Conference. The conference, which was held in Dallas, Texas, was co-sponsored by Jewish Federations of North America, NJHSA, and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. Jewish Federations of North America staff shared their expertise in Person-Centered Trauma-Informed Care (PCTI), which is the new standard for treating elderly adults with histories of trauma. For more on the conference, click here.

We were privileged this week to partner with the Jewish Agency on a mission to Ethiopia. For photos, click here.

Shabbat shalom,

Nora Gorenstein, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer