CESJDS stands together as a k’hillah/community with Israel and we are doing everything we can to support our students, staff, families, each other, and the broader community. In light of the tragic and horrific Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, we wanted to share with you some resources that you will find helpful in supporting your children as they navigate the many questions, sadness, and fear that is normal and natural among our community at this very difficult time.
- Guidance on how to speak with children about violence specifically in Israel and Gaza.
- SAMHSA - Talking to kids after trauma
- Helping Kids Cope after a Traumatic Event fromChildMind Institute
- How to Talk to Kids about Violence, Crime and War from Common Sense Media
- APA - Building resilience in response to indirect exposure to terror
- Explaining the News to Our Kids from Common Sense Media
- How to Talk to Children About Israel Today from Jewish Education Project
- Talking About the Israel-Hamas War - JCRC
"And We Shall Teach Them to Our Children”: Helping Young People Navigate this Moment
- Please join us on Friday, December 1, 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM, in the CESJDS Lower School Bender Family Beit Midrash, for coffee and source-based learning with Dr. Jonathan Golden (Director of Wellspring Leadership Initiatives and Interim Director of Boston for the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America) and Jennifer Raskas (Director, Washington DC for Shalom Hartman Institute), who will help us consider how best to guide our children and other young people in our community during this challenging moment in our history. Together, we'll look to Judaism and Jewish sources for wisdom and inspiration during a time of fear, vulnerability, and resilience. No RSVP needed but we would love to hear if you plan to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Resources
- Hebrew-Speaking Therapists in the community are making themselves available to talk to anyone who would like support:
- Yasmin Meyers at https://childandfamilymentalhealth.com/yasmin-meyers/
- Orly Zimmerman-Leizerov at www.growingmindstherpy.org, (301-235-9927, extension 1). Orly is dedicating her time to providing mental health and parenting support to our local Israeli families (at no cost). She's also in the process of coordinating a number of parents' support groups and will share the details soon.
- Therapists in the community:
- Gilly Cannon, Senior Director of Children’s Bereavement Services at Caring Matters. She works closely with many schools in the area: https://www.caringmatters.org/gilly-cannon
- CESJDS Alum Parent Dr. Dahlia Topolosky, a clinical psychologist, has been running a free virtual support group for college students who are impacted by the war in Israel and increasing antisemitism on campus. The group meets on Tuesdays, from 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM. Sign up using this form.
- Lawrence Fink, LCPC, is offering his services for free to any child or adult who is struggling with the current situation in Israel. He works with children and adults and has experience working with trauma and anxiety. Contact info: 240.389.5445 / https://www.gilacounseling.com/
- War Zone Aid: American Therapists for Israel - request support by means of this form.
- B’Yachad Support Group
- Wandering Wellness - A Night of Support for anyone who has someone currently or training to serve in the IDF. Gather and connect for a beginner yoga class, with all donations going directly to the IDF
- Get Help Israel (GHI) is providing a free virtual clinic designed to offer individualized, one-on-one support, catering to the unique needs of each person.
- Helpful tips on supporting children from the National Association of School Psychologists.
- A resource for Hebrew speakers.
- JSSA is providing health and wellness resources in response to the terror attacks and war in Israel.
- See your child's school counselor.
- Times of Israel
- Jerusalem Post
- Ha’aretz English
- Washington Post
- Israel News Digest - Daily News Alert from Israel
- Jewish Federation of Greater Washington - Bearing Witness: Federation CEO Visits Israel During War with Hamas
- Jewish Federation of Greater Washington - Video Message from Federation Shaliach, Ido, following his return to join his reserve unit.
- CNN Interview with Hersh Goldberg Polin's parents
Webinars and Briefings
- JCRC & Project Shema Workshop - "Addressing Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Progressive Spaces," Thursday, December 14, 2023, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM. Click here to register.
- How Did This Start? from JewishUnpacked
- Your Kids' Questions on Israel, Gaza, and Hamas, Answered from Forward
- What Is Happeing in Israel Right Now? from JewishUnpacked
- Discussing the Israel-Palestine Conflict in the Classroom from Facing History & Ourselves
- Israel at War from Unpacked for Educators
There are many organizations right now trying to support Israel, the IDF, and civilians in Israel. Here are a few ways to help Israel at this time. This is not an exhaustive list of established organizations supporting Israel with aid.
- Adopt a Soldier in prayer
- The Federation has set up an Israel Crisis Fund. 100% of what is donated through this fund will support the ongoing need in Israel.
- Donate to the Friends of the Israel Defense Force (FIDF) which directly supports Israeli soldiers.
- United Hatzalah in Israel to raise money to treat the injured.
- Donate to Magen David Adom.
- Donate to ZAKA search and rescue.
- Make a donation through Yashar LaChayal which is providing tactical gear and bullet proof vests for soldiers.
- IsraAID is an international NGO that coordinates large-scale humanitarian response.
- Help the IAC Provide Supplies to Israelis in Need - The Israel American Council (IAC)
Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM)
- TOM is donating all products to those in Israel who need them and covering the cost of materials, tools, workspace, etc. Use this form or click here to donate money, tools, or materials to TOM's cause. CESJDS is the Washington-Baltimore region's exclusive JK-12 TOM partner.
- TOM is seeking (a) volunteer translators who can translate technical product files from English to Hebrew/Arabic to help expand the ability of makers in Israel to manufacture support products and reach more people, and (b) any good open source solutions to become part of TOM's emergency response portfolio. Contact email@example.com to volunteer.
- Restart Global is an Israel-based nonprofit that was started in 2018 working to support wounded IDF soldiers. Click here to help.
- The Beinart Family lives in Moshav Sde Nitzan, located in the Gaza envelope in southern Israel. Their 4 boys attended JDS for a number of years and Gal Beinart taught 4th grade Hebrew and Judaic studies in the Lower School while the family was in Washington, DC, where Eyal Beinart served at the Israeli Embassy. Eyal has been called back to serve in the military after retiring. The Beinart's and the moshav where they live kept the terrorists out on October 7 but are in need of support from the trauma and effects of the terror attacks. Click here to support the terror victims of Moshav Sde Nitzan.
Taking Action to Free the Hostages and Support Israel
- 1 Minute A Day - Join the Hostages and Missing Families Forum to call elected officials to urge the release of hostages.
- JCRC - Join JCRC partners to contact Congressional representatives to thank them for support of Israel and urge them to continue supporting Israel, working to free the hostages, and standing against rising antisemitism. Click here to join the email campaign.
Israel education at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School emanates from our value of Ahavat Yisrael/Love of Israel, defined at our school as "an inextricable bond with the Jewish people – past, present, and future. A strong personal and ongoing relationship with Israel: its history, people, and culture. An appreciation for and mastery of Hebrew as the language and voice of the Jewish people."
For more information and resources, please visit the Israel Education and Engagement page of our website.