Israeli flag and quote from Psalm 122

War has a tragic and devastating toll on life and society. In Israel this week, the atrocities of the coordinated attacks by Hamas are profoundly distressing. Civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence, their families and communities torn apart. The immediate human cost of war: the loss of innocent lives, displacement, and psychological trauma, will have a rippling and long-lasting effect.

Here in the relative safety of Canada, we can have a discourse about peaceful resolution and urgent dialogue, but families here have been directly affected by this war. At this moment, the ability to provide emotional and physical relief is paramount.

Israel has a rich and multifaceted story of resilience and determination, and Jewish resistance there has deep historical roots. Diverse perspectives and narratives, and the unwavering commitment of the Jewish people to our identity and the preservation of our culture, means that we can and should come together to provide one another with support and solidarity.

The OJC condemns violence in all of its forms. We mourn all of the victims of this horrific war. Our friends at the Okanagan Chabad House have made themselves available to anyone needing spiritual or emotional assistance at this time. The Jewish Federation has opened an Israel Emergency Campaign to aid those affected by the devastation. They have also curated resources to help young families explain this difficult topic to their children.

Throughout this nightmarish time, let’s take solace in the knowledge that we as a collective Jewish community are–always and ever–strongest together.