Please continue to check this page regularly for updated information and resources.

On Saturday morning, October 7, 2023, while getting ready for joyful Shabbat and Simchat Torah services, we learned of massive surprise attacks on sovereign Israeli soil, the indiscriminate killing and kidnapping of soldiers and civilians, the wounding of hundreds more, and the capture of Israeli territory. We condemn in the strongest terms possible these heinous, coordinated acts of terror carried out by Hamas, with the support of its allies and sponsors.

We stand with Israel in this war of self defense, and will continue to do all we can to lend support, strength, allyship, and the collective prayers of our congregation and the Westchester Jewish community.

Cantor Evan Kent, colleague of Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman’s prayer for Passover 2024: https://www.accantors.org/news/dayeinu-passover-2024

Messages to the congregation from Rabbi David Holtz and Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman:

Message from March 27, 2024: Regarding the Vandalism at TBA

Avinu Shebashamayim, A Prayer for the State of Israel, excerpted from November 10, 2023 Reform Shabbat Service

Message from October 25, 2023: Comments on Parshat Noah – Connecting with Israel

October 7 – Israel UpdateOctober 11 – Reliable Sources of News from the Middle EastOctober 11 – Places to Donate in Support of Israel
Dear Friends,

I have heard from people I know in Israel, and they all say the same thing:  they are frightened and grieving, and they are also angry and undeterred.  As surprised as they were by this attack, they know that the Jewish state will survive.  In the midst of my own horror and rage, it helps me to keep that in mind. 

Though it is taking place on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, the situation today is very different.  In 1973 many both in and out of Israel truly believed that the end had come.  Thankfully, no one is thinking that today.  It helps me to keep that in mind as well.

The world’s reaction has been overwhelming supportive of Israel, and that too is different than 50 years ago.

And yet, none of that changes our visceral reaction to hearing the news and watching the pictures coming out of the land of our people.  When it’s good news in Israel we celebrate, and when it’s bad, we rage and we mourn.  There is also a maddening feeling of helplessness as we sit here and watch.  We want to do something.  Here in Westchester our communal response has been slowed by the fact that this war began on Shabbat and Simchat Torah when much of the community is intentionally off-line.  The Westchester Jewish Council is working on a community-wide rally.

We do not want to wait for that rally.  This is a time when many of us feel the need to be together. So, we will be gathering at TBA on Sunday @ 5:30pm.  There will be music and prayer, and a chance for us to offer support to one another.  I hope that you will join us.

Meanwhile, here is a prayer from the Torah service which we recite each week.  I invite you to read it to yourself or aloud, alone or with your family.

“Avinu she-bashamayim, Rock and Redeemer of the people Israel, bless the State of Israel, with its promise of redemption.  Shield it with Your love, spread over it the shelter of Your peace,  Guide its leaders with your light.  Strengthen the hands of those who defend our Holy Land.  Deliver them; crown their efforts with triumph.  Bless the Land with peace, and its inhabitants with lasting joy.”

Peace and blessings,
Rabbi David Holtz
Friends – This is the second update, as promised. At our gathering on Sunday many of you asked where you could find reliable information about what is going on in Israel. Here are a number of suggestions. Descriptions come from Honest Reporting.

i24News   A print version of the i24 TV broadcast. “Unfiltered, unbiased, global news from where it happens.”

The Times of Israel   According to its website, TOI “has no partisan political affiliation. It seeks to present the news fair-mindedly and offers a wide range of analysis and opinion pieces.”

The Jerusalem Post​​​​​​​  The JPost is considered to be politically center-right although it does aim to provide balanced coverage from across the political spectrum.

YNet News  The English language website of the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth. 

Haaretz  The news source of choice for foreign journalists, diplomats as well as some of Israel’s biggest detractors, Haaretz does have some undeniably high quality writing once you get beyond the sometimes hyper-critical and negative coverage​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

​​​​​​​The Wall Street Journal  Arguably the best U.S. paper re: Israel.     Subscription needed.  Currently offering a subscription special.

With prayers for peace,
Rabbi David Holtz
Friends – To find a wonderful list of organizations, sorted by area of activity, you can go to Israel Aid Alliance.  Some of the groups are well-known charities, others are smaller, go-fund-me type pages.  All are vetted by Israel Aid Alliance.

Another good choice is New York UJA Federation Israel Emergency Fund
They will use the money donated quickly and responsibly.

People ask, “besides donating, what can I do?”  One answer is to reach out to those you know in Israel, and those you know here at home who have loved ones in Israel. Being loving and supportive is a tangible act of chesed (kindness) that makes a difference in a person’s life.

With prayers for peace,
Rabbi David Holtz

Click HERE to view TBA’s Gathering For Israel, Sunday, October 8, 2023 at 5:30pm

Click HERE to view News12 Westchester’s coverage of TBA’s Gatherig for Israel: Tarrytown’s Jewish community offers prayers for Israel in wake of Hamas’ surprise attack

Click HERE for resources from our Religious school about how to talk to our children about what is happening in Israel.