We know many congregants have dear ones in Israel.
If you have a dear one who is serving in the IDF now, please send us the name, so we can include them in our daily prayers.
If you have a dear one who is missing, please send us the name, so we can include them in our daily prayers.
If you have a dear one who has been killed, please send us the name, so we can include them in our prayers.
CALL TO ACTION
To have a coordinated and clear call to bring our hostages home, CIJA recommends we support this simple petition initiated by Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather. If you are a citizen or resident of Canada, please consider signing here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-4647
You may wish to read this Globe & Mail op-ed by former Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler for important background: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-can-help-save-the-hostages-in-gaza/
Thank you. Let’s bring them home.
Supporting Local Israeli Families: The Canadian Savta/Sabbah Initiative
In these difficult times, our congregation’s strength and compassion shine ever brighter. So many have asked, “what can I do to help?”. We are putting out a call to support local Israeli families in our Toronto community.
We are hoping to connect these families with a “Canadian Savta/Sabbah,” to provide them with much-needed support. We’re looking for volunteers from our congregation who are willing to step in as temporary grandparents, offering assistance with their children to give parents a break, or support in other ways as any good grandparents do. Currently, we are collecting names to have a volunteer list before we offer this to the community.
If you’re willing to be part of this initiative, please contact Rabbi Baruchel ([email protected]). Your support will make a world of difference. Let’s come together as a sacred community to make sure no one feels alone during these trying times.
Come Together for Israel
L’Chaim: Updates on Israel
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 5:00 – 5:55 pm
Temple members and friends are invited to join an Israel information update & social support forum, over Zoom.
Learn more & join us here
Calls to Action
Call to Action: Write to elected leadership
- Thank them for their clear support for Israel.
- Ask that they do everything they can for the immediate release of those taken hostage by Hamas.
- Anything else you wish them to know.
Messages of love and support to our UJA ShinShinim
Share a message of encouragement, support, and hope to our Shevet members. You can also post messages to our website for our past and present Holy Blossom ShinShinim, in the comment section. Thank you for your support of our ShinShinim.
Supporting Israelis Landing in Toronto
UJA is working with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) Toronto, and other local Jewish organizations to help the Israelis who are in the Greater Toronto Area during this crisis. JIAS and UJA are assessing needs on an individual basis and providing access to help with childcare, schooling, programs for seniors, short-term accommodations, mental health support, and more.
What our Rabbis are saying
Shabbat Morning Sermon: Rabbi Eliza McCarroll
Kabbalat Shabbat Drash: Rabbi Yael Splansky
Shabbat Morning Sermon: Rabbi Yael Splansky
Kabbalat Shabbat Drash: Rabbi Samuel Kaye
Shabbat Morning Sermon: Rabbi Yael Splansky
Kabbalat Shabbat Drash: Rabbi Eliza McCarroll
The Current with Matt Galloway: click here to listen to the CBC Podcast panel on Antisemitism with Karen Mock (November 7, 2023)
This Is Not My Canada Anymore. We’re Experiencing an Unprecedented Assault on the Jewish Community
Karen Mock, Haaretz, November 23, 2023
Click here for the PDF version
Reflections on War from a Wandering Jew
Susannah Dainow, The Times of Israel, November 19, 2023
The Jews of my generation thought they would be exempt from history. They were wrong
David Bezmozgis, Special to the Globe and Mail, November 3, 2023
Security Update from Holy Blossom Temple
We shared the following message with our congregation. Our Executive Director, Rachel Malach has been in consultation with the UJA Security Division, Toronto Police, and Andrew Kirsch, HBT Security Committee Chair, we have taken added security measures. Some of our existing security procedures and additional measures are visible and some not outwardly visible, by design. Your safety is our top priority.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We know that many in our community are experiencing trauma associated with the events in Israel and there will be a second wave of trauma associated with what emerges in the coming weeks over social media and in other ways. These situations are hard for many and affect our Mental Health. A resilient community is one that supports the full array of needs and reactions to these events.
Together with JF&CS and others in the Human Services Sector, to support our community, we will begin with supporting the supporters (teachers, educators, Rabbis). We are mobilizing professionals with experience in psychological trauma support and those with professional experience in therapy and counselling.
- If you, or a member of your team, are in need of such services, please contact: [email protected]
- If you or someone you know can volunteer their services, please fill out this form.
We are also gathering and mobilizing our existing network of school counsellors to support them in supporting staff and students. Please contact Josh Otis, [email protected] if you are interested in being a part of this group or receiving mental health resources that can assist you and your institution.
Empowerment Groups for the Distress of Our World
Supported by the Luke Sklar Mental Health Initiative
Are you feeling great distress about the conflict in Israel? Are you uncertain how to address the resulting pain? A Terumah member of our congregation, Dr Nate Charach, is a psychiatrist who is running OHIP-covered empowerment groups to transform our pain into the healing of our world. This will be a six-session group, with each session running for 2 hours. Dates and times will be determined based on participants’ availability.
The groups will be held at Holy Blossom Temple. To get further details or book a meeting with Nate to set your intentions for the group, please email him at [email protected].
Resources for Families
How do we talk to our kids about tragic events? How can we respond to their difficult questions about what they see and hear in the news?
This is an evolving collection of resources in response to the horrific violence in Israel in October 2023. We will update this space with resources for parents and families to help them engage appropriately with what is happening. Click here to learn more
Cindy Kozierok: How to be Jewish in Public School
The iCenter for Israel Education FAQ: Gaza and Israel
Magen David Adom Canada
Israel’s only National Emergency Rescue & Blood Services organization, needs us more than ever. MDA is not a government agency and it is not funded by the State of Israel. It relies on contributions from generous donors in the diaspora.
Simply put, your donations have the power to change millions of lives in Israel and beyond.
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto: Emergency Appeal for the People of Israel
When Israelis are hurting, it is our call to action to help.
IMPJ ARZA Canada
There are over 50 Reform congregations in Israel today. They are creating a renaissance of Progressive Judaism and working for our shared values of a Jewish and Democratic homeland.
Prayers for Israel
One of the best ways to support our Israeli brothers and sisters, as well as congregants with loved ones in Israel at this moment, is to reach out and check in with them so that they know that they are not alone. We recognize that this is a time of deep sadness and stress for them all, and we join our hearts and thoughts with theirs. We encourage you to leave messages of love and support for those members of our sacred Holy Blossom community affected by the current crisis in Israel, in the comments section below.
We know they will take great comfort from knowing that their congregation is thinking about them, and with them at this time.
Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael, a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Israel
As for our brothers and sisters, the whole house of Israel, who are given over to trouble or captivity, whether they abide on the sea or on the dry land:
May the All-present have mercy upon them, and bring them forth from trouble to enlargement, from darkness to light, and from subjection to redemption, now speedily and at a near time.
עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ
וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל
May the One who causes peace to
reign in the high heavens cause
peace to descend on us and on all Israel,
and let us say: Amen.