Dear Cohen Camps family,
Our hearts and minds continue to be focused on Israel. We are in touch with many of our Shlichim (Israeli counselors) from over the years, as well as adult staff, and families who send their campers to camp. Our Israelis appreciate all the messages they have received on social media and WhatsApp; they feel the love of the Pembroke, Tel Noar, and Tevya communities coming at them from across the world.
We would encourage you to continue to check in with those you are connected to.
In addition to showing your care and concern to our extended camp family in Israel, here are some other ways that you can actively help:
WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
- Urge the release of all hostages: One of these hostages is Hersh Goldberg-Polin, age 23 and a US citizen, who traveled as an Israeli teen with our Dor L’Dor Israel Programs in 2017. Through our longtime travel partner, Keshet, Hersh’s mother, Rachel Goldberg, has asked the Cohen Camps community to share the word of his plight. Hersh was severely injured in the attack and needs medical attention urgently.
Hersh + his mother
- Help the IDF: Jordyn Engel is a Tevya alum who made Aliyah and is awaiting her own draft date to join the IDF in January. Jordyn and her friends are collecting funds to get supplies to the IDF soldiers on the ground. She has teamed up with Einav Shuker (Shlichim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019) to ensure that donations are going to where they are needed most.
Jordyn has raised over $50,000 so far due in large part to the strength of the Cohen Camps community. Your donations are making a difference for so many soldiers. Jordyn has loved feeling the support from camp! For specific updates of their fundraising efforts, follow Tevya on Instagram @camptevya.
Donate to IDF soldiers here in this fundraiser organized by Jordyn through Venmo.
- Bracelets for IDF: Mel Lieberman, current Pembroke Staff, has partnered with Jordyn to raise funds for supplies and equipment. Order your Israel bracelets here, with all proceeds going directly to the soldiers.
- Help Kibbutz Sufa: The kibbutz where Daria, Camp Pembroke’s current Head of Waterfront, lived with her family experienced a devastating amount of destruction. Contributions go directly to the repair and rebuilding of her community and their homes. Donate to Kibbutz Sufa.
- Help Kissufim Kibbutz: Dani Shultz is a Camp Tel Noar alum who lives on this kibbutz, which was significantly impacted by the attacks in Israel. She is fundraising to support her home in Israel and the rebuilding efforts. For more information and to donate: helpkissufim.com
- Keshet Israel Emergency Relief Fund: Donated funds support members of the kibbutzim that suffered the most and are in the most need of urgent assistance. Donations also support the purchasing of equipment to be delivered to newly mobilized reserve units lacking basic personal equipment (primarily socks, water-carriers that fit onto combat belts, and headlamps). Keshet has also found a way to assist individual families with the most difficult circumstances from the communities directly struck on October 7.
- “Lohamim Vetaim” is a non-profit organization that is providing as many hot meals as needed to as many people in need (civilians in impacted areas & IDF soldiers) for as long as needed. The team consists of Navy veterans, including Tomy Manor (Tevya Shlichim 2022). With the assistance of the Herzliya municipality, the Herzliya scouts, and the local religious council, they created a Kosher kitchen that strives to supply 3,000 meals every day. From Tomy: “Here’s your chance to help and make a real difference. Help us take care of the people who risk their lives for us.” Donate here, via Paypal. For more details and verification please contact Tomy directly on WhatsApp: +972-528008816.
FURTHER RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT
Here are two resources to help our children during this time:
- URJ blog “Talking to our Children about the Conflict in Israel.”
- The Jewish Education Project’s “How to Talk to Children About Israel Today,” the recording of a webinar which took place on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
The Cohen Camps have compiled additional resources to help teens gain skills and support in advancing social justice, empowering teens to follow their personal interests and sense of purpose in antisemitism, inclusion, climate justice, and other avenues.
I know we all share the hope to see a return to peace soon. We pray for everyone’s safety and strength as we welcome back some of the hostages, grieve for those we have lost, and hope the safe return of everyone else taken.
Am Yisrael Chai.
Jonathan Cohen, President,
The Cohen Camps Board,
and the Staff of the Cohen Camps