The recent heartbreaking events in Israel have left us all deeply shaken. The savage brutality that took place defies description, and, like the rest of the world, we find ourselves struggling to comprehend the unimaginable brutality that unfolded before our eyes. We are immersed in shock as we grieve the senseless loss of life, and no matter where we may be, our hearts are in Israel, our prayers intertwined with tears as we struggle to comprehend the incomprehensible.
At Amudim, we have been hard at work over the past few days, living up to our organizational mission of crisis management. In addition to working closely with government agencies to help evacuate U.S. citizens from the war zone, we have arranged emergency charter flights to evacuate several hundred stranded Americans, ensuring their safe return to New York before the week’s end.
While we address the physical challenges posed by the ongoing war, we recognize its profound emotional toll as well. The trauma of these events cannot be overlooked, and it is crucial that we address it with care and understanding. Many of us never anticipated that spending the holidays in Israel would involve living through an active military conflict, being exposed to the constant threat of rockets, and witnessing a staggering loss of civilian lives. The daily influx of devastating news only adds to our collective pain.
During this time, we strongly advise people to take a break from social media in order to preserve their mental health. Social media boundaries are frequently overstepped, with users posting atrocities and hate messages without fear of any significant repercussions. Given that reality, these platforms are toxic and best avoided.
Understanding that many are struggling to cope with the ongoing horrors that have invaded our world, we feel it's appropriate to share some vetted resources to help those who are struggling.
The Darcheinu and Our Path SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) teams have created a one-time session for their partner schools to use in the classroom to help students process and cope with the ongoing situation in Israel. At this time, Amudim is offering both these sessions for free on the Darcheinu and Our Path SEL websites for any school (or parent) that wishes to download these materials.
BetterHelp is offering six months of free online counseling to those impacted by the ongoing war. Highly praised by reputable sources such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Forbes, and others, BetterHelp has 34,000 licensed, experienced, and accredited mental health professionals in its database.
Chai Lifeline is offering crisis services in both America and to English speakers in Israel, including the Anglo community, English-speaking yeshiva and seminary students and English-speaking parents of students in Israel. 24 hour crisis line can be reached by calling 732-377-5135 in Israel of 855-3-CRISIS in the United Stats or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Chai Lifeline also has a full page of resources for adults and children on its website that can be accessed by clicking here.
Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services has released a five page document on managing trauma that is geared to parents and caregivers, with specific tips for helping children of all ages cope with the difficult realities. The guide can be accessed by clicking here. OLhel also has a dedicated support line for teachers which can be reached either by emailing email@example.com or by calling 718-686-3189 from 12 to 1 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or from 4 to 6 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Those in Israel can take advantage of the emotional first aid provided by ERAN. Click here or call *3201 for support. For lone soldiers, specialized assistance is available through the Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldier Hotline at *6563.
Those in Israel can also access the latest emergency instructions, guidelines, alerts, and other updates from Homefront Command by clicking here .
This is an incredibly difficult and painful time for all of us. We continue to pray for peace, safety, and tranquility in Israel and across the world.