Following the horrific attacks of October 7 and the subsequent Israel-Hamas War, the Rabbanut Yisraelit, our Israeli network of pluralistic rabbis, has been providing direct spiritual, pastoral, and psychosocial support to hundreds of evacuees from Southern and Northern Israel, wounded soldiers, and families of hostages. These 3 short videos show some of the projects and programs they have organized.
Redeeming captives is a the most significant mitzvah. Rabba Tamar Elad-Appelbaum and Jacky Levy, whose family is still captive in Gaza, met at hostage square to discuss the challenges and hardships in the struggle for the release of the captives and the importance of Judaism and rabbinic leadership in this effort.
“I studied in the community track during my rabbinical studies [at Hartman], and I realized that community is an important factor in the healing and resilience of human beings,” says Rabbi Eran Shafir, who accompanied the members of Kibbutz Nir Oz to their new home in Kiryat Gat. His mother-in-law, Hayuta, misses the backyard she had on the kibbutz, but in the apartment building where she lives today, she “sees a lot of the sky – and it’s beautiful.”
Rabbi Matan Hayat, an educator at the Keshet school in Jerusalem, led a project in which his students wrote letters to the families of victims of Iron Sword – and placed them on their gravestones. This moving initiative led the families to contact the students.