Israel Resources for Camps
As Jewish communal leaders, camps have an opportunity to support their campers, staff, families, and alumni process and discuss what is going on in Israel in a developmentally appropriate way.
We’ve compiled a number of educational resources to help unpack recent events, address this crisis with community members, and support families as they navigate these difficult conversations with their children. We have intentionally been expansive in the number and diversity of resources listed here both in terms of content to support you and your teams, as well as approaches to conversations and education related to Israel. Please filter and curate the ones that feel most relevant and resonant with your organizational values and areas of need.
Have you seen resources that you think would be helpful for the rest of our camp communities? If so, please send them to email@example.com so that we can share them with the field.
Supporting Your Team
Network for Jewish Human Service Agencies – Jewish Family Services organizations can connect camps with resources in the community, or may also have mental health support available depending on the location. They may also be able to help camp teams find someone to help them process this together as a team. They are also having drop in calls for Jewish Professionals over the next week.
Shine A Light: Workplace Toolkit – Workplace Toolkit: Navigating the Hamas Attacks + Supporting Your Jewish Employees – including sample statements from corporate organizations and employer legal responsibilities.
HuffPost & GoZen – 37 Techniques to Calm Anxiety for Children
National Center for School Crisis and Bereavment – Template – Sample letters and notifications to staff, parents, and students for death in the school community from the School Crisis Center
OHEL – Ohel’s Teacher Support Helpline is available to offer support for educators and youth support professionals, and can be reached at 718-686-3189, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Teacher Support Helpline is available Mon-Wed 12-1pm; Wed-Thurs 4-6pm
Bamidbar – Emotional Support Calls for teens and young adults (13-28) in CO and MA
Crisis Text Line – Providing free, 24/7 support via text message. We’re here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school. Text HOME to 741741.
MESSH at Camp – Best Practices Guidebook – FJC & BBYO Center for Adolescent Wellness
Supporting Your Families
Kveller – How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening in Israel Right Now
Talking to Kids about News in Israel – Jewish Education Project (webinar recording, October 10, 2023)
How to Talk to Children about Israel Today – Jewish Education Project
Teaching About Israel in a Time of Crisis by The Jewish Educator Portal (jewishedproject.org) – Resources for families to talk to their kids about what’s happening in Israel, prayers and engaging with grief.
PJ Library – How to Talk with Children About Antisemitism
Supporting your Israeli Community Members
Write a Letter for Israel – Foundation for Jewish Camp invites Jewish camps to mobilize their communities to send messages of support and solidarity to students and educators in Israel. Participants can upload all the letters into this folder. They will be shared directly with educators and students in Israel. This is a project of The Jewish Agency for Israel, in cooperation with their partners at the Ministry of Education, and in partnership with The Jewish Education Project, Prizmah, and FJC.
#BlueRibbonsforIsrael is a unity campaign in support of the safe return of the hostages. It symbolizes solidarity with the hostages, their families, and all who care about their safety. Are you wearing your ribbon? Order ribbons on blueribbonsforisrael.org
Create message boards where community members can share notes of support, love, and strength:
The Shalom Hartman Institute is a leading center of Jewish thought and education, serving Israel and North America. They have a wide variety of excellent articles and podcasts which can be found here. A few highlights include the following podcast episodes:
- Fighting a Just War (exploring just war theory through legal, philosophical, and Jewish frameworks)
- Israel at War: The Morning After (what should happen after the war?)
- “There is No Justification. But…?” (discussing the nuances of context and justification, morality and war)
- “Reflections on the Israeli Left” (geared to the North American audience, about being a liberal / on the left in this moment)
- “Moral Red Lines” (what are moral red lines when responding to evil?)
- Is Anyone Prepared for These Questions? (geared to parents/educators, how to field increasingly complex questions from children and teens)
The Israel Policy Forum is an American organization that works for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through advocacy, education, and policy research. They have a robust resource hub including timely content, FAQs, a comprehensive timeline of the Israel-Hamas conflict, articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, and more.
New Israel Fund (NIF) advances and protects democracy in Israel. Here are recommendations from NIF for diving deeper, learning from leaders and experts with a human rights & joint Jewish-Arab perspective:
- The first NIF emergency webinar following October 7 was very powerful, though it is a full hour: https://vimeo.com/873830435?share=copy
- Israeli grassroots NGO “Standing Together” on NPR – an incredible Jewish-Arab activist organization: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/21/1207763482/peace-activists-in-israel-speak-about-their-hopes-for-the-end-of-war
- Powerful video about heroic stories of rescue and humanity from October 7. Arabs and Jews facing the terrible inhumanity together and helping each other. This video reached over a million views throughout Israel in less than 24 hours. It was shared widely throughout social media by both Jews and Arabs, further strengthening our belief in a Jewish-Arab partnership.
- A short video showing one of the NIF-supported relief efforts: video of the Jewish-Arab situation room in Rahat – the first Arab-Jewish emergency center
- Historical narratives – a recent podcast of “The Daily” about 1948 was one of the best conversations about this topic.
Here are a few other resources for background information and FAQs: