How are BBYO Members Taking Action to Help Israel?

October 11, 2023
Jenna Barr

Longmeadow, Massachusetts, United States

Class of 2026

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Last Saturday, Israel faced a devastating situation when Hamas launched an attack and deployed rockets that hit Israel, resulting in significant destruction, casualties, and abductions. Israel is now under attack by Hamas, and the Jewish community is doing everything it can to support Israel. BBYO members across the organization have been showing their support for Israel in various ways.

Some individuals have taken action to support Israel during these difficult times. Madison G. from Genesis BBG #2350 of Nassau Suffolk has initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for affected families, hospitals, and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). You can contribute here.

Liv K. from Mayim Chayim BBG #605 of New England is writing to members of Congress, urging them to support and advocate for Israel. Stella M. from Yachad BBG #159 of DC Council and some BBYO friends are planning to protest at the capital in the coming days. 

Many BBYO chapters are actively involved in helping Israel. Leviticus AZA #2387 of Connecticut Valley is encouraging its members to bring $20 to their upcoming meeting for donation to Friends of the IDF. Judge Saul Pinchick AZA #6 of the Rocky Mountain Region has raised over $4,000 for humanitarian aid to southern Israeli communities and aims to reach $7,500-$10,000. T’sahal BBYO #5312 of Greater Jersey Hudson River Region Central is hosting a program to discuss Israel's current situation at their chapter meeting.

Communities are uniting to commemorate the losses in Israel and educate themselves about the situation. In the Great Midwest Region, a peer in the Chicago area is selling IDF bracelets at school, with all proceeds going toward helping Israel. The Cleveland Jewish Federation organized a successful rally in Ohio Northern's community, raising 1.2 million dollars for Israel. A school in Big Apple Region's community has a Jewish Student Union club and has created resources and articles to educate students using QR codes and posters. In Mountain Region community, Scottsdale, Arizona, organized a prayer gathering at their local JCC. In Argentina's community, more than 12,000 people participated in a movement to show their support for Israel.

BBYO regions worldwide are taking action to show their support. Greater Atlanta is encouraging its members to wear white and blue for Shabbat and on buses for the upcoming Fall Convention. They are also creating signs that say "GAR loves Israel'' and "GAR supports Israel'' for various activities. BBYO Germany is working together to donate to ZWST, a prominent Jewish care organization in Germany. BBYO Argentina's regional board organized and hosted a Zoom call open to all Latin American teens, where they discussed their feelings about the situation and ways to help and offered prayers. The penny wars collection at Connecticut Valley Region's upcoming Fall Convention in November will also be donated to support Israel.

As a BBYO member myself, I hope we can continue to support Israel and raise awareness. Let's all consider how we can take action to help Israel during these challenging times. Here are a few ways you, as a BBYO member, and others can take action to support Israel:

  • Take the time to learn about Israel's history, culture, and the challenges it faces. Understand the complexities of the region, as well as the historical context that shapes the current situation. This knowledge will enable you to speak more effectively and advocate for Israel.
  • As a member of BBYO, you can engage in advocacy efforts that support Israel. This might involve contacting your elected representatives to express your support for policies that strengthen the relationship between your country and Israel. Join or initiate letter-writing campaigns, participate in rallies, and engage with organizations dedicated to Israeli advocacy.
  • Organize or participate in fundraising events to support initiatives in Israel. These could be related to humanitarian aid, education, or any other cause you are passionate about. 
  • Engage in open and respectful dialogue with individuals who may have different perspectives on Israel. These conversations can lead to greater understanding and help dispel misconceptions.
  • Keep yourself updated on the latest developments in Israel and the region. Knowledge is key to informed advocacy.  However, reading too much may lead to coming across false information and giving your own meaning to what was actually intended. 

Remember that supporting Israel is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. People have different ideas about how to do this, and that's okay. The most important thing is your commitment and willingness to take action, as you've demonstrated by being a BBYO member and expressing your desire to support Israel. Your passion and dedication can make a positive impact, and you have the potential to inspire others to join you in your efforts.

Jenna Barr is a BBG from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and she is on a competition dance team!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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