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Kibbutz Kissufim

Kibbutz Kissufim Temple Appeal 

All of us are shaken to the core by the horrendous pogrom unleashed on Israel’s southern communities by Hamas on Saturday morning, October 7, 2023, Shabbat and Simcha Torah.  More than 1,200 Israelis of all ages were viciously attacked and murdered, 240 taken captive into Gaza and thousands more wounded, traumatized, and made homeless. Beyond the loss of life and injury to persons, the destruction of property, agriculture and livestock was immense, and with the evacuation of survivors and foreign workers, vital food production has come to a halt.  We can only hope that fighting soon will come to an end, that Hamas will be eradicated, all of the hostages returned, and that peace in some form ultimately will prevail. Surely recovery will take a long time and tremendous investment.   

For now, we can help the traumatized, displaced survivors who are temporarily residing in hotels in various locations around Israel, far from their farms and what remains of their homes.  On the strength of personal connections, Oak Park Temple has been invited to join with an initial three other Chicago-area Reform congregations (Beth Emet Synagogue of Evanston, Congregation Hakafa of Glencoe, and Temple Beth Israel of Skokie) to aid members of Kibbutz Kissufim, one of the hard-hit border communities. Most immediately, the money we send will fund trauma care for 58 school-aged children of the kibbutz who survived thirty hours of terror.  While the Ministry of Education has established a temporary school for these children, they have experienced profound trauma and have needs both during school hours and afterwards that far exceed the resources the Ministry of Education has been able to provide. Collectively, we have a goal of raising $200,000 to address the immediate needs of the 58 children of Kissufim.

 As American Jews witness the shock and trial of our brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in Israel today, we feel keenly the admonition Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh (All Israel, the Jewish people, is responsible for one another).  


Join us at 10am on Sunday, December 10th in the chapel for a remarkable program offering insights and practicle ways to get involved. Following Erin Kopelow’s presentation, OPT member Jonathan Franklin will recall what life was like as a Kibbutz Kissufim worker 50 years ago, including additional information on our collaboration to support the devastated Kibbutz.

For survivor accounts of the October 7th attack on Kissufim, please click on the links below:

Survivor’s of Hamas’s rampage in Israel recount the horror’s they saw

It’s not yet post-traumatic stress disorder…we’re still in it

Please consider making a special contribution to Oak Park Temple, earmarked for Kibbutz Kissufim relief, separate from and over and above your regular financial support of the congregation.  A joint committee of the participating synagogues will ensure that money raised is allocated appropriately.  Rabbi Weiss, Nancy Silver, and Jonathan Franklin will represent Oak Park Temple and welcome other OPT members to become involved.  
YOU have a chance to make a difference!

I would like to make a donation to the Kibbutz Kissufim Temple Appeal 

Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784