Dr. Yael Rakov Drori, an active member of the Schechter Institute Executive Committee, has been volunteering in the Development Town of Ofakim for over 14 years in various positions assisting the city’s development.
Ofakim was targeted by terrorists on October 7th, where they murdered 51 people, mostly in one specific poor neighborhood. The town needs money for the following: to help the families of the 51 victims; to help the families of at least 40 people injured; to help families whose homes were damaged; to help many people who were traumatized; and to help fund two soup kitchens.
Marpeh, Schechter’s pastoral care training program, is staffing a spiritual care hotline. Alumni and current students operate the hotline, providing a listening ear, emotional and spiritual support to Israelis in this time of acute crisis. Every evening from 6PM to midnight, a team will listen, meditate and teach people techniques for self-care. Marpeh is directed by Dr. Einat Ramon, a Senior Lecturer in Jewish Thought at Schechter. The program has 30 students and over 150 graduates.
TALI’s professional team is sending out daily resource kits for distance and in-school learning in response to the war. It is opening its digital resources to the public, enabling teachers to utilize digital books at no cost. TALI is offering pedagogical workshops for teachers to assist them in integrating the materials into their daily routine, be it remote learning or in-person. The daily emails are devoted to three main topics: prayer resources; Jewish texts for these times; and educational content related to children and resilience.
The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary is sending students to communities throughout Israel in need of a rabbinic presence at this time, whether because the communities lack professional rabbinic guidance or because their rabbis are serving in the army reserves. Students will teach classes, run programs for children and adults, and spend Shabbatot at the communities.
A group of fifteen Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking artists arrived in Israel as new immigrants this past year, escaping the war in Ukraine. Neve Schechter in Tel Aviv runs a group to improve their integration into Israeli life. The yearlong program offers study of Jewish and Israeli texts on the subjects of Aliya, language and art, as well as meetings with art curators and professionals to help them rebuild their lives in Israel. Neve Schechter will offer a series of group sessions with a psychologist to help them during wartime, and a modest stipend to help them sustain themselves during this difficult time.
The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary (in partnership with The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel) opened an emergency hotline for halakhic questions on burial, funerals, mourning, the missing and the kidnapped. Staffed by Masorti rabbis, and offered also in English and Spanish, volunteers staff the hotline from 7AM to 10PM.
We ask for your support during this emergency.