Resources for families during war in Israel

We are devastated about the unconscionable acts of terror that have been perpetrated against Israel. Our hearts and prayers are with Israel, and our fellow Jews worldwide, as we pray for the safety and security of our homeland and the restoration of peace in the Middle East.

Dealing with a crisis of this magnitude, specifically when it touches so many of our families, is extremely challenging to address with students of any age. We know that students have been exposed to a wide range of information from different media outlets, social media, and family conversations. We strive to do our best to speak to, answer questions and comfort and support students at their age-appropriate level.

Please be mindful that online images and videos can have a damaging impact. A formal warning has been posted in Israel that extremely disturbing footage will continue to be posted online and that young people should remove Instagram and TikTok or avoid using these platforms. It is important that we are aware of what may possibly be coming and do our best to stay away from this kind of viewing.

Please see below for some helpful resources to consider when you speak with your children.


From Unpacked for Educators (a phenomenal resource for Israel Education): 3 ways to discuss the situation with your children

1. Moral Clarity
Let your children know that there is no moral equivalency between Hamas and Israel. Too many media commentators draw a disturbing parallel between Israel and Hamas, implying that they are morally equivalent and equally to blame for the violence. Let’s make no mistake about it. Hamas is a terrorist group (officially designated this way by the U.S., European Union, Israel, Canada, Japan and others) that is attacking and firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli citizens. Israel is a sovereign country that is defending its citizens through targeted airstrikes aimed at terrorist leaders or military operations.
2. Start with Areyvut (accountability or responsibility)

A guiding principle in Jewish thought is the idea that all Jews are responsible for one another. How can we inspire young Jews who live outside of Israel to care deeply about their extended Jewish family in southern Israel and throughout the country? Many Jewish people in Israel are feeling scared right now. The images of grandmothers, children and young women being dragged into Gaza as hostages (and many other horrifying images) are extremely painful to see. As a people, we must first and foremost be there for our people.

3. Encourage your children to use social media responsibly
Encourage your children to use social media responsibly. Give your children these key messages: Do not get into a fight on social media if you don’t know the person or if you don’t know the facts of the story. Take the conversation offline whenever possible and try not to respond in the heat of the moment. Ultimately, use your channel to educate those around you.
Additionally, children should be conscious of the toll this can have on their mental health. A lot of footage being shared is graphic and should be avoided. Children (and adults) should take breaks when needed.

Safety Protocol

Copy (may not need pic beside)

A group of 4 young students are sat at the same desk. They are sharing a basket of different coloured crayons and each drawing on a blue piece of paper.

Students at Leo Baeck learn about art movements within the greater context of global history and historical change. But, above all else, they learn to think critically about their work and the work of others by applying their skills of analysis and critique.

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