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.
- Talking Points and Guidance for Speaking to Students about War in Israel by a Head of a Jewish Day School in the U.S.
- How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening in Israel Right Now by Sivan Zakai
- How to Talk to Children about the Conflict in Israel by Rabbi Edythe Held Mencher L.C.S.W
- Terrorism and War: How to Talk to Children from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Helping Children Cope with Terrorism: Tips for Families and Educators from National Association of School Psychologists
- Talking to Children about Terrorism from the 9/11 Memorial
- Resilience in a Time of War: Parents and Teachers of Elementary School Children from American Psychological Association
- Extra Resources for Children Communication in Difficult Situations
From Unpacked for Educators (a phenomenal resource for Israel Education): 3 ways to discuss the situation with your children
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.