Our Resolve Will Not Be Broken

Tags: Federation, Blog, Israel, Overseas, Campaign24

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Everything changed on October 7, 2023. Nothing will be the same. Ever.

The grief, devastation, hurt, and anger we feel is palpable and visible. While our Israeli family – still reeling from the most atrocious of terror attacks – is now embroiled in a war against terror, we in Cleveland have our own fight.

Fighting Ignorance: We need to engage in conversations with our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues about Hamas.

The members of Hamas are not militants or freedom fighters – they are terrorists. Israel is at war with Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas is determined to obliterate the state of Israel and the people of Israel. It’s in their charter. This is why they attacked. This is why they purposely targeted innocent civilians – and why they purposely expose Palestinian children and families to violence by using them as human shields.

The marches taking place in the United States and across the world where people are yelling “Death to Israel” and “Gas the Jews” should make it clear that Hamas has supporters outside the state of Israel who are clear that their goal is not for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace. We must do our part to combat the propaganda and misinformation that fuels Hamas’ supporters, especially that which feeds the conspiracies online.

For example, invite friends to attend the free webinar being hosted by the Maltz Museum on Wednesday, October 18 on the implications and consequences of Israel’s war with Hamas. Likewise, your Federation will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday, October 19 with author and former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. Click here to register.

Fighting Fear: If you see something say something. But keep living your life.

The founder and former leader of Hamas declared that this past Friday would be a “global day of jihad.” Nothing happened. The social media storm was solely for the purpose of inciting fear. That is the very definition of terror. We cannot be controlled by fear or panic – or the terrorists win.

We must live our lives.

We are indebted to our security provider – JFC Security, LLC – and to our dedicated local law enforcement agencies for all they do every day to make sure Jewish Cleveland remains open, vibrant, and calm. You can help in this regard by staying alert to your surroundings. If you see something, say something immediately by calling 9-1-1. The police would much rather rule something out than respond afterwards.

Fighting Silence: We need to be insistent that people speak up and denounce terror targeting innocent Israelis and Jews everywhere.

We cannot stay silent in response to a terror attack. It’s no longer enough just to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. Today, we must insist that our allies make it clear that they denounce terror. Standing with the Jewish community against terror is standing against the beheading of babies, the raping and mutilation of women, the slaughter of innocent young adults, the kidnapping of innocence.

There is no justification or moral equivalencies to be made about what happened last week. Even referencing these terrorist acts as “ongoing conflict” marginalizes the barbaric acts committed by Hamas.

Last Monday, we hosted 2,000 people at a community gathering to demonstrate the unity against terrorism across Jewish and Greater Cleveland. This event was covered by every major local news outlet and led to additional stories throughout the week. There was a two-page ad in Sunday’s edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer with more than 250 “signatures” from elected officials, community leaders, and Cleveland-based organizations voicing their support of Israel. At yesterday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, there was a moment of silence before the game and an appeal to help the people of Israel. The Cleveland Cavaliers will do something similar tonight.

We will continue to find more ways to break the silence and ask that you do what you can too – whether it be sharing social media content from Federation or another trusted source, or engaging friends who have spoken out on other forms of hate but not yet this one.

We should anticipate this war with Hamas will take time. We should anticipate further heartbreak as more innocent lives are lost. We should anticipate that anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric will get louder as this war on terror moves on.

But you can be sure that our resolve will not be broken.

Jewish Cleveland will continue to stay close and care for each other throughout – and work together to support our brothers and sisters in Israel in this time of dire need. If you’d like to get involved in local volunteer opportunities, please click here. If you’d like to donate to our community’s Israel Emergency Campaign and provide immediate assistance to the victims of terror and their families, you can do so here.

In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed on relevant matters as best we can as we go forward. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance during this time of war, please contact Access Jewish Cleveland. We are here for you.

May the memories of all the innocent lives lost be for a blessing – and inspire us to do more to rid our world of hate. Am Yisrael Chai.


Daniel N. Zelman
Board Chair

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

Learn More: Federation, Blog, Israel, Overseas, Campaign24