The J was thrilled to participate in the New York Stands for Israel Solidarity Rally on October 10 and to bring several buses of community members to Washington, DC for the March for Israel on November 14. The March was organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and one of its key leaders was Natan Sharansky – a lifelong human rights activist and a major force behind the free Soviet Jewry movement. It was a particularly moving, full-circle moment when our community members, many direct recipients of the Free Soviet Jewry movement, cheered Natan Sharansky on the National Mall in DC, the same spot where so many Americans marched 36 years ago demanding for Jews to be released from behind the Iron Curtain.
Among our participants were a significant number of our newer community members from Ukraine, those who have fled the war over the past year and are among the 10,000+ whom the J has resettled in south Brooklyn. They were steadfast in their resolve to be a part of this historic event, a reflection of both Jewish and American values. Part of our resettlement work — whether with refugees from Ukraine or other countries that are represented in our client base — is to help new Americans become active, engaged community members. Speaking out for our brothers and sisters around the world at rallies and other events is core to our values and a key element of integration into American life.
As typical US visa requirements have been temporarily waived for those from Israel, some Israelis with ties to Brooklyn are arriving in our community seeking help with childcare, school registration, healthcare, and more. The J is stepping up to provide the support that will ease their transition and trauma during this uncertain time.