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Dear Jacobs Camp Families,

We are shocked and horrified by the heinous attack in Israel over Shabbat. We share the pain and heartbreak of every Israeli and remain steadfast in our support of Israel and all its citizens. One of the most important parts about camp are the relationships we create.

We share in your worry about our loved ones in Israel – Israeli campers, Mishlachat counselors, Israeli family members, friends from NFTY in Israel and Birthright, and many others. Every single one of them has been personally affected by these terrorist attacks. We have reached out to our campers, staff, and their families living in Israel and so far our community is physically safe. We have shared with them how much their Jacobs family loves them and is holding them in our prayers. We will determine how we can best share information about our community in Israel moving forward.

We do know that several Jacobs Camp Israeli staff members who were out of the army have been called up from reserve duty to IDF active service. We send our prayers and blessings of strength and protection to them and all IDF soldiers.

Transparently, it is complex for Nadav and me to wear both hats – to lead camp and also to be worried about Nadav’s family in Israel. Some of his family had to evacuate their homes and his brother and brother-in-law were called back in to the IDF. They were ripped from everyday life back into the army from their wives and children because of these heinous attacks.

We are trying to determine how our community can best show support, and we will share when it’s clearer. Below are community resources that you may find helpful during this difficult time. 

The URJ is hosting an Emergency Update: Standing in Solidarity with Israel Monday, October 9th at 2:00pm ET / 11:00am PT. The Reform Movement is standing in solidarity with the people and State of Israel following the unprecedented terrorist attack on Israel from Gaza that has killed hundreds of Israelis and wounded thousands more. On this briefing, we will hear updates from our communities in the Shaar HaNegev and Gaza areas, and join together to share in this moment of grief and mourning.

The Jewish Education Project is hosting A webinar How to Talk to Children about Israel Today to help educators navigate conversations with students about the situation. It will take place on Zoom on Tuesday 10/10 at 11 am CT. They also have further resources available on their Portal about teaching and talking about Israel in times of crisis.

We also know that several of our regional congregations and communities are hosting events as well. We will be sharing these resources and information on social media too.

This is a tragedy and an unfolding crisis. The most important thing we can do is be there for each other, listen and talk, cry and pray, and remember that enduring a time like this is exactly why our community was built. We will hold each other and carry each other through. Thank you for your support and love. We love you too.

With Blessings of Strength and Protection,

Anna Herman, Camp Director

About the Author

Anna B. Herman


Anna has lead Jacobs Camp as Director since 2014. Anna grew up in Dothan, AL, and began attending the Henry S. Jacobs Camp at age 11. In addition to being a camper, Anna also was a counselor and unit head. Following graduation from the University of Alabama, she became the assistant director at Jacobs, after which she served as a congregational youth director and as the assistant director of the URJ Meetings and Conventions Department. Anna then transitioned to the assistant director of business operations for the URJ’s camping system. In this role, in which she partnered with our 14 URJ camps across North America, she gained a wealth of camping knowledge.

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