We have been heartbroken over the loss of innocent lives in the wake of the mass shooting attacks in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend. In the aftermath of such horrific tragedy, it is hard to imagine what we could possibly do to help.
With that heavy on our minds, we want to share some updates our Interim Executive Director, Alan Klugman received today from Eric D. Fingerhut, President & CEO of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) on steps JFNA is taking to support the El Paso and Dayton Jewish Federations.
JFNA has been in active contact with the CEOs of both Federations since the news broke and offered assistance to both communities. While there do not appear to be any Jewish victims in either community, we know from other experiences that attacks like these leave a whole community traumatized, and there are certainly members of the Jewish community who are directly connected with some of the victims.
Yesterday morning, JFNA had a conference call for key professionals from both communities with partner, Taly Levanon from the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), to help explore assistance that ITC may be able to provide. A representative of the Israeli Consulate was on this call, as well. Both communities are also being connected with Neshama – the national association of Jewish chaplains – for additional spiritual resources.
A number of communities have asked about whether JFNA is opening a fund. At this point, based on discussions with the Dayton and El Paso Federations, JFNA has not taken this step. However, there may be some limited funding needs related to enabling ITC and Neshama to bring their resources to the two communities.