CBE President comments on Israel

October 23, 2023
By Keith Satter
Category: Bulletin

Like so many of you the situation in Israel has been crowding out almost everything else in my mind. No question, our world has changed since October 7th. Every conversation I have had with our members always turns to the Middle East situation, always with the question, do you know anyone over there? I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve at school, but I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and said they were thinking of the folks in Israel. Everyone wants to help and, of course, there are many ways to do so. Our Fairfield County Federation is a treasure trove of ways you can help.

At the same time, the Middle East situation has raised everyone’s stress level to a high degree. So, my thoughts are on each of us. What can we do to not only take care of Israel but take care of ourselves, too?

Recently, our movement’s umbrella organization, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,  held a Northeast District’s President’s Forum. These take place monthly, but the most recent provide a model for dealing with this crisis.

The model breaks down into three parts: Hands, Head and Heart.  Hands are the doing/action part. Essentially what are my options to take action to support those in need and ensure that I live out my beliefs and values?

Next is Head, knowledge and understanding. What do I need to know in order to try and understand events, their history, and what might happen next?

Finally, we have Heart, the emotional and personal part.  How do events in Israel make me feel? How do they relate to my identity and story? The story of the family and those whom I love? What are my hopes? Worries? Concerns? Aspirations?

I don’t know about you, but I always feel more in control of any situation when I have a plan. I think the USCJ model gives me, and now you, a sense of focus  in a situation that is so far away and so out of our control.

Talking helps. Rabbi Paskind is available for these conversations and, while I am no expert in Israeli affairs, so am I. Reach out. Share your feelings. Contribute. And, finally, offer your prayers for the Israeli soldiers and government officials who are on the front lines of this intense situation.

B’Shalom (Here and in Israel)