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At the hub of the Jewish community, the Jewish Federation of San Diego strategically engages donors, supporters and community partners in addressing and planning for current and future needs of the Jewish people locally, in Israel and around the world. We care for Jews in need everywhere, strengthen Jewish identity and community, and connect San Diego to Israel.

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Solidarity Mission to Israel | November 2023

Read the reflections and thoughts from the leaders and clergy participating in Federation's first solidarity mission to Israel. 

  • Written by Alan Viterbi on November 30, 2023

    Thank you for having joined me on this journey.  This is the final installment of my travel notes, covering our last day in Israel.  While I will be processing what we saw and heard for many weeks and months to come, I have included some initial reflections on the experience.  Sorry for the lengt...

  • Written by Rabbi Jason Nevarez on November 30, 2023

    Our last day on this solidarity mission was both emotional and inspirational. We head back to San Diego and will begin to sharing our stories and transmit the sacred ones shared to our friends and communities at home.

    Our day began with a powerful session with Rabbi Donniel Hartman (one of ...

  • Written by Rabbi Yael Ridberg on November 30, 2023

    Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav taught: Every person must cross a very, very narrow bridge. The most important thing is not to succumb to fear. On this final day of our solidarity mission, we confronted the very real understanding of how fear has been unleashed in Israeli society but also how 10.7 was...

  • Written by Alan Viterbi on November 29, 2023

    Today we visited the “temporary” homes for the survivors of Kfar Azza and Nachal Oz, a unique therapy facility staffed by hundreds of volunteer psychologists, therapists, musicians and others to assist the survivors of the Nova music festival, and an unusual visit to an Israeli air force base in...

  • Written by Rabbi Yael Ridberg on November 29, 2023

    In 2002, Elie Wiesel z”l said at the Legacy of Holocaust Survivors conference at Yad Vashem, “Whoever listens to a witness, becomes a witness.” Today we learned the power of that sentiment.

    We met with surviving members of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Nahal Oz. Both communities have been relocat...

  • Written by Debbie Kornberg on November 29, 2023

    Our morning started at Shefayim, the temporary home for the residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza. We heard testimonies from three different people who shared their firsthand accounts of surviving the October 7 massacre. Their testimonies were heartbreaking and yet showed tremendous strength and courage. ...

  • Written by Rabbi Jason Nevarez on November 29, 2023

    Today, we encountered our hardest day yet - meeting with members and survivors of Kibbutzim Kfar Aza and Nachal Oz. We had the privilege of bearing witness to these stories, to the truths of what happened, and to the people it happened to. These refugees, as some now refer to themselves, mus...

  • Written by Heidi Gantwerk on November 29, 2023

    Today was very, very hard. Bearing witness was a fundamental reason for our Jewish Federation of San Diego Solidarity Mission, and today we did that. We sat and listened to stories of survivors of the massacres at Kfar Aza and Nachal Oz. Their stories of terror are all the same, and their stories o...

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