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Hearts in Israel

Upcoming Events | Ways To HelpResources For This MomentVideo ArchivesArticles & Conversations | Masorti

We want to begin by thanking this incredible community for the way in which you have shown up over the past several months. It matters. You matter. We matter. And as we’ve said to you already, we really need each other. The massacre perpetrated in Israel by Hamas on October 7th--and its ongoing effects--has left us shaken in grief. Together we are finding a path forward based on our shared values and obligations.

We also want to offer gratitude for this beautiful community–our Adas community. We come from different backgrounds, we look different from one another, our families are diverse, we are often politically divided on many issues, and more. We love this about Adas. In fact, our diversity often impels our larger, communally-shared moments to feel all the more potent, like the Vigil for Israel held at Adas, the Rally downtown, and our daily and weekly services.

What has been so striking to us is that in this moment of crisis, amidst all we are, we are showing ourselves to be a community of helpers. We are trying to draw each other in closer, rather than focus on that which divides. For this we are ever grateful. 

This communal intention will continue to be critical–maybe more than ever–as the war continues to become more deadly for our Israeli family, a humanitarian crisis deepens in Gaza, hostages still being held in unspeakable horror, and as more and more innocent life is lost.  

The Israel Engagement Committee (IEC) is working to figure out how to best use the resources of the community to help Israel immediately and in the future. To get involved with IEC activities, or suggest ways Adas can be supportive, please be in touch with Dennis Yedwab.

Upcoming Events


Humanitarian Obligations

Sunday, July 21 @ 10:30am in Biran Beit Midrash

Register Here

DC supporters of Standing Together invite you to join us for an event discussing the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We will begin with a panel of humanitarian experts: Noah Gottschalk (HIAS), Kate Phillips-Barrasso (Mercy Corps), and Alonzo Wind (recent West Bank/Gaza director at International Medical Corps). The panel will be followed with an opportunity for small group discussions led by experienced facilitators, to offer space to process thoughts and feelings. 



Week of Goodness:
Redeeming Our Hostages Through Good Deeds

Rachel Goldberg-Polin and Jon Polin are launching a “Week of Goodness” campaign next week, July 14th to July 21st

Click here to Sign Up - 24 Hour Limud (study) for the Hostages July 14-15

Click here for more opportunities happening July 14-July 21

The families of all the hostages have been running to the ends of the earth to do everything possible to help save our loved ones. But we have yet to see the result we want. Click here for some of the efforts we will be undertaking - volunteering, studying, giving charity, praying, singing, and more. Join us, or commit to your own benevolent actions. We are living in a fractured period, and our beloved hostages are in unimaginable darkness. Help us to repair and bring more light into the world.



Israel and the Diaspora: The future that began on October 7

Special community briefing with Dr. Yizhar Hess, Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization

Sunday, Sept 8 at 6:30pm | Register Here

Join us for an enlightening and timely special community briefing with Dr. Yizhar Hess, Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization. In these complex and challenging times, the relationship between Israel and Jewish communities worldwide is at an inflection point, and arguably more foundational than ever. Dr. Hess will delve into the nuances of recent events, their impact on our global community, and the future of the Jewish State. This is a unique opportunity to gain deep insights and engage in meaningful dialogue with one of the leading experts and pluralistic voices, as we work to shape our collective future.

About Yizhar
Prior to his appointment as Vice Chairman of the WZO, Dr. Hess, a 10th generation Jerusalemite, served as the Executive Director of the Masorti Movement in Israel from 2007-2020, advocating for Jewish pluralism and negotiating egalitarian prayer at the Kotel. He also served as Deputy Director at the Shorashim Centre, a Jewish Agency shaliach to Tucson, and Director of Partnerships for the Jewish Agency. Yizhar is a prominent voice in the Israeli press on religion and state and co-edited the book, Questions About God. He resides in Modi'in with his wife Yael and their two children.



American Red Cross - Advocate For The Release Of The Hostages From Gaza

Every Sunday at 10:30am

Organized by Bring Them Home DC

This coming Sunday we will gather again in front of the Red Cross HQ on 17th NW between D and E to advocate for the release of hostages from Gaza. Please bring photos of the hostages. #BringThemHomeNow

🇺🇸🇮🇱Israeli and US flags are encouraged.
🔔🔔🔔🔔 Please also bring bells or of any size. We will ring them to call attention to our cause.
Place: American Red Cross, 17th St. NW, between D and E



Book Club with Rabbi Aaron Alexander (Virtual) 

Deepening Our Connection to Israel: Listening to the Voices and Stories of our Land and Our People

Click here for a list of books we've previously read and book recommendations

Dates and Registration for Next Year Coming Soon
This group will be co-facilitated by Marilyn Cooper.



How do we love Israel? With Rabbi Shira Stutman

Class Begins Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30pm, In-Person (7 Week Session)
Click Here To Register

The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas has laid bare many American Jewish disagreements about Israel, both in terms of policy and approach. For those Jews who love Israel but choose not to live there, how do we best support Israel from afar? Should our support be unwavering or qualified? This class will gather seven times to discuss, argue about, reflect, cry, laugh, and build on these questions and many more.



Donations for the City of Lod, Israel

The Israel Engagement Committee and Adas Israel is partnering with the City of Lod in Israel. We've collected already significant donations for basic needs for their recovery and relief efforts. We are helping to raise funds for the city to update and rebuild their necessary bomb shelters, protecting all of its residents, Jewish and Arab alike.

Donate A Bomb Shelter for the City of Lod

Click Here To Contribute



Israel Crisis Relief Fund

Click Here To Contribute Your Support Today

Click Here To Learn More About Where Your Donation Is Going

The link for the Federation’s emergency-relief response, also shared on our Facebook page, is now live. You can use the link now to make a contribution and share out with others. These funds are regularly dispersed, directly to the ground, supporting: United Hatzolah, Magen David Adom, Saroka Medical Center, The Israel Trauma Coalition, Evacuation Efforts, Kibbutz Re’im, and more. 



Support Masorti’s Emergency War Campaign

Click Here To Contribute Your Support Today

The Masorti Movement, NOAM and our kehillot are running various activities to help those affected by the war in Gaza: from spiritual and physical assistance to evacuees, to providing chairs for shiva houses; from preparing meals for soldiers to programming for evacuee children. We have initiated programming based on information available during the first days of the war; we will continually evaluate and update these programs to meet developing needs arising from the war.
Your partnership will help us support those in need during this time of war.



Donate to World Central Kitchen - Help us provide fresh meals to communities in need

Click Here To Contribute Your Support Today

Our friend Chef Jose Andres (World Central Kitchen) is doing critical humanitarian work—feeding civilians in need--in Israel and Gaza. "We are committed to providing nourishing meals and food kits to families who need support, and our teams will continue to seek ways to do that for residents in both Gaza and Israel.”



HIAS - Help Rush Emergency Aid to Israel

Click Here To Contribute Your Support Today

HIAS is rushing critical emergency aid to the people affected, including basic supplies (hygiene kits, blankets, school supplies), cash-based assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, child protection, and support for local partners that are providing shelter, medical services, and legal help.

Your donation today will immediately support humanitarian aid in Israel. Please, make a gift today to help rush emergency aid — all donations will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.




Click Here To Learn More & Donate

We demand the safe return of all citizens who have been taken hostage by the terrorist group Hamas. We will not rest until every hostage is released and returns home safely. You can help bring them back home.



The Israel Engagement Committee at Adas

The Israel Engagement Committee (IEC) is working to figure out how to best use the resources of the community to help Israel immediately and in the future. 

One thing we are doing is putting together a list of families who are willing to host Israelis who have been unable to return because of the conflict. To help, contact Marty Blank.

The IEC is also arranging for letters from kids in our community to be sent to kids in Israel’s South and Central regions. If you would like to submit a letter or drawing for Israeli schoolchildren, please send them to:



On Sacred Ground

Click Here To Listen

The news from Israel can feel overwhelming – but Torah gives us language for understanding current events with complexity and compassion. From Hadar’s Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, R. Avital Hochstein joins R. Avi Killip to unpack some of the most pressing spiritual and moral questions in Israel today.



TEXTing - Shalom Hartman Institute

Click Here To Listen

TEXTing with Elana Stein Hain, our newest podcast where ancient wisdom meets contemporary relevance. 



For Heaven's Sake Podcast

Click Here To Listen

Thoughtful debate elevates us all. In For Heaven’s Sake, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain revive the Jewish art of constructive discussion on topics related to political and social trends in Israel, Israel-Diaspora relations, and the collective consciousness of being Jewish. 



Identity/Crisis Podcast

Click Here To Listen

Identity/Crisis delves into the big ideas behind the news from a uniquely Jewish perspective. Host Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute, talks with leading thinkers to unpack current events effecting Jewish communities in North America, Israel, and around the world, revealing the core Jewish values underlying the issues that matter to you.



Resources For Teaching About Israel In Crisis With The Jewish Education Project

Click Here For A List Of Resources

This resource collection provides practical tools and guides for educators to help learners engage with what is happening in age- and setting-appropriate ways, as well as support for educators.



Extremely Podcast with ADL

Click Here To Listen

Hosted by ADL’s Oren Segal and Jessica Reaves, extremely gives audiences a window into the daily work of fighting – and disrupting – extremism and hate.



Times of Israel: Voices of Women at Wartime

Click Here To Listen

From battlefield to bomb shelter, from home front to hospital, from volunteer rosters to victims’ lists—women experience war in distinctive, gendered ways. These are their stories. 



Israel At War: Updates And Resources From JCRC

Click Here For A List Of Resources

The JCRC of Greater Washington is fully committed to standing with Israel for as long as it is necessary to annihilate the Hamas terrorists who, on October 7th, committed the deadliest single-day massacre on Jewish people since the Holocaust. This page will be regularly updated with resources, local events and ways you can help support Israel from afar.



Talking To Children About War

Click Here For A Resource from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

For A Resource from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Information for caregivers on how to talk to children about war. This fact sheet includes the potential impact and considerations when talking to children, how to start the conversation, understanding media coverage, and how to foster resilience.



JSSA’s J-CARING Hotline for Emotional/Mental Health Support

The horrific events unfolding in Israel are understandably triggering fear, anxiety, anger and more, especially among people with close personal ties to Israelis or with children or other relatives serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. Those in need of emotional support and/or mental health services should contact the Federation and JSSA’s J-CARING hotline at 703-J-CARING.



Video Archives (Torah For This Moment From Adas)


Conversation on the Middle East

With Rabbi Alexander and Rev. Benjamin Ledell Bragg-Reynolds of Peoples Congregational UCC



Israel vs. Iran in the context of Gaza: Update & Assessment

With Dr. Rob Satloff, Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Click Here to Watch the Recording (Passcode: dfcG9C=n)




Jerusalem Youth Chorus

The Jerusalem Youth Chorus is a choral and dialogue program for Palestinian and Israeli youth in Jerusalem. We provide a space for them to grow together in song.



Reflections from Adas Israel Solidarity Mission to Israel in April

Sermon by Rabbi Alexander



From the Bring Them Home Now rally
at the Lincoln Memorial

Rabbi Alexander addresses a sea of demonstrators at the National Mall on Sunday, their voices rising in unison to demand the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza. Marking six months since the devastating Hamas attack, the protest mirrored the sentiment found in the streets of Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands rallied for the same cause.



 End of Rak Shalom Adon Olam, then released hostage Aviva Siegel (51 days), Acheinu w/ Cantor Brown 




Antisemitism in the Aftermath of Oct. 7

Click Here to Watch the Archive

Join Jodi Rudoren and Arno Rosenfeld for a candid discussion of how rising antisemitism — and disputes over how to address it — is shaping American Jewish life. Hosted by Adas Israel's own Lauren Markoe, news editor of the Forward, and Debbi Wilgoren of the Washington Post.



All The Prayers, For the Broken, For Release, For Safety, For Peace

All The Prayers, For the Broken, For Release, For Safety, For Peace—With Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the the parents of Israeli Hostages Itai Chen z”l & Omer Nutra, and Micah Hendler (Jerusalem Youth Chorus).



Praying For Peace/Shalom in all the Trembling Hearts.

Short kavanah by Rabbi Aaron Alexander



From War to Peace: Israelis and Palestinians Working for a Shared and Peaceful Future

Click Here to watch the program recording from February 7th

The Carnegie Endowment's Aaron David Miller in Conversation with Israeli and Palestinian Peace Leaders Dr. Rula Hardal (Hartman Institute), May Pundak, and Prof. Omar Dajani



Surviving 28 Hours of Terror on October 7
Dorin Cohen In Conversation With Adas Clergy​​​​​​

Click Here to watch the 1/14 program with Dorin Cohen



Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt — Parashat VaYeishev

Shabbat Hanukkah: On Anti-Semitism, Fear, and Light



Rabbi Aaron Alexander — Parshat Mikeitz

Holding More Than One (Israel Mission #2)




Shabbat Hanukkah Festival

With Micah Hendler and Amer Abu Arqub, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus




Morality & Peoplehood In A Time of War

A Conversation with Donniel Hartman and Rabbis Holtzblatt and Alexander, Moderated by Federation CEO, Gil Preuss



Rabbi Aaron Alexander — Parashat Va-Yishlakh

Reflections on 2.5 days in Israel



Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt — Parashat Toldot 

Certainty, Uncertainty, & Trauma



Jordana Meyer — Adas Israel member, Israeli citizen, current IDF/Reservist — speaks to Congregation




Bring Home Hersh

Hear from the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, currently held captive in Gaza



Sarah Hurwitz speaks about campus anti-semitism. (Here All Along)

Sarah Hurwitz is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There), a book about her experience rediscovering Judaism as an adult. From 2009 to 2017, she served as a White House speechwriter, first as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama.



Israel Relief Concert

In support of relief efforts in Israel, cantors from over 15 congregations across the DMV, including our own Cantor Brown, gather for one special evening of song. Featuring music of Israeli composers and artists.



Parents Of Captive Israelis Speak to Adas Israel

Adi & Yael Alexander (son Edan), Yehudah Beinin (daughter Liat and husband), and Rubi Chen (son Itay)




Rabbi Noa Sattath, Executive Director of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel



Israel update with Adas Rabbis and  Rob Satloff

Click Here For The Zoom Recording



Conversation with Hadar Susskind (Virtual)

Click Here For The Zoom Recording

Join Adas clergy and Hadar Susskind, Adas member and President/CEO of Americans for Peace now. Hadar will talk personally about the current war, and also share his thoughts on where we are now viv-a-vis his life’s work as a Peacebuilder. 

Hadar Susskind is widely acknowledged as one of the Jewish community’s leading progressive advocacy voices and brings more than twenty years of experience working in Washington DC on both foreign and domestic policy. In that role he has built strong relationships with members of Congress, administration officials, and progressive partners and allies from across the spectrum of American political life. Hadar currently serves on the boards of Ameinu and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. Hadar is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds the rank of Sergeant First Class in the Israel Defense Forces.



Rabbi Alexander Shabbat Sermon, 10/14

Ayeka? Where Am I? I’m home. 




Friday Night D'var Torah, 10/13

By Adas Members and Israeli Citizens Mike Ravvin and Laura Schreiber


Recommended Articles and Conversations

  1. The Sermons I Needed To Hear Right Now A tender conversation with Rabbi Sharon Brous about Jewishness and the Jewish state.
  2. The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False By Simon Sebag Montefiore
  3. How Hamas Used Sexual Violence on October 7th By Isaac Chotiner interviewing Hadas Ziv, who is the director of ethics and policy at Physicians for Human Rights Israel
  4. What Americans Fear Most, by Sen. Chuck Schumer 
  5. My Son Has Been Held Hostage by Hamas for 65 Days
  6. Letter From Jerusalem: My Family, My Country at Wartime

  8. To Jewish College Students Who Are Scared by Sarah Hurwitz

  9. Did Israel really separate Palestinian mothers from their babies? by Rob Satloff

  10. The Hamas-Israel War: End of the Beginning or Beginning of the End? with Brig. Gen. Assaf Orion, Hanin Ghaddar, Matthew Levitt and Rob Satloff

  11. Starting From the Ground Up: U.S. Policy Options for Post-Hamas Gaza with Dr. Michael Koplow and Dr. Shira Efron

  12. From War to Peace in the Middle East? Observations from a Regional Tour by Robert Satloff

  13. The Golden Age of American Jews is Ending by Franklin Foer

  14. Is it the end of a Jewish Golden Age? A response to Franklin Foer by Dr. Stephen Daniel Arnoff

Israel-related News and Information

American Jews have a wide variety of sources available for news and information regarding Israel. Unfortunately, many of us limit our reading to the media that reflect our own perspectives on controversial subjects. We present the resources listed below (and more to come in the future) in the hope that exposure to a diverse set of respected voices will be conducive to mutual understanding and productive discourse in our community.


Haaretz is Israel’s oldest daily newspaper.  It is know for its liberal stances on domestic and foreign issues.

The Jerusalem Post is an English language publication based in Jerusalem.  Under a variety of editors in recent years, it generally has had a centrist or conservative perspective.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is an international news agency and wire service serving Jewish community newspapers and media    around the world.  It claims no allegiance to any specific branch of Judaism or political viewpoint.

The Times of Israel is an English-language on-line publication that aspires to an independent editorial position.

Ynetnews is the online English-language Israeli news website of Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper.  Yedioth Ahronoth is considered centrist by many.

Jewish News Syndicate is a news agency and wire service that primarily covers Jewish- and Israel-related topics and news. While officially nonpartisan, compared to its much larger and older competitor the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, JNS is considered to be more conservative and hawkish.

Video Archives (Continued)



Crossroads and Connections: Collections of the National Library of Israel

Click Here For Video Archive

Home to the intellectual and cultural treasures of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide, the National Library of Israel (NLI) has recently embarked on a visionary journey of renewal, including a wide range of initiatives to expand its collections and make the Library’s resources available to audiences across the globe. As part of this initiative, and in celebration of Israel’s 75th anniversary year, Dr. Raquel Ukeles will share highlights from 101 Treasures of the National Library of Israel, a new book published by NLI. Treasures selected from this book are part of a traveling exhibition of high quality images that represent a unique story of cultural and religious creativity in Israel both historically and today. Join Dr. Ukeles as she takes us on a journey through these remarkable treasures. Dr. 

Raquel Ukeles is the Head of Collections at the National Library of Israel. She is responsible for the overall development of all the Library’s collections and for digital, cultural, and educational initiatives based on the collections. Holding a doctorate from Harvard University with a concentration on Islamic and Jewish studies, Raquel has published and taught on a wide array of subjects related to comparative Jewish and Islamic traditions and on historical currents that shape Israeli society.

This program is presented in special partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington - Israel at 75



Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut at Adas:
Stories of '48

Click Here to Watch Part 1Click Here to Watch Part 2 of the Recording

Adas Israel will be hosting a Beit Cafe evening of Israel Tastings, music/singing and personal reflections from our members who will present–in storyform–their diverse memories of 1948 and the critical years that followed. This event will also be livestreamed to our website here

Join Adas Israel for a special evening of remembrance and celebration as we commemorate Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut, two important days in the history of Israel.



Netanyahu Redux: Causes and Implications of Israel’s Election with Rob Satloff and Rabbi Holtzblatt

Click Here to Watch the Full Zoom Recording

Rabbi Holtzblatt engages Rob Satloff, Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in a conversation about the Israeli Election (2022). What led to this moment? Why does it matter? What’s next? How might we, as an American Jewish community, process these events? And, what could it mean for our communities?


Gadeer Kamal Mreeh: "The Incredible Potential of Israel’s Rich Mosaic and Complex Society"

Click Here to Watch

Gadeer Kamal Mreeh discusses Israeli society from her own authentic point of view as an Israeli Druze woman, specifically the social resilience, uniqueness, potentials, and challenges. In April 2019, Gadeer Kamal Mreeh made history by being elected into the Knesset as a member of the Blue and White party, as the first Druze woman. In 2021, Kamal Mreeh became the Jewish Agency’s first Druze emissary to the U.S. Based in Washington D.C. Join us on Shavuot as we welcome Kamal-Mreeh to Adas as our keynote speaker.



Can the Trump Peace Plan Lead to Peace?
with Dr. Robert Satloff

On February 5th we welcomed Dr. Robert Satloff, Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, to the Biran Beit Midrash. 

Click the video on the left for a playback of his talk on the Trump Peace Plan. "Three years in the making, President Trump has unveiled his blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace. At its core, the plan envisions Israel retaining all of its existing settlements and controlling about 30 percent of the West Bank, with the Palestinians potentially creating an independent, demilitarized state on the balance of the land."


Masorti, Investing In An Inclusive Homeland for All Jews

The Masorti Movement in Israel builds democratic, inclusive Jewish communities blending modern and traditional values. Conservative Jews in the U.S. can actively contribute through education, advocacy, and financial support via the Masorti Foundation, fostering mutual enrichment and a unified voice for the Jewish People.

The Latest From Masorti

Care Packages for Soldiers
Masorti continues to deliver care packages to our soldiers, who are serving our country during this difficult time. Choose "Care Packages for Soldiers" in the designation drop-down menu.

Click Here To Contribute


Downloads to recite at home, in your synagogue and at other gatherings:

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784