Coming Together to Rebuild Lives

Israeli flags wave at a protest rally
The Washington Hebrew Congregation Israel Hesed Fund for Crisis Support


Our hearts cry for Israel. We mourn the senseless murders of innocent Israelis at the hand of Hamas terrorists. In my Yom Kippur address, I made an appeal for our congregation to tell us how we can serve your needs. I also spoke about the need for increased philanthropy which allows us to meet those needs now and for future generations.

The difference between fundraising and philanthropy is fundraising involves us asking you for money. Philanthropy is your investing in and supporting those things that are important to you. As a congregation, we need to increase our level of philanthropy. Today, however, we must put WHC’s needs aside and focus on how we can meet the needs in Israel. Entire communities have been devastated, families have lost their homes and have nothing other than the clothes on their backs. To help Israelis rebuild and look with hope to the future, Washington Hebrew Congregation has announced the formation of the Israel Hesed Fund for Crisis Support (IHF). The fund will focus on three priorities:

HELPING REBUILD DEVASTATED KIBBUTZIM ($500,000): Kibbutzim have long represented the heart of communal living in Israel, and their destruction in the wake of these attacks leaves a significant void. The IHF is committed to assisting in the reconstruction of Kibbutzim and supporting the families who call them home.

PURCHASING AN AMBULANCE FOR ISRAEL ($300,000): Ensuring the safety and well-being of Israelis is paramount. The IHF’s funds will be directed toward acquiring an ambulance specifically designed for use in Israel, thus bolstering the nation’s capacity to respond to emergencies.

AIDING AFFECTED ISRAELI FAMILIES ($200,000): Families across Israel have seen their homes destroyed and their possessions lost in the aftermath of these attacks. The IHF will provide assistance to those in dire need, helping them rebuild their lives and homes.

To help us reach our fundraising goals, we are inviting 100 families to join our “Tri Chai Team” and contribute $1,800 for each of the three priorities of the IHF for a total contribution of $5,400. 100 commitments will get us halfway to our goal. We also invite match challenges.

The path to recovery in the wake of these devastating attacks is long and arduous. Homes, schools, places of worship, and entire communities have been decimated. It is during these trying times that we, as a caring and compassionate community, can make a profound difference. Washington Hebrew Congregation commits to raising the necessary funds to help rebuild Israel and support its people directly.

Contributing to the IHF is straightforward, and your generosity will go a long way in healing wounds, mending broken lives, and restoring hope:

  • Online: DONATE NOW
  • In-Person: Drop by Temple or JBSC during business hours to make a donation.
  • By Mail: Send a check payable to: Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St. NW, Washington, DC 20016. Please include “Israel Hesed Fund” in the memo.

Please consider donating today and share this appeal with your friends and family to amplify our impact. Together, we have the power to make a significant difference. No one can do everything, but everyone can do this.

If you have any questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Lew Wiener, Temple President, at, Senior Rabbi Sue Shankman at, or the co-chairs of our development committee, Jamie Hotchkiss at and Chris McCannell at

Together, as a community, let us be a source of hope, healing, and support as we come together to rebuild lives in Israel and make the world a better place.