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Fall & Winter 2023 | Healing Across the Divides Newsletter

October 7th and the subsequent war in Gaza continues to dominate world news and our work at Healing Across the Divides. It is a momentous event in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – now the Israeli-Palestinian war. October 7th will impact the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians for months and years to come. How should we at Healing Across the Divides respond? What are we doing today in response to these momentous and catastrophic events that, as I write these words, we are currently living through? We welcome your input.

We recently had an emergency campaign (and thanks to all the many generous donors!!) to:

  • Provide additional support for Jewish and Palestinian expectant mothers in Israel, a critical program, nurturing a future generation of neighbors wishing to live in peace and destined to live side by side.
  • Expand psychosocial services and individual therapy sessions to children in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank where violence against civilians has surged since the start of the recent crisis.
  • Deliver emergency services to African Refugee Asylum Seekers living in the Negev, one of the hardest hit areas in Israel.
  • Help Arab Bedouin families and children cope with severe anxiety as many are living in tents in southern Israel and have been left without support or protection from missiles from Gaza.
  • Provide support services for HATD Staff on the ground in Israel and the West Bank.

But, there is more to be done and we need your help.

Please consider, as we’ve asked in a separate email, writing to your elected officials for:

  • An immediate cease-fire. See this article from Foreign Affairs by Robert Pape, author of Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War, highlighting challenges in the current war.
  • Release of all the hostages
  • Entry of essential services to Gaza
  • American engagement to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict equitably – finally.

The U.S. can make a difference!! Dahlia Scheindlin, one of our regulars on our annual Study Tour, has an important proposal (email me if you want the article and can’t go beyond the pay wall) that deserves serious consideration.

Our staff is spreading our message that HATD can significantly impact communities on the ground in Israel and the West Bank, even during the current war. Please see these articles in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Mass Live. We also hosted this webinar that highlights the resilience and accomplishments of our staff and grantees. As many people are asking what can be done concretely at this seemingly hopeless time, please consider sharing this information with
your friends and community.

I recently read the following written by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Hope is the belief that, together, we can make the world better. I am convinced that this is true, and I hope you too feel the same after reading about the work we are doing on the ground. We always aspire to do more and encourage you to write to your elected representatives. I am always up for a conversation with any of you in these most difficult of times – certainly since 1948.

In the meantime, I find comfort in lighting my Chanukah candles this week. May all of you enjoy your own holiday traditions and warmest wishes for the coming year.

Norbert Goldfield, MD | Founder and Executive Director