Keeping Israel in Our Hearts

We continue to hold what is happening in Israel and Gaza with heavy hearts and anguish, praying for a negotiated end to the war, the safe return of all hostages, no more loss of innocent lives, and for leadership with long-term vision that will bring about a just and enduring resolution to the conflict. In times like this, we will continue to come together as a community, to support one another, and to learn from friends and partners in Israel as well as from experts on the conflict.

Join us daily during morning minyan or on Shabbat where we say the prayer for hostages, prayer for those in Gaza, and for the State of Israel, and see related recordings and content below of all of our recent programming and events since October 7 at BJ.

Ongoing Action Opportunities

Run 2 Bring Them Home Now

Sundays 11 am Central Park and 90th Street

Organized by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum, this weekly gathering brings the Upper West Side community together to demand more action to release the hostages still held in Gaza. Each week there are one or two speakers, often including family members of those in captivity. People gather for 20 minutes and then run or walk the bridle path around the reservoir. Bring Israeli flags and/or signs.

Sing and Pray for the Hostages

Saturdays 5:30 PM Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street

A weekly song circle and havdalah to pray for the release of the hostages, led by Rabbi Joanna Samuels, CEO of the JCC and member of BJ.

Rally at UN Secretary-General Residence

Fridays 9:00 AM, 3 Sutton Place

Join the Hostages and Missing Families Forum every Friday at the official residence of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to demand release of the hostages held in Gaza.

Join the Families and Missing Families New York group on WhatsApp to receive information about events happening in the New York area:

Photos of the hostages in Gaza are ever-present in our Sanctuary’s balcony. (Photo credit: Sarah Merians Photography)

Recent Programs & Sharable Items

Since October 7, BJ has focused much of its programming and teachings around this tragedy and ensuing war. Catch up on all of our past programs, and keep an eye on your email and this page for more upcoming learning opportunities.

Prayer for Those in Gaza

אל אלהי הרוחות לכל בשר

O God, Spirit of all Humanity

Help us to acknowledge the devastation, trauma, and destruction in Gaza,
To express the heartbreak for the tens of thousands of Palestinians that have died— the majority women and children.
For the lack of food, shelter and medical care.
For the destruction of peoples’ homes. For the millions of refugees the war created. For the hopelessness and despair.
We pray for a cessation of the violence, the safe return of the hostages and we pray for our ability to hold in our hearts at the same time the suffering and pain of Israelis and Palestinians.
We pray for the future of both peoples on this land, for the acknowledgement of both peoples right to self determination and the freedom to live in justice and dignity.
We pray that in all our trauma, our sorrow, our despair, that we don’t harden our hearts, or refuse to see what is happening before our eyes. We pray we preserve our humanity.
We pray that in the horror of this moment, there will be an awakening; and a realization that the only path forward is one of coexistence.

וְיָשְׁבוּ אִישׁ תַּחַת גַּפְנוֹ וְתַחַת תְּאֵנָתוֹ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד

So that every person might sit under their vine and fig tree and no one shall be afraid. — Micah 4:4

ה׳ עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה׳  יְבָרֵךְ אֶת־עַמּיו בַשָּׁלוֹם׃

May God grant strength to God’s people; May God bless of all of God’s people with peace. — Psalm 29:11

— By Rabbis Felicia Sol and Roly Matalon, B’nai Jeshurun, NYC

Prayer for Those Being Held in Captivity

May the Holy One who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah; bless, protect and guard our missing brothers and sisters who are in distress and captivity. May the Holy Compassionate One, bring them out of darkness and the shadow of death; may God break their bonds, deliver them from their distress, and bring them swiftly back to their families’ embrace. May there be fulfilled in them the verse: “Those redeemed by God will return; they will enter Zion with singing, and everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
And let us say: Amen.

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, וְאִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָה רִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ וְיִשְׁמֹר וְיִנְצֹר אֶת כָּל אַחֵינוּ וְאֲחְיוֹתֵינוּ הַנֶעְדָרִים הַנְּתוּנִים בְּצָרָה וּבְשִׁבְיָה. הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִמָּלֵא רַחֲמִים עֲלֵיהֶם, וְיוֹצִיאֵם מֵחֹשֶׁךְ וְצַלְמָוֶת, וּמוֹסְרוֹתֵיהֶם יְנַתֵּק, וּמִמְּצוּקוֹתֵיהֶם יוֹשִׁיעֵם, וִישִׁיבֵם מְהֵרָה לְחֵיק מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֵיהֶם. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם מִקְרָא שֶׁכָּתוּב: וּפְדוּיֵי ה׳ יְשֻׁבוּן, וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה, וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל־רֹאשָׁם, שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִׂיגוּ, וְנָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה: וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן

Initiatives to Support Israelis

View our evolving  list of ways to support our Israeli brothers and sisters through tzedakah, donations, and taking action.

Watch some of our recent Israel programming and our rabbis’ teachings

Shared Grief, Shared Hope: Bereaved Palestinians and Israelis for Peace

B'nai Jeshurun

February 4, 2024 3:39 AM

Watch or share these posts

As the prolonged conflict in Israel and Gaza continues, some important reminders from Rabbi Felicia Sol's teaching last Shabbat.



In this week’s Toward Shabbat, BJ Rabbinical Fellow Sammy Kanter reminds us that our community can help us feel supported, even in unpredictable ways. Read his full reflection by visiting our link in bio.



We're honored to have @govkathyhochul address our community this past Shabbat. We're grateful for her continued support of the Jewish community and for doing all she can to help press for the release of the hostages. #bringthemhomenow



In this week's Toward Shabbat, BJ Rabbinic Fellow Alissa Platcow shares the importance of prayer in the midst of anxiety about loved ones in Israel. Read her full reflection by visiting our link in bio.



Another Shabbat and there are still more than 200 hostages. This Shabbat, we continue to pray for their safe and immediate release. #bringthemhomenow



In the midst of this deepening crisis, Rabbi Roly Matalon in his D'var Torah urges us to hold two truths simultaneously: the imperative for Israel to defend itself against a ruthless enemy and safely retrieve the hostages, and the moral obligation to acknowledge and alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinians. Watch the full D'var Torah at the link in bio. #lekhlekha #lechlecha #dvartorah



📍Tomorrow, 81st Street 12-5 PM

There will be an empty Shabbat table installation on the Upper West Side to call attention to the 220 captives who are being held hostage by Hamas, and who will not be with their families for yet another Shabbat. It is modeled after the installation that was set up outside of the Tel Aviv Museum and has since been replicated internationally including New York City Times Square, the Jewish Quarter of Rome, Sydney’s Bondi Beach, and Los Angeles.

The installation will be on the south side of West 81st Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park.

Sponsored by B’nai Jeshurun, Ansche Chesed, the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, UJA Federation of New York, and Council Member Gale Brewer.



Banner photo by Sarah Merians Photography.