CLICK ON IMAGE TO DONATE NOW. Jewish Federations are responding, working with our core partners to support victims of terror, help rebuild damaged infrastructure, and address the unprecedent levels of trauma caused by this horrific attack.

Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL

Jewish Community Relations Council

Statement on War in Israel


October 9, 2023


The Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL stands in solidarity with the people of Israel during these harrowing times. We are deeply grieved and profoundly concerned by the ongoing crisis that has engulfed our extended family in Israel.  


Early Saturday morning, on the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Hamas—the terror organization that governs Gaza—launched a brutal attack on Israel on multiple fronts. Hamas launched thousands of rockets into cities in the country’s center and South, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. News outlets have reported that dozens of terrorists from Gaza have infiltrated towns in the South of Israel and shot, killed and kidnapped innocent civilians. The terrorists entered private homes and took mothers (and their children) hostage; took elderly people (including some waiting for buses); and young people celebrating the holiday on a midnight rave outdoors.  The number of kidnapped Israelis inside Gaza is estimated at somewhere between 150 and 200 including babies, women, and elderly. Others caught up in this nightmare hostage taking are non-Israelis, including foreign workers from agricultural farms in Israel and possibly foreigners who were visiting the country. 


In 2005, Israel took the unprecedented and unilateral step of leaving Gaza.  Since that time, there has been no Jew living within the Gaza borders – civilian or military.  Hamas, an Iran backed and funded terrorist organization, is the governing body of Gaza whose total aim is the destruction of Israel, with whom it shares a border.  


We are enraged at the barbaric attacks by ruthless terrorists who have murdered hundreds of innocent Israelis, including large numbers of civilians of all ages, and kidnapped dozens, taking them over the border into Gaza. We grieve the current horrific death toll of 700 innocent lives and rising, and the suffering and terror millions of Israelis are enduring.  


The carnage wrought by Hamas only validates its identity and objective: the annihilation of any hope for lasting regional peace and a secure future for Israelis and Palestinians. Make no mistake, this was a coordinated attack meant to kill and terrorize Israelis, especially Israeli Jews. 


As a sovereign country, Israel has every right to defend itself and take whatever actions are necessary to protect its people from a neighboring territory that is governed by terrorists, who seek the destruction of the Jewish State. Sadly, the coming days will bring even more violence, death, and destruction, as Israel once again seeks to secure its borders from hostile neighbors who violate every norm of civilized international engagement and human decency. 


Karen Westbrook, President

Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL


Caleb Melamed, Chair

Jewish Community Relations Council


Nancy Sage, Executive Director

Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL

The Jewish Federation of Springfield

Serving the Jewish community of Central Illinois


Support our work at home and abroad

Stay Connected

Get news and updates wherever you go


Events around the community


Information on Jewish organizations

Our Community

  • Organizations