Updates on War on Israel

On October 7, 2023, Israel suffered an unprecedented attack by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated from Gaza. They attacked civilians on the streets and in people’s homes, and they took hostages back to Gaza. Thousands of rockets were fired into Southern and Central Israel. Israel declared a state of war.

The situation in Israel is quickly changing hour by hour. This is a page where you can turn to for updates.

Read the latest from The Times of Israel
Read the latest from CNN

Dispelling falsehoods, stating facts

Here are a few additional facts and reminders to help you respond to criticisms of Israel:

You might hear: Hamas is attacking and targeting “occupied settlements.”
: The Israeli communities attacked by Hamas are legally established towns and cities of the independent state of Israel. Hamas sees ALL of Israel as one occupied territory that must be destroyed.

You might hear: Israel is to blame.
: No matter your politics, there is NO justification for beheading infants, slaughtering 260 young people in cold blood at a music festival, murdering families in their homes and kidnapping Holocaust survivors.

You might hear: This attack is because of the occupation. Gaza is occupied and under a blockade.
: Gaza is an independent territory governed by Iran-backed Hamas. Israel uprooted all of its settlements from Gaza in 2006 and withdrew all of its civilians and soldiers. Israel left behind greenhouses and other infrastructure, which Palestinian extremists destroyed. Israel and Egypt, both share a border with Gaza, yet Israel was the only country attacked.

You might hear: Gaza is an open-air prison, a concentration camp.
: Hamas has been the independent government of Gaza since 2007 when it violently seized control from the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is free to build schools and improve the lives of Gazans yet it chooses to divert most of its funds to dig tunnels and build rockets. Any Palestinian suffering is caused by the terrorists that impose their will on their citizens.

You might hear: Israel targets Palestinian civilians.
: Hamas terrorists do not wear military uniforms; they blend in with civilians. They build bases, store bombs and launch rockets intentionally from civilian neighbourhoods. Israel is recognized by the world’s best militaries for the care it takes to avoid civilian casualties.

You might hear: Palestinians do not have bomb shelters.
Hamas is free to build shelters for its people but launches rockets at Israeli civilians, while establishing its own bases in densely populated areas, using its own people as human shields.

You might hear: Free Palestine: From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be free.
: This statement is not in support of a two-state solution, or any form of co-existence. It calls for destruction and elimination of the entire Jewish state – from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea.

Volunteering Options in Israel

Medical Professionals

In light of the ongoing situation in Israel, the Israeli Ministry of Health is building a list of medical personnel from abroad to volunteer in Israel should the need arise.

In the event of further strains on the health system, as well as in preparation for future natural or man-made disasters, we invite friends of Israel to add their names to our growing community of medical personnel who stand with Israel.

Sign up for the opportunity to receive CME credits in the future, train with Israeli teams, and connect with friends of Israel in your area. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other medical personnel licensed abroad who wish to volunteer should join using the Ministry of Health’s online form, to ensure pre-clearance of medical licenses.

We thank you in advance for signing up - and for standing with Israel.

Medical Volunteers for Israel

Volunteering in Agriculture

HaShomer HaChadash (NGO)


Host volunteers daily, almost 100 a day - both from Israel and abroad, in their warehouse near Beit Shemesh. Most people come for at least four hours morning/afternoon packing “shift”, do have a shelter in the warehouse in case of alarms. 

Leah - oversees all individuals who want to volunteer (+972-54-763-4914)
Gael - in charge of group volunteering (+972-54-664-3017)

Sign up now

Israel Food Rescue

Recruiting volunteers, age 30-80, who are willing to roll up their sleeves and perform physical labor for a minimum of five workdays. Includes picking crops, sorting produce, or packaging food for transport.

Sign up now


Birthright Israel has opened a volunteering program, where people from outside of Israel can come to Tel Aviv and take part in food rescue operations to prevent shortages in the Israeli market, including work to sort, pack and distribute goods for civil and military personnel.

Eligibility criteria: Applicants between 18-40 years old - regardless of previous Israel Program experience. Preference to those who have already participated in Israel programs and who are aged 25 and up. Identify as Jewish. 

Volunteering in Israel - Birthright

Volunteering in Israel - Masa

Write to elected officials to urge their continued support for Israel

Israel is at war.

Hamas and other Iran-backed terror groups are still launching daily barrages of rockets into Israel.

Israel must defend itself – for its very survival.

Over the coming weeks, the calls to hold Israel to a different standard will only intensify. That’s why it’s more important than ever for our allies in Canada to know how much we appreciate their support.

Across Canada, big city mayors, all provincial premiers, provincial representatives, MPs, and all federal party leaders have spoken out in support of Israel. Now we need you to thank them. They’ve stood strong with Israel early on and throughout these dark days, and it’s time NOW we demonstrate our support for them.

That’s where you come in. While we have assembled the list, it’s up to you to send them a message not just of appreciation but of encouragement to continue to do what’s right and build on their support for Israel and the Jewish community.

Send a note now to elected officials

Resources for talking to children about Israel

The Jewish Federation of Vancouver has developed a page where you can find tips and resources on how to explain this horrific attack on Israel to your children. 
Access these resources

Prizmah, the Centre for Jewish Day Schools, has a web page focused on resources for schools on violence and terrorist attacks in Israel.
Access these resources

Resources from PJ Library

PJ Library Digest of Resources

How to talk to kids about what's happening in Israel right now

Resources for talking to teens

BBYO Virtual Parent Event: Talking to Teens About Israel

The war in Israel | resources 

Talking to teens about Operation Iron Swords

Wellness resources

Jewish Family Services are running a single session community support group, Yahad, to address the pain, loss, and trauma stemming from the crisis in Israel. 

In this session, trained facilitators will provide a safe space for community members to come together to heal, learn, and grow. This will not be a discussion of current events or politics - rather, this will be a space for participants to explore the impact of current events on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Participants will be given the language to start to talk about their experiences and the tools to cope in a safe, supportive environment.

Interested participants can contact Sarah Karesa, counselling program manager, at Jewish Family Services at 780-454-1194 or sarahk@jfse.org.

Travel assistance for Canadians in Israel

If you are a Canadian travelling in Israel or have family visiting the country right now, you can turn to the Government of Canada for assistance.
Request emergency assistance