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Kesher: Nir Oz

Ohr Kodesh is proud to announce a new initiative called Kesher: Nir Oz.
Kesher: Nir Oz is a project of Ohr Kodesh, Beth El, B'nai Israel and MoEd to support Kibbutz Nir Oz, a community that was devastated by the Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023.  The program will harness the resources of the dedicated and caring congregations of these synagogues to provide tangible support to this devastated Israeli community.  More than 10% of Kibbutz Nir Oz’s residents were murdered on October 7—46 killed out of 400 residents—with another 71 residents taken hostage with 31 still in captivity. More than 80% of the kibbutz was destroyed and the remainder is currently uninhabitable. Since October 7, surviving residents have lived in a hotel in Eilat, and just recently moved to apartments in Kiryat Gat where they will live for at least two years as the Israeli government determines a plan and timeline for rebuilding the kibbutz.

Kesher: Nir Oz is modeled after the U.S.-Israel “sister city” partnership program. For decades, Jewish communities across the United States have developed “sister city” relationships with cities and towns in Israel.  These relationships have fostered mutual support, friendships and connections with activities ranging from delegations traveling back and forth to school-to-school projects.  Starting this past November, the steering committee has initiated discussions about ways in which our community can support the kibbutz with the Head of Development for Nir Oz and a liaison for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both confirmed the level of need for the Nir Oz community and their desire for a partnership.
The program is directed by a steering committee composed of members of the three synagogues and MoEd, in close coordination with members of the Nir Oz.  Activities will be structured in the synagogues so that all age groups will have the opportunity to participate and make meaningful connections with Nir Oz community members. Multiple committees will be formed in the next few weeks, but at the moment the biggest need is to establish the communications committee. This committee will be responsible for formally introducing the program to the synagogues, public relations, creation of a website, and other marketing functions. The goal is for one or two people from each of the three synagogues to participate. If you have the relevant skills and would like to learn more, please email Amit Natanzon.

OKC Adult Israel Trip, May 6 - 15

One way of continuing to support Israel during this challenging time is to go and visit. Our OKC Adult trip is confirmed for May 6-15, 2024. For more information, contact Rabbi Helfand.

Advocate for the Release of Hostages from Hamas

We will gather in front of the Red Cross Headquarters to advocate for the release of hostages, every Sunday at 12:30 pm until the hostages are freed. Please bring photos of the hostages, Israeli flags, and bells.

Watch the Rally to Support Israel

On Tuesday, November 14, the Conservative/Masorti Movement rallied with the Jewish Federations of North America and other Jewish groups in support of Israel. Check out footage from the gathering on the National Mall below.

Support IDF Reservists Against Hamas

Donate through Ohr Kodesh     

Dear Ohr Kodesh Community,

I am Gabe Avner, an IDF reserve soldier who grew up in the Ohr Kodesh community. I spoke this past Shabbat about the need to continue our community’s support for the IDF (Israel Defense Force).








Two weeks ago, nobody imagined that Israel would have to call up over 360,000 reservists in under a week to respond to the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, this is the reality in which we find ourselves. 

While the army is quickly catching up and pushing equipment to the front, there are still significant shortfalls in supplying the reservists with the gear they need to take the fight to Hamas. 

Missing items include: 

  • Ceramic vests for stopping bullets and shrapnel 
  • Rain gear for the upcoming winter months
  • Vests for machine gunners and medics
  • Protective knee pads and gloves
  • Drones for finding terrorists in the fields
  • Mounted flashlights for night operations
  • And more

Israeli civil society and Jewish communities from around the world have been working tirelessly to raise funds and source gear to get them to reserve units stationed near the Gaza Strip and in the north against Hezbollah. 

Now we need your help to support our troops in the field over what is likely to be a grueling and painstaking operation to return security to Israel’s borders. 


Tax-deductible donations for making purchases of gear here in the US can be made directly through Ohr Kodesh using the button above.

We thank you for your support and pray for a speedy end to this dark chapter in our history.

Gabriel Avner

Sgt. 1st Class (res)
Jerusalem Brigade
9th Battalion 
Read the former Times of Israel’s military correspondent Judah Ari Gross’s article explaining the shortfall situation here.

Responding to Terror in Israel:

Message from OKC Leadership October 9, 2023

Resources for Talking to Children About What’s Happening in Israel:

There are scary stories in the news right now, and children of different ages (and all individual children) benefit from different styles of communication.  Here are resources for preparing for tough conversations at home:

How to talk to kids about what is happening in Israel right now
Written by Dr. Sivan Zakai, an educator who focuses on Israel and on child development.
Provides scripts for parents and other adult caregivers to talk about the current unprecedented events with children of different ages.

Terrorism and War: How to Talk to Children
From the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Provides guidelines for healthy conversations about traumatic events.

Israel at War – Fact Sheet
From the Lookstein Center of Bar-Ilan University.
A short summary of key elements of the conflict; consolidated definitions useful for planning talking points.

Current Events, Hebrew Table & Cultural Arts

Learning and being informed about the Jewish state is an important value of the Ohr Kodesh community.

Israel programming at OKC ranges from current events to the political, cultural and social aspects of Israel.

Join us for Conversational Hebrew to learn how to speak like an Israeli, for the Israel Table to stay up to date with currents events, for Israeli Movie Nights to experience different artistic, cultural and historical views, or for Elu Va’Elu to connect with Israelis and discuss our Jewish identities.

Check out current programs 

For more information about Israel programming and to get involved, contact OKC Shilcha (Israeli emissary), Laila Akselrad at or

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784