Tags: Webinar, Jewish Identity, Jewish Unity, Terror, Israel Under Fire


Compassion fatigue is stress resulting from exposure to trauma personally, or being in connection with traumatized individuals. Today, we are all those individuals, so being in connection with Israel and Israelis as a whole can be leading some to feel an inability to cope with the emotional strain. This results in physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, irritation, sadness, confusion about the future and despair. A reduced ability to cope can lead to an inability to manage chronic stress, in the workplace or at home, thus precipitating burnout.

Burnout results from stress that has been unsuccessfully managed, resulting in another round of the same cycle - of exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased effectiveness. Many facing compassion fatigue and burnout feel deeply connected to a particular purpose, but cannot continue to serve in the same capacity. As Jews facing this challenge, resigning is not an option, but quiet quitting may be. We give up trying to connect, to work together with others, because the social stressors are as challenging as those we are trying to navigate alone.

But Jews today don’t have that luxury…

Compassion - it is what we as a people are made of.

In normal countries "Hi, how are you?" is what people say. But we are no longer normal and no one knows how to answer that question anymore

The feeling of family connection has always been a part of how we, as a nation spread across the world, have survived the generational targeting of Jews. Helping one another while fighting the Greeks, the Romans, the Babylonians, the Persians, hiding in Spain or in the barracks of extermination camps, the acts of chesed and kindness are a demonstration of the thread of ancestry, heritage and community that binds us together. The eternal love of the eternal people for our eternal homeland has always been a part of the identity passed from one generation to another.

The infiltration of Israel’s borders on October 7 violated everything we hold holy - family, community, human dignity, children’s innocence, Shabbat, Torah, simcha, hope, peace… The event not only challenged the resilience of Israel and Israelis, and sent shockwaves across the globe, exposing the landscape of terror that is showing its face in our streets and every day lives. It is fast redefining the terms of our role in Jewish historical existence, and what it means to each one of us to face certain realities about the importance of belonging, compassion and empathy.

The vicarious trauma felt by even those who did not directly experience the massacre or loss on October 7 is a powerful example of the idea of the Jewish peoplehood connection - a Jew suffers hate in one place in the world, we all feel it. An attack on one Jewish community is an attack on us all.

Our hearts are tired, our brains are malfunctioning, our anxieties are heightened and our fears are on fire.


The victims - children, women, elderly, men of all ages, from all origins and faiths, from different nationalities- are a true reflection of Israel’s rich and diverse society. The voices and stories of the survivors are always difficult to hear, and the bravery it takes to recount these horrors is hard to fathom. It is our obligation to bear the role as their witness, but also to understand how to incorporate this into our own compassionate hearts without our hearts bursting at the seams…

While the story scrolls continue, and we thirst for every word, it is a form of coping to want to hear and know the details, the reality, the miracles, yet all around us, even among good friends, fewer take interest in the Jewish story deserving of that compassion. They are tired of it. They aren’t interested to hear our pleas for the release of our hostages or the understanding of a just war fought to save humanity from the threat that Hamas represents for everyone. Families divided with soldiers on the battlefield facing guerilla fighters disguised as civilians, and over 60,000 displaced evacuees from borders still under missile fire and all areas of Israel at risk from infiltration or attack by teenage terrorists. Struggling economy, education systems, medical care, and the collective trauma and mourning of an entire country…

Can we talk about how lonely it feels to be grieving and simultaneously defending our grief?

As the Nation of Israel, mourning is not a luxury we can afford… and yet we live our lives with it every day, while fighting the battle of public and private opinions that have become downright evil in intent, and based on empty lies so logical that there is little that the common person feels they can do to counter it.

While the compassion for Gazans is fueled by the lies told by the Hamas mechanisms in place to spread propaganda and to demonize Israel in every way possible, many Jews have turned to question their identity, their politics, their friends. The silence of many is deafening, the indifference astounding, and the implications dangerous. Either one stands with Israel, or one is literally siding with rapists, murderers and a general society of accomplices who trade the heads of dead Israelis as a prize. There is a greater divide now than perhaps ever before.

We are forced to reassess what it means to be alive in a time when people are calling for your death, again and again, as one lovely chant has been heard, “October 7 again and again, in every Jewish home, in every Jewish head.” The international community is facing a moral blindness that has bubbled under the surface for decades, and as it rears its ugly head now, in front of our eyes. So now, we must learn from the experiences of our elders and ancestors and take each challenge as it arises. Survival, coping, and compassion fatigue, and onward to thriving - because that is what has enabled our survival for these thousands of years.

"You're going to be fine, you always are." Yes I will be. But please allow me a moment to express my sadness and discomfort. I know it will get better, but I need to also be honest and say my spirit is temporarily heavy and not have to hide that.

We are living in a time when our compassion requires us to attend to our aching hearts continuously. Our desire to feel more, to do more, is countered by the need for self-care, the questioning of the future, the ways to find hope through the pain.

We are living in a time when Jews everywhere around the world now have to be careful what we say, who we talk to - vetting teachers, physicians, even fellow Jews who have been led to believe the lies about Israel and our war for survival.

Can’t focus, can’t get anything done, can’t sleep well, can’t see anything the same way - even the smallest thing becomes a trigger. Our loving hearts are bursting, and all around us we feel the crushing weight of fatigue over “Jewish suffering.” Those who are willing to hear are our companions in this battle for Jewish freedom and human rights, who also feel the impact of the complete callousness and carelessness of so many in the world only when it comes to Jews and Israel.

The ultimate double standard that unites all the haters, whatever their reason for hating us they might hold by, their collective voice forces Jews everywhere to feel afraid - some to the point of losing compassion even for our own people’s ongoing struggles in the face of endless attacks on all borders, in the streets and communities of Israel, of every campus, in what feels like every field, every office, and every community in the world.

Even Matisyahu recently shared:

“I’m feeling really out of place in America since October 7 and disconnected from everywhere that I’m going. It feels like being out alone in the world. It feels like it must have felt for the Jews of generations that came before us that lived in antisemitic climates. So it’s this weird thing that feels new and old at the same time, like it exists somewhere deep in my blood and DNA. There’s also this feeling that most everyone is against you or out to get you, or doesn’t understand you or where you come from. It’s a horrible feeling. These are very dark times in America. It feels pretty scary out there.”

To everyone carrying a heavy heart in silence - you're going to be okay. Sending you love and healing

True in America, in London, Paris, Toronto, Australia, Johannesburg - we worry about how to sustain our strength, how to understand the cause of the spread of Jewhatred, Antisemitism, antiZionism. Call it what you will, it puts us all in the precarious position of trying to navigate how we have compassion for fellow Jews in Israel or in the Diaspora, how we have compassion for ourselves, and how we can avoid the burnout that comes with the heavy weight of enduring in survival mode.

On the 7th of Adar, the anniversary of the birth and death of Moshe Rabbeinu, who carried so much compassion in his heart to have changed the course of Jewish history, Israel Forever welcomed our community of Virtual Citizens of Israel to shout aloud in his spirit “LET OUR PEOPLE GO!” and share together feelings and struggles facing all of us today.


  • Find private time to sit and just allow yourself to contemplate the situation and how you feel. Turn off the white noise of fear, and focus on the positive ways that you are coping with the stress and intensity. 
  • Think of ways to incorporate the empowerment that being a part of the Jewish nation can give you and your family. What songs, prayers, crafts might you learn and do with friends or kids while listening to Galgalatz and staying in tune with Israel from the Diaspora? 
  • Connect with other Virtual Citizens of Israel  and join or start discussions that address the real issues we are all facing. Find people in your community that want to get together in small private groups, and use Israel Forever activities to create engaging encounters and discussions. 
  • Connect with Israelis - on social media and in real life. Ask how they are, and then joke how we all know it’s a silly question. Mention something inspiring you have heard, or ask about how their family feels being far away if they are in the Diaspora. The connection building is crucial in days like these. 
  • Start learning Hebrew - listen to the hourly news and, even if you understand nothing, you will start to feel the flow of the language. Add more Israeli music into your life, using lyrics to learn the words of songs that can inspire your soul. 
  • Find positive people to listen to on podcasts, like A Jew Today, and those to follow who are providing information, insight and inspiration. Don’t only hear the voices of the popular influencers. 
  • Find those with integrity who share with honesty about their mental and emotional survival struggles. 
Looking for a personalized discussion or program for your group of friends or community? Contact us and reserve your spot now! 



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Tags: Webinar, Jewish Identity, Jewish Unity, Terror, Israel Under Fire