Benson Hill


Jack Tocker


Benson Hill and Jack Tocker - Co-Presidents

Linda Levy - Vice President
George Copen - Treasurer

Leslie Mart - Trustee

Benson Hill - Religious Leader
Don Kartiganer - Education Leader

Linda Levy - Library

George Copen - High Holidays Coordinator

Dear TBI Family,

It is with a very heavy heart and in solemn reflection that I send this message, following the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded in Israel just yesterday. The events resonate with a haunting echo as they occurred exactly 50 years to the day since the attacks that initiated the Yom Kippur War, this time during the sacred day of Simchat Torah. The horrifying acts of terrorism carried out by Palestinian terrorists have led to an unimaginable loss; this past Saturday witnessed the death of more Jews in a single day than any since the Shoah. As a diaspora community far from Israel, we have spent the last 36 hours in shock, tears streaming down our faces, our bodies trembling with fear and sorrow, all while frantically following the heart-wrenching reports from Israel detailing the brutal violence inflicted upon our brothers, sisters, and families.

Once again, the sanctity of our holy day has been tainted with the bloodshed of the innocent. Once again, the courageous armed forces of the State of Israel have risen to defend our beloved homeland.

During our weekly prayers in the synagogue, we recite the prayer for the State of Israel which resonates ever so deeply today - ונתת שלום בארץ ושמחת עולם ליושביה - “Grant peace in the land and happiness to all its residents.”

At this grim juncture, the call for our unwavering support is profound. Our hearts might be heavy and our spirits may feel helpless from afar, but our resolve to stand with Israel and the Jewish people remains unyielding. Despite the miles that lie between us, there are tangible ways in which we can extend our support. I earnestly urge you, if within your means, to contribute to Jewish charities that are working tirelessly to provide relief to the victims of this terror and support to the valiant members of the Israel Defense Forces.

A sample of charities I believe to be worthy of your donations at this crucial time are listed here, but please give to the charity of your choice as much as you are able. Our family in Israel is making the ultimate sacrifice for our shared dream of Zionism in the world's only Jewish State.

Please also take a moment to sign your name to this letter to our elected leaders in the US.

The American Jewish Congress is providing an informational site with updates and talking points about the war:

A disheartening undercurrent of discourse has emerged which I, along with many others, have observed with great concern. The surge of anti-semitism online, emanating from various quarters including from individuals we once regarded as friends and allies in diverse causes, is deeply unsettling. It's crucial to understand that you are under no obligation to engage in debates to change the minds of those who, even in the face of glaring atrocities – murder, kidnapping, rape, and torture of entire families including women and children – resort to 'what-about-ism', questioning “what did Israel do to cause this,” thereby blaming Jews for our own suffering. Such individuals reveal themselves as anti-semites of the worst kind. In these emotionally charged times, I urge you to conserve your energy. There is no need to entangle oneself in fruitless arguments with such individuals. Remember their stance, block them, unfriend them, and let’s focus our energies on supporting each other and the causes that aim to alleviate the sufferings of the innocents affected by this tragedy.

Israel will overcome this dark time, and we, the Jewish people, will continue to stand united as we always have. This is a time for solidarity, for prayers, and for action. Together, as a community, let’s echo our unwavering support for Israel and pray for a world where peace will prevail and the promise of שלום - Shalom, will be fulfilled.

May the memories of the departed be a blessing forever, and may we see peace in our lifetime.

Am Yisrael Chai.