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Community event sends cards, donations and prayers to Israel and Gaza

Attendees make cards for people in Israel and Gaza. Photo by Sean Young
October 23, 2023

In response to the crises in Israel and Gaza, Brookline residents gathered in solidarity and support at the Brookline Public Library last week.

Organizer Jen Wofford said that she believes the people of Brookline needed a place to unite “in our humanity and shared concern for the suffering on both sides; and people needed a space to do something.”

The event featured stations including a table where attendees could light a candle and offer a prayer, a table for making cards of support and love for people in both Israel and in Gaza, and a financial donation table for nonprofit organizations.

“People of all faiths, all backgrounds, and all ages are welcome,” was written on the flier Wofford designed for the event, “If you only wish to support Israeli groups, you are welcome; and if you only want to support Palestinian groups, you are welcome; all are welcome who value human life as sacred.”

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The organizer sought to offer a balanced list of organizations on the ground to receive financial donations including nine Israeli-Jewish groups, nine Palestinian aid groups, and seven joint Israeli-Palestinian peace groups. All the organizations listed were rated 4-star by Charity Navigator. Nearly $5,000 total was donated at the event, Wofford said.

The event included a broad range of community members including Muslims, Jews, Christians, as well as Israeli and Palestinian residents of Brookline.

“As adults, I feel we owe our kids …peace, and we have not been able to provide them with this,” said Faiza Khan, a Brookline resident for 23 years. “I see that there are many misconceptions. One fear is that all Muslims are with Hamas. Another fear is that all Jews distrust Muslims. And that’s not necessarily true. If we lead with our fear, we can’t see the whole picture or the whole person.”

Maxine Lyons, a volunteer at the event and member of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline said that gatherings like this are so important “because when you get to know someone and see them as a friend, it diminishes all the stereotypes.”

“Thank you for making the space,” Nathan, one of many attendees who made a financial donation, told Wofford before leaving.

Wofford said another community gathering is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Coolidge Corner Library Community Room from 2:3o p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Adults and children gather together at the card-making table. Photo by Sean Young