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Crisis response: JSU, Service Squad, Artemis Center host events to support humanitarian efforts in Israel, Gaza

Photo credit: Tavi Memoli
Freshmen Sloane Fitzgibbon and Shanthi Seth hand out baked goods to students in the courtyard Oct. 27. The Jewish Student Union, Artemis Center and Service Squad hosted community activities and a fundraiser to support the International Committee of the Red Cross’ relief efforts in Israel and Gaza.

The Jewish Student Union, Artemis Center and Service Squad hosted an International Committee of the Red Cross donation table and a bake sale in the courtyard during lunch Friday, Oct. 27, to contribute to humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza. The leadership teams also organized an interactive art mural titled “Hope for Humanity,” letter-writing to the Jerusalem Youth Chorus and an informational table about donating blood.

Thousands of people in Israel and Gaza have been killed, injured and displaced due to Hamas’s attack on Israel and the resulting humanitarian crisis developing in Israel and Gaza. After hundreds of Hamas gunmen broke through the Israel-Gaza border from the Gaza Strip, killed and held Israeli civilians hostage Oct. 7, Israel intensified its airstrikes and ordered a complete siege on Gaza Oct. 9. 

ABC News states, “Israelis and Palestinians — as well as residents in other conflict zones — may be cut off from food and water, and be under severe mental health stress. Those who flee may suffer from health risks because of being displaced.” From across the world, Archer students are trying to aid people in Israel and Gaza by contributing to humanitarian relief. 

The proceeds from the fundraiser will provide life-saving resources and medical care to civilians in Gaza and Israel. Faculty adviser of JSU Alex Greenberg described the students’ thought process behind selecting the International Committee of the Red Cross as the organization they fundraised for. 

“We wanted to make sure we were looking at organizations where we could direct funds specifically to the areas we wanted to support. We voted on an organization,” Greenberg said. “We wanted to definitely focus on the humanitarian side and think about what action Archer students could take in order to support humanitarian efforts as opposed to any sort of war effort.”

The informational table provided students with knowledge about the importance of donating blood. It displayed a QR code, which connected to the International Committee of the Red Cross website and showed locations of centers where people could get their blood drawn.

“It seems like something small, but it’s really important. Especially because we have read that the International Committee of the Red Cross will sometimes buy blood from the United States,” Service Learning Coordinator Meg Shirk said. “If we could get our blood in this country over to the conflict, that’s a real tangible way we can feel that we are giving back.”

Shirk said the leadership teams’ goal with the “Hope for Humanity” mural was to spread hope and support the humanitarian movement for the people of Gaza and Israel. Junior Sophia Shin joined the Artemis Center this year and said the interactive mural activity allowed the community to collaborate to create a piece of artwork that inspires peace in wartime.

“The mural activity is a way for us to get involved beyond just fundraising, which of course is important, but we want to make a tangible impact on our community. We thought that art is really valued on campus and wanted to spreading our message of hope and peace,” Shin said. “I think it’s a really beautiful way for us to impact the community in a physical way.”

JSU led a presentation informing the upper school about the events taking place in Israel and Gaza Thursday, Oct. 26 and they presented to the middle school Thursday, Nov. 2. JSU Executive Board member Michaela Boxer-Wachler (‘24) said the main purpose of the presentation was to inform the community with factual, updated information and to minimize the spread of misinformation.

“We also wanted to inform the community that there’s a lot of really high and heavy feelings that people around campus are feeling,” Boxer-Wachler said. “We wanted to make sure that everyone feels heard and understands that talking about this topic with people around campus is a very sensitive and controversial subject and to be mindful of that. It’s important not to spread any hate towards either Palestinians or Israeli people.” 

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About the Contributor
Tavi Memoli
Tavi Memoli, Senior Reporter
Tavi Memoli joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now returning as a senior reporter in 2023. She plays indoor and beach volleyball and is currently in her third year on the varsity team. She loves baking, surfing, and listening to music in her free time.

Comments (1)

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    NaomiNov 10, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful reporting on the students’ efforts to help all those affected by recent events.