Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /



Blue Ribbons for Israel – Jewish Federations of North America organized a #BlueRibbonforIsrael campaign; a global unity symbol in solidarity with hostages and their families. Ribbons will be available at Ohav on Shabbat  on a table near the Sanctuary.

Organized by the Jewish Federations of North America along with leaders and partners across the global Jewish community, the blue ribbon symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists in Israel. It symbolizes solidarity with the hostages, their families, and all who care about their safety.

Wearing a ribbon publicly unites you with people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time.

Send a powerful message of solidarity by wearing your ribbon.

We Stand With Israel” Lawn Signs – A generous community member, Asaf Elkayam, produced 1,000 ‘We Stand With Israel’ lawn signs and is working to distribute them to our local organizations. Donations for the signs are encouraged, but not required, stay tuned for more information. Please let us know if you would like some delivered to your organization to disseminate to interested parties

Donations & Fundraising

The needs are high and we are actively fundraising to support a national $500 million emergency campaign for Israel.

ORGANIZATIONS HELPING ISRAEL IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS: A SELECT AND VERY BRIEF LIST FROM RABBI ORNSTEIN. (More to come over the next few weeks.)  Small Business Support Hadassah International Jewish National Fund USA (NOTE–This is NOT the Israeli JNF or Keren Kayemet. It is a separate organization) Masorti or Conservative movement in israel. American Friends of magen David Adom (Israeli “Red Cross.”)  Jewish Federation


JFS is here. 

Dear friends,

The last 11 days have been difficult — even excruciating . We have witnessed some of the most terrifying times of our modern history, and many of us are reeling — others of us are almost paralyzed with emotion. All of us are saddened by the extreme loss of life. 

JFS has been supporting our community in a variety of ways, in larger groups to parents and kids and smaller groups* and one-on-one sessions and reaching out to older adults who may be socially isolated, but not from the news.

HERE are excellent wellness resources from our partners at the Blue Dove Foundation:


Other Ways to Help and Stay Informed

Check with Federation for more information for reliable information and notice of local events.

Do not engage with counter rallies. The guidelines are to stay away and avoid potential violence.

Sign up for the daily update from the Secure Community network, the official safety and security organization of the North American Jewish community. They get updates from Homeland Security.

Help curb the spread of misinformation and hate. There is a great deal of harmful incorrect data on the internet. The ADL is a reliable source for accurate news. 

Many of our partners are offering daily opportunities for education and to check in through Jewish ritual to help center ourselves in these difficult days …

  • Institute for Jewish Spirituality offers a live daily guided meditation sharing 30 minutes of Jewish mindfulness with people from around the world.
  • The Blue Dove Foundation is offering wellness resources to address mental health needs in response to the situation in Israel.
  • Jewish Education Project recorded a webinar on how to talk to children about Israel.
  • Ematai is offering an opportunity for diaspora Jews with family in Israel to gather for support and guidance.
  • Recustom offers a variety of rituals and content to support grief and mourning, created in partnership with Shomer Collective.  
  • End Well offers expert guidance on grief, “in A Time of Collective Grief, How to Cope With World Tragedy”
  • Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies is offering a series of drop-in groups online to support staff in Jewish community organizations.

A Reminder about Social Media

An Important Note about Social Media for Parents, Teens and Young People, and for Everyone

As the images of the vile and murderous Hamas attack on Israeli civilians this past weekend start filtering to our screens, it is very easy to see things that cannot be unseen. Images of body bags, of the elderly being kidnapped on golf carts, of that music festival in the desert– they are now a part of me. 

The Israeli government is urging parents to tell their children to delete Instagram and Tik Tok immediately. There’s a lot of fake news and very psychologically disturbing videos that are being posted, and it is not helpful to see them. Terrorists are expected to release distressing videos of hostages begging for their lives. People who follow Jewish or Israeli influencers may stumple upon them. As one Israeli psychologist has noted, “The videos and testimonies we are currently exposed to are bigger and crueler than our souls can contain.” 

It is important to be careful about what you expose yourself to on the internet and social media, especially because terrorists are using social media as another way to target Israelis and the Jewish people. It is ok to turn it off. Give yourself and your kids the permission to turn it off. I strongly advise our community to follow the suggestion of the Israeli government to delete Instagram and Tik Tok immediately. Make choices about what to expose yourself to, don’t let those choices be made for you.