We are writing to you with tears in our hearts and wounds in our souls.
Each of us is facing unprecedented and uncertain times as Israel continues to be in a state of war and under attack while also dealing with the horrific trauma from the appalling atrocities we have witnessed and are learning about from survivors.
Every day is heart wrenching. In such a small country, no one is immune from knowing someone who is on the front lines, someone who was killed, or someone who was abducted. Not one of us is immune from the anxiety and extreme concern.
We gathered in Tel Aviv over a week ago, along with Jewish leaders from the US, Europe, and other parts of the world, to mark the arrival in Israel and dedication at ANU of Codex Sassoon, the millennium old and most complete Hebrew Bible.
The Bible will be eternally ensconced at ANU, in the Land of Israel, the birthplace of the Jewish People and where we achieved independence, created a culture of national and universal significance and endowed the Bible to world civilizations.
None of us could have anticipated what was to come.
The Israeli people have demonstrated, once again, amazing courage, admirable heroism, resilience and resourcefulness. Many are serving in the IDF and the rest are volunteering to provide necessary support and all needs to Israeli fighters and civilians across the country, especially in the south.
In our ANU family, team members and their offspring are on the front lines or otherwise deployed, leaving behind spouses, children and other family members. We are praying for their and all IDF soldiers' safe return as well as that of all those who are still in enemy hands.
We are providing emergency support to our own team members and their units and helping their families by assessing their needs and responding to them as quickly as we can.
We are providing a robust daily program of online tours and lectures, open to the public at no charge. We are preparing to open the museum specially to host families evacuated from the south and provide a few hours of relief. We know from the horrific 9/11 tragedy that cultural institutions, like ANU, could provide important services to help heal the rupture, the broken hearts and the pained souls.
Families in Israel are hurting as Israel faces this unfathomable crisis. The days ahead will be difficult. The situation is fluid, and every day new needs will be identified. We know that you, in your own way, will support us during this most critical time.
Israel will never forget the support of foreign governments, first and foremost the American support expressed by President Joe Biden stirringly in words and in actions.
With your support and engagement, WE SHALL OVERCOME these trials and tribulations and the challenges Israel is facing. And, when the time comes for healing, we will all have a role to play in strengthening Jewish solidarity in Israel and throughout the world.
Let us hope for better days.