Stand With Israel | Shalom Austin

Stand With Israel



As a member of Jewish Federations of North America, Shalom Austin together with the Greater Austin Jewish community stands with Israel. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we come together and publicly display our love and support of Israel and the people who live there.

In the days and weeks ahead, Shalom Austin, along with our community partners, will continue to communicate on the ways in which you can help show support for our brothers and sisters in Israel as well as our Israeli community here in Greater Austin.  

#SupportIsrael  #AustinStandsWithIsrael


A Message From Shalom Austin Advocacy Co-Chairs

Rabbi Alan Freedman, Nora Lieberman and Sandy Dochen

Over the last few months, Shalom Austin has made numerous requests of the community to contact Mayor Watson and city council members to oppose consideration of a “Ceasefire Resolution” by Austin City Council.  We thank you for responding with thousands of emails and phone calls.  Meetings with individual council members and their staffs are ongoing. Efforts to pass a ceasefire resolution are continuing, with four additional city commissions acting outside of their charters to propose resolutions, and so our community’s efforts in opposition must continue.

We want to take this opportunity to provide you with a fuller explanation of why it is so imperative that a ceasefire resolution not be taken up by Council, much less passed.  While certainly no one wishes for ongoing death and destruction, we oppose consideration of any ceasefire resolution because, at a time when it is critical that we build bridges of understanding within our city, consideration of a ceasefire resolution would only cause further division, anxiety and anger.  We believe this for the following reasons (click here for more)

This is a complex issue that cannot be reduced to an “up or down” vote.

  • A ceasefire resolution is well beyond the purview and expertise of Austin City Council.  Members of Austin City Council do not have the requisite knowledge to offer an opinion on behalf of our city on this deeply emotional situation.  Moreover, any resolution addressing the War in Gaza would serve to simplify a very complex matter to an “up or down” vote.  In short, any ceasefire resolution would not promote understanding but would simply be our city choosing sides.

Ceasefire is not the ultimate goal of protesters.

  • The proposal of a ceasefire resolution in Austin is part of a well-orchestrated national anti-Israel campaign by various Pro-Palestinian groups to have city councils go on record as Pro-Palestinian and critical of Israel.  The eventual objective is denying the legitimacy of Israel and favoring the creation of a single Palestinian state.  Similar resolutions offered in other cities are one-sided with little regard for the return of hostages, the atrocities committed by Hamas or Hamas’s purposeful use of its own citizens as human shields.

Public rhetoric has been anti-Israel and antisemitic.  

  • Those advocating for Council to pass a ceasefire resolution are engaging in rhetoric during public comment that is not only anti-Israel, but also antisemitic.  Calls for one Palestinian state from “the river to the sea” and “by any means necessary” of necessity are calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the murder of Jews.  Several speakers and signs held in chambers called upon council members to ignore their “rich donors,” warned of the “westside Zionists,” and “white Jewish supremacy.”

Debate of these resolutions in other cities is ripping the fabric of civil society.

  • We have seen this happen in real time in the handful of U.S. cities that have adopted resolutions calling for a ceasefire, condemning Hamas or a combination of both.  Public debate in these cities has further fueled animosity and anger in the local communities, rather than leading to any solutions.  Many of the hearings on these resolutions have led to chaotic council meetings where tensons have boiled over and law enforcement has had to clear the room.

In vetoing a ceasefire resolution passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mayor London Breed wrote: “I cannot watch us divide ourselves even more…the best this I can do is try to quell it, try to turn down the volume and begin the healing.  I must choose unity.” 

We wholeheartedly agree with Mayor Breed and it is for the same reason that we urge your continued outreach to the mayor and members of city council in opposition to the consideration of any ceasefire resolution.  Please feel free to reach out to us at

Governor Abbott recently signed an executive order in March 2024 to combat antisemitism in Texas colleges and universities. Click here to read more about it.

Austin City Council Meetings

Our community is mobilizing to maintain a visual presence in council chambers to show that the fight to put a ceasefire resolution on council agenda is affecting our community. Signs, slogans and rhetoric used during public comment, in chambers and outside city hall use antisemitic tropes and inciting language about Israel’s right to exist. We must support our Council as they persist against the call to engage in this global issue that is being actively managed by our elected officials at the federal level.

(Photo Above) Protest sign in Council chambers on Feb. 15, 2024 that says:
“Mayor Twat-Son / I stand with genocide because I am bought by Zionists /
I fund their genocide so they fund me!!”


Videos Taken at the April 4, 2024 Austin City Council Meeting

Please note, the videos contain language that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Thank City Council

Mayor Watson and City Council have faced extraordinary pressure to keep resolutions about the Israel-Hamas war off City Council agenda. Please send emails to thank them for their perseverance.

Attend a Council Meeting

Consider attending one (or more!) upcoming City Council meetings to show our support of Council and their decision thus far to leave the Israel-Hamas war off of the agenda. We would like a visual presence in council chambers to show that the debate is not one sided and that our community is affected.

Subscribe to our emails and stay up to date

Stay up to date with important information, resources and opportunities for advocacy and public affairs. Click here to sign up for Shalom Austin advocacy emails.


Click here to read the Shalom Austin-Anti-Defamation League (ADL) statement on hate crimes in Austin.

For a guide on how to talk to elected officials, please click here.

Stay up to date on the latest Anti-Defamation League (ADL) information at

For Senate Appropriations National Security Supplemental funding package, Dec 2023, please click here.


Israeli flag chain hanging proudly during Yom HaAztmaut celebration


#BlueRibbonsforIsrael is a unity campaign in support of 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. Pick up your blue ribbon at the Dell JCC.

Seeking Hebrew Speaking Therapists

Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service is compiling a list of Hebrew speaking therapists in Austin. Please reach out to JFS at if you are a licensed therapist and interested in assisting the Israeli community.


Children & Teens

PJ Library Israel Hub

Kveller – How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening in Israel Right Now

Jewish Education Project – How to Talk to Children About Israel Today

Jewish Education Project – Talking to Teens About Operation Iron Swords

eJewishPhilanthropy – Guidance for Talking to Our Kids

Social Media Caution: Recent reports out of Israel are offering a warning to parents and urging them to have children and teens remove some social media apps with live-streaming capability from their devices. This is out of deep concern and fear that Hamas may begin showing horrific hostage videos on these platforms – specifically TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.

ADL Discussion Guide

Speak up in your homes and communities. One way to do so is with this new Anti-Defamation League (ADL) discussion guide to help your family talk about the unspeakable horror of the Hamas attack.

Wellness Resources

Blue Dove Foundation Wellness Resources for the Situation in Israel

Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service

Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service

JFS is providing mental health services to people locally who are in distress. If you need assistance, please contact us at or (512) 250-1043.

Wendy Goodman

Wendy Goodman

Senior Marketing & Communications Director