News and Media News Everyone Counts: A New Toolkit to Inspire Learning and Action to Free the Hostages in Gaza

Everyone Counts: A New Toolkit to Inspire Learning and Action to Free the Hostages in Gaza

Press Release
Initiated by the Bring Hersh Home advocacy, M² and Kol HaOt launch a new website of educational resources to inspire sustained awareness and concrete action for hostage liberation (Pidyon Shvuyim)Rachel Goldberg, mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was taken hostage on October 7th: ” With Everyone Counts, communities across the world have a powerful and growing collection of resources to use as access points to inspire action and call for the hostages’ release.”

Jerusalem, Israel, January 24, 2024 — M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education and Kol HaOt, announce the launching of Everyone Counts, a new and growing collection of educational resources housed in an easy-to-use online platform to inspire sustained awareness and concrete action in response to the hostages taken on Oct. 7. The initiative is developed in partnership with The Jewish Education Project.

More than 130 Israeli hostages still remain in captivity in Gaza, necessitating ongoing and pervasive awareness and activism. Everyone Counts provides educators, community leaders, families, and organizations across diverse denominations and affiliations the tools to guide learners toward immediate, effective, and sustained advocacy, dialogue, and action around the Mitzvah (imperative) of Pidyon Shvuyim (hostage liberation).

The initiative kicked off during a webinar on January 14, 2024, the day that marked 100 days of captivity. Rachel Goldberg, mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was taken hostage on October 7th during the Nova Music Festival with a severe injury that severed his arm, shared a special message with the webinar participants about the importance of this continued and unrelenting activism.

“There are still 136 Israeli hostages in Gaza who have had no communication with their families and without access to medical care, and we must continue to advocate for their immediate release,” said Rachel Goldberg. “Since October 7th, we have reached millions of individuals with our call to action to free our son Hersh and all the hostages, and each time, we’ve gotten the question, what can we do to support you? With Everyone Counts, communities across the world have a powerful and growing collection of resources to use as access points to inspire action and call for the hostages’ release.”

“Through its wide network of Jewish educational leaders, M² is poised to empower activism to free the hostages across diverse institutions and communities,” said Shuki Taylor, CEO and Founder, M². “Pidyon Shvuyim, the mitzvah of freeing hostages has never been more urgent, and we are here to support the Jewish people in this most meaningful, critical way. We must keep this cause top of mind at all times. This is not only about our community. It is about humanity. Use this toolkit, share and distribute, and join as a partner. We are also encouraging organizations to contribute resources to the website, allowing us to add more voices and perspectives.”

“While we don’t have the power to directly influence Hamas to release the hostages, that does not absolve us from the deep responsibility to do everything in our power to work towards that goal. Both Jewish and universal values drive the real imperative to move people to action on their behalf and save these lives. We deeply believe in the power of education and community, to mobilize and create change in the world. The goal of this project is to provide the content and the tools, in a creative, thoughtful, and deep way, to raise awareness, and to bring about that change”, says Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz, CEO and co-founder of Kol HaOt.

Everyone Counts features actionable resources that focus on the following values: freedom and justice, peoplehood and community, responsibility and leadership, human dignity and compassion, and Jewish moments.

Explore Everyone Counts >

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About M²
M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education helps educators and organizations design compelling educational experiences that help their learners find meaning and relevance in Jewish life. For more information, please visit ieje.org.

About Kol HaOt
Kol HaOt ignites meaningful Jewish learning and living through the creative arts. They create immersive experiences- exhibits, workshops, performances; design professional development programs for artists and educators as change agents; and develop physical and virtual creative educational toolkits and resources. For more information please visit: www.kolhaot.com.