A Lloyd Harbor teen started an online fundraiser for families of police officers in Israel, dozens of whom were killed by Hamas. NewsdayTV’s Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Cold Spring Harbor High School junior Sam Davis was horrified when he learned Hamas had launched an unprovoked attack against Israeli civilians and law enforcement.

The 16-year-old from Lloyd Harbor said he felt compelled to help in any way he could.

Last Wednesday, he started an online fundraiser for the families of the estimated 30 Israeli police officers killed in the surprise attack — an effort that to date has generated nearly $40,000.

Israel-Hamas war

On Oct. 7, 2023, the Hamas militant group launched an attack on Israel, which resulted in thousands of deaths and casualties. In response, Israel declared war and began its own assault on Hamas. Here's the latest on the war:

The latest: Israeli airstrike in central Gaza kills one of Hamas' top militant commanders

On Long Island, the war has prompted both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine rallies, while many have sought to provide aid to Israel, including a Lloyd Harbor teen who started a fundraiser to help families of fallen Israeli cops.

How did we get here? Here are some answers to questions about the Mideast conflict.

Click here for complete coverage of the war.

"Obviously there's a lot of people in need of help right now and I'm glad we can do something to help them," Davis said on Monday during a news conference at the Mineola office of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, which donated $5,000 for the teen's fundraiser. Other local law enforcement groups, including the MTA Police Benevolent Association, have also contributed, records show.

The goal, he said, is to raise $100,000 that will be distributed to Israeli police by Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, an Island Park-based nonprofit that supports the families of police officers.

For the Davis family, the Oct. 7 terror attack was deeply personal. 

The Jewish family visited Israel last year and has friends there. Meanwhile, Sam's father is a PBA attorney while his grandfather was a police officer.

"This is the cause that's near and dear to us," said Carrie Davis, the teen's mother. "It is devastating that anybody would be put in this position of losing family members killed by terrorists."

Nassau PBA president Thomas Shevlin said whether on Long Island or in Israel, we "take an oath to have each other's back and the back of our fellow police officers' families. Their families will never be forgotten and we will always be here to help out when we can."

The Nassau police department had two members in Israel for training exercises at the time of the attacks, including Chief of Detectives Christopher Ferro, said County Executive Bruce Blakeman.

"We were fortunate enough to have a plan to get them home," Blakeman said. " … They had to be extracted and luckily he and the other police officer are safe and they're back here in the United States."

Numerous other Long Island organizations are also raising money for the Israeli people, including the  UJA-Federation of New York, which has an office in Syosset.

The group organized an Israel Emergency Fund through online donations, allocated $10 million in emergency funding from its endowment and provided $22 million in grants to more than 60 Israeli nonprofits.

"These grants cover the most pressing needs across affected communities including procuring new hospital equipment, mobilizing mental health counselors, providing cash grants for victims of terror, aiding thousands of displaced residents from southern Israel, and helping so many cope with displacement and grief," said Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the UJA-Federation of New York. 

Jewish National Fund-USA, which has offices in Rockville Centre, is working to raise $10 million by early November as part of the organization’s Israel Resilience Campaign.

The campaign supports emergency evacuation transportation, temporary accommodation for displaced Israelis, clothing, fire and rescue apparatus, protective security equipment and activities for school children, said Stefan Oberman, a spokesman for the group.

And the American Jewish Committee, which has offices on Long Island, recently launched a campaign to support Israeli relief organizations.

The effort has raised more than $2.5 million for Israeli hospitals, medical organizations, trauma relief organizations, emergency food donations and money to support the Israeli Defense Forces, said Eric Post, regional director of AJC Long Island.

There are at least six verified GoFundMe fundraisers benefiting Israelis run by Long Islanders, according to a company spokeswoman.

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