Seeing Past the Shadow of the Coronavirus

Israelis are breathing a little easier this week as the government removed a few of the tightest restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19. Schools began opening their doors to welcome back first-third graders, leaving us wondering how much longer we’ll be able to enjoy President Reuven Rivlin’s online Story Time. For more information on what’s going on in Israel (spoiler: looks like we may – fingers crossed – finally have a new government soon!) get caught up on all the current events here (updated regularly).


COVID-19 and the Global Jewish Community

The coronavirus is having a disproportionate and devastating impact on Jewish communities around the world. For the first time in recent history all Jewish communities are confronting the same emergency at the same time. Join us on Monday, May 11 at 1pm EDT to learn how several Jewish communities are faring during the pandemic. Details and registration link can be found here.


Just before that call, The Ruderman Foundation will be hosting Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, for a conversation about Israel's role, responsibility, and limits when Jewish communities around the world are in crisis. Join on Monday May 11 at 12pm EST on Facebook.


Tikkun Olam During A Pandemic

For some, the current crisis is a call to action. In Israel, the National Council for Volunteerism reports that 20% of the population over age 18 is currently volunteering in some capacity! Tens of thousands of these volunteers were trained by JDC and are working together with the IDF and employee groups from companies across the country. In addition, JDC is running a number of volunteer programs itself, with local emergency teams and even soccer clubs deployed to reach the country’s most vulnerable.


Thousands of Masa Israel Fellows have chosen to stay in the country to lend a hand. And in locations throughout Israel, over 3,000 students from the Joint Council of Mechinot (Pre-Military Leadership Academies) are volunteering to support the nation’s farmers, provide daycare for children of essential medical personnel, staff a Magen David Adom call center, help the elderly, and more.


Weathering the Storm While Serving Those in Need
Nonprofit organizations have been among the hardest hit in the wake of pandemic. Realizing the critical role they serve to fill gaps and meet real needs in the community, the Israeli government is providing a number of relief plans as outlined in this overview produced by JFN and JDC-Elka.


To keep track of the major loan and grant programs supporting nonprofit organizations in Israel and around the world, we created this chart. Share this resource with your grantees and Partnerships both in Israel and overseas.


And the good news continues. This week, The Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Hayesod UIA provided new immigrant schoolchildren in absorption centers with tablets. They can log on to the internet thanks to a grant from Jewish Federations for wifi infrastructure!