The coronavirus pandemic has created a public health crisis unprecedented in most of our lifetimes, leading to vast emergency humanitarian needs worldwide. As the global Jewish 9-1-1, JDC’s 106 years of expertise and experience responding to crises is needed more than ever.
Right now, we are addressing emerging needs and helping communities adjust to this new reality, working to ensure that we can continue to serve the tens of thousands of people who depend on us every day.
Support our emergency response and ensure that our essential frontline workers and those we serve remain safe.
Our Global Efforts
Providing Aid to
Around the World
Every day, disadvantaged Jews around the world depend on JDC for lifesaving services including homecare and basic necessities like food and medicine. In this new reality, they face even greater struggles and JDC is working to ensure our vital services continue and additional needs are addressed for approximately 52,000 vulnerable Jews.
In the former Soviet Union (FSU), JDC is providing necessities that include:
- Supplemental emergency medicine, medical care, and food for those poor elderly and children who can no longer get it themselves.
- Personal hygiene gear, private transportation, and communications equipment to reach clients in remote locations, ensure the health safety of staff and clients, and deliver food and medicine amid restrictions to public services.
In Eastern and Central Europe, where Jews are facing looming poverty and increasingly turning to local welfare organizations for aid, JDC is supporting those communities in addressing their unique challenges and needs, including:
- Working through community partners to provide special precautions for services to the elderly.
- Recruiting volunteers, launching hotlines, and adapting services throughout the region to meet evolving needs.
- Providing basic food packages for families in need as well as supplementary medicine for the elderly.
In Argentina, JDC is providing food, medicine and monetary assistance to the neediest elderly Jews, people with chronic diseases, and families with children at risk.
In North Africa and India, JDC is providing ongoing assessment of risk and community needs, as well as crisis management planning for the many needy and vulnerable community members.
Currently, JDC needs $3,495,000 to continue to provide lifesaving assistance to approximately 52,000 of the most vulnerable Jews in the world.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD
- At the Jewish community center in Ekaterinburg, Russia volunteers delivered special Shabbat sets for families facing difficulties during the crisis. The sets included a special leaflet prepared by volunteers, with guidance on how to celebrate Shabbat, as well as various tasty things like fruits, candies, and cookies.
- In Vitebsk, Belarus, AJT teens organized an online class for elderly clients to teach them how to utilize Zoom to be able to take advantage of virtual opportunities and programming from home.
In Israel, the vulnerable groups we work with — the elderly, people with disabilities, youth and families at risk, and underserved populations — are heavily impacted by this new reality. To alleviate some of the effects of this crisis, $2,800,000 in remaining funding needs will enable JDC to provide wide-reaching, rapid responses, including:
- Delivering essential care services and meals in 180 locations for two months for quarantined and homebound elderly including medicine, housekeeping, home repairs, and transportation for caregivers, as well as a call center for virtual assistance. JDC is also recruiting, training and coordinating volunteers in over 50 locations to provide vital services to the vulnerable homebound populations, in addition to the services provided by trained professionals.
- Online services, videos, and infographics in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and Amharic providing guidelines, best-practices, and other vital information for over 1 million beneficiaries including vulnerable populations and those who care for them.
- Skill-building content, highlighting alternative employment opportunities and adapting materials for distance learning for people who have lost, or are about to lose, their jobs or be furloughed.
- Immediate needs assessments including internet panel surveys, social media analysis, and targeted data collection by Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute to provide the Israeli government with real-time data on how the pandemic is affecting the entire Israeli public so that short and long-term solutions can be implemented.
- JDC is exploring a partnership with the Government of Israel for a large-scale relief fund for nonprofit organizations.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD
- To help those facing financial instability during the pandemic, JDC and the Ministry of Justice developed and circulated a manual explaining how to minimize debt, manage household finances, and access rights and benefits to increase income. JDC also established a hotline to provide free legal counsel to JDC program participants coping with debt and related issues.
Innovating and Sustaining
Jewish Community Life
While this crisis has halted face-to-face contact and community gatherings around the world, JDC is sustaining peoples’ Jewish connections and communal bonds by transitioning Jewish programming and events to online platforms, as well as providing guidance to community professionals on best-practices during this turbulent time, reaching some 80,000 Jewish community members in the FSU, Eastern Europe, and North America.
In the former Soviet Union, JDC is providing Jewish community professionals with:
- Professional support and guidance on how to function and build resilience through emergencies, as well as rolling-out online programming and materials for Jewish activities, including virtual Passover seders, Shabbat meals, and JCC events. In addition, we are providing small grants for community-run initiatives such as mobilizing volunteers to bring food to the elderly, online programming to increase socialization of the elderly, and online community-building efforts.
Across Eastern and Central Europe, JDC is helping communities leverage the resilience capacities they have developed over time, supporting their leadership, and assessing their emerging needs.
In North America, JDC Entwine, JDC’s young adult platform, is offering:
- An online platform for Jewish young adults to connect virtually with their peers, including: global briefings with JDC experts on responses to global crises, spotlights on how young professionals in global communities are building community abroad, and virtual gatherings, such as book clubs and giving circles to help bring participants together to engage with global Jewish issues.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD
- The community center in Kyiv, Ukraine launched a new educational program for children ages 6-13 years old, where once or twice per week, the children get to partake in online quizzes dedicated to the Jewish holidays and traditions, as well as interactive games.
Aid in Ethiopia
For over 100 years, JDC has provided a Jewish response to disasters and crises impacting Jews and our neighbors in need. As the virus has begun to spread across Ethiopia, we know that now is the time to take action and slow this deadly virus in the heart of Africa and we are taking action to assist more than 10,000 Ethiopians at high-risk of being infected by the virus.
- Training key organizations and institutions in the lifesaving practices of handwashing, proper hygiene, and social distancing
- Establishing handwashing and hand sanitizer stations in areas with limited or no access to clean water and soap.
- Equipping two central health facilities in Addis Ababa with basic materials for ensuring the safety of its medical personnel in dealing with the virus.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD
- JDC hosted a second medical seminar featuring Dr. Tenagne Haile-Mariam, an infectious disease AND emergency doctor, who is working on the front lines at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Tenagne shared her vast experience and wisdom about evaluation, care, and hospital management of COVID-19.
JDC’s global coronavirus response is being carried out in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America; those who wish to donate to JDC’s emergency response through their local Federation are encouraged to do so.