JDC Responds to the
Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to spread, the public health crisis it has created has led to acute humanitarian needs worldwide. As the global Jewish 9-1-1, our expertise and experience are needed now more than ever. We are addressing emerging needs and continuing to serve the tens of thousands of people who depend on us every day.

Support JDC’s Coronavirus Emergency Response where funds are needed most.

This week:

Highlights from the Field

Here’s some of the latest in JDC’s global coronavirus response this week:

Providing Aid to Vulnerable Jews Around the World

  • In Belarus, volunteers made the first of what will be weekly calls to help combat loneliness for 50 elderly clients currently stuck at home.
  • JDC volunteers in Kishinev, Moldova delivered food packages, purchased by the Jewish community chairman, to over 500 homebound elderly community members.
  • In Egypt, ahead of the Passover holiday, JDC shipped about 175 pounds of matzah and other holiday foods to Jewish community members.

Helping Israel’s Most In-Need

  • A virtual ‘Center for Independent Living’ was launched on Facebook, with thousands of followers and growing, providing information for people with disabilities, including special materials, podcasts, online support groups, fitness courses and cultural/leisure courses, as well as training sessions to help provide remote services for people who work with people with disabilities..
  • JDC distributed over 4,500 hygiene and activity kits to Israeli Arab and Bedouin families through volunteers, with materials about how to use them and how to practice social distancing. Early childhood professionals, therapists, and social workers will be conducting follow-up calls to support the use of the kits.

Innovating and Sustaining Jewish Community Life

  • Junction, a young adult European network in partnership with The Schusterman Foundation, hosted an online session exploring the role and responsibility of Jewish young adults to the community during times of crisis.
  • JDC’s Active Jewish Teens (AJT), the region’s largest Jewish teen network connecting more than 3,200 Jewish teens in 60 cities, in Nikitskaya, Russia hosted its first international online Shabbat with a BBYO Teen Club in Latvia. AJT is a partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group and BBYO.

Providing Humanitarian Aid in Ethiopia

  • JDC will be placing 18 foot-operated hand washing stations in Gondar and Addis Ababa, in prioritized locations, with the first half installed in Gondar this weekend. The washing stations are being constructed locally and in partnership with NALA (NTD Advocacy, Learning, Action), an Israeli NGO that works to break the cycle of poverty for those with limited access to clean water and sanitation.
Check out this video featuring JDC staff from around the world talking about what this moment means to them:

Our Emergency
Funding Needs

If you would like to support a specific area of
JDC’s Coronavirus response, learn more here:

Providing Aid to
Vulnerable Jews
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. Currently, JDC needs $4,600,000 to continue to provide lifesaving assistance to approximately 52,000 of the most vulnerable Jews in the world. 

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.

DONATE HERE to support JDC’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund to Aid Vulnerable Jews.

Helping Israel’s
Most In-Need

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.

Innovating and Sustaining
Jewish Community Life

While this crisis has halted face-to-face contact and community gatherings around the world, JDC is sustaining people’s 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. $138,000 will enable JDC to help Jewish community life continue online for 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.

Providing Humanitarian
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. In Ethiopia, $100,000 will enable JDC to directly assist more than 10,000 Ethiopians infected, or at high-risk of being infected by the Coronavirus, by:

  • 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.

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.