In response to the acute humanitarian needs emerging from COVID-19 pandemic, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is responding with life-saving aid for the most vulnerable. Given the increasing and widespread toll of social-isolation on Jewish communities, JDC is also creating virtual spaces for community resilience-building, Jewish education, culture, and leadership training to provide the resources needed to sustain Jewish life.
“The scope of this pandemic is profound, as are the heartbreaking human needs escalating in its wake. We’re harnessing our institutions and global support network to deploy a wide-ranging response that focuses on saving lives, caring for those desperately in need, and strengthening connections and the Jewish community at a time when we must remain apart from those we love most,” said JDC President Mark Sisisky.
JDC’s global coronavirus intervention, which is being carried out in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and local partners in each region, includes:
In the former Soviet Union, distribution of supplemental emergency medicine, medical care, and food for the poorest elderly and children; provision of personal hygiene gear, private transportation, and communications equipment for homecare workers and staff; support to Jewish institutions; provision of online programming and materials for Jewish activities; grants to community-run volunteer initiatives; and additional support for Active Jewish Teens, the region’s largest Jewish teen network.
In Israel, delivering essential care services and meals for quarantined and homebound elderly; training and coordinating volunteers; disseminating online services, videos, and infographics in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and Amharic; and producing materials for distance learning for people who have lost, or are about to lose, their jobs.
In Europe, Asia, and North Africa, providing services to the elderly; recruiting volunteers and launching hotlines; assisting Jewish communities to provide basic food packages for families in need, as well as supplementary medicine for the elderly; supporting local leadership as they focus on assessing emerging needs.
In Latin America, providing food, medicine, and monetary assistance to the neediest elderly Jews, people with chronic diseases, and families with children at risk; and convening online learning platforms for Jewish nursing home staff and administrators.