The global pandemic has caused the world to come to an almost standstill. Businesses have been forced to close, families have been asked to avoid seeing each other and social distancing is now the standard way of life. However, with the help of our supporters, JNF UK has continued to help and support Israel during this challenging time:
JNF UK purchased several 3D printers for Be’er Sheva Carasso Park for Science. Prior to the pandemic, these were used for education purposes as they were the only such machines in the south of Israel. Recently, the science centre partnered with Ben Gurion University’s Soroka hospital and Department for Machine Engineering to use the 3D printers to produce prototypes for respiratory ventilators.
The 3D printers are also being used to produce face masks which are being distributed to thousands of medical staffers.
JNF UK supports a number of Israeli leadership programmes, including ‘Derech Eretz’, ‘Bein Hashitin’ and ‘Mechinat Sufa’takes. We were proud to hear that hundreds of members of the these programmes were volunteering on their own accord to help across all areas of society. These volunteering activities included: picking fruit and vegetables, delivering food to the elderly, supporting the emergency services helping the most vulnerable, and even offering free babysitting services for doctors and key workers.
JNF contributed to the “One People One Table” Passover initiative, which saw communities across Israel celebrate the festival on balconies and at windows so that even those who were isolated – such as the elderly, medical staff on duty, security workers on guard, or anyone simply alone at home – could take part in the Seder with their neighbours as one big family.
In Meitarim Lachish, JNF sponsored leadership programmes to participate in a nationwide act of solidarity and hope, by having Israelis from all backgrounds sing “Mah Nishtana” together at the same time.
Due to the Corona crisis, there is a significant increase in the number of families across Israel that need help. JNF UK has been involved in several emergency projects that have focused on making sure that the most vulnerable in Israel have enough to eat.
We have been supporting the largest civilian response the pandemic, with a matching campaign to raise money to buy emergency supply boxes for Latet. Each box contains everything needed to ensure that the recipient can stay safely at home for a month, minimising their exposure to the virus. These supplies consist of both food and hygiene products such as hand sanitiser – which is essential for keeping the disease at bay.
SAHI is cooperating with various municipality departments of welfare to distribute food in a van contributed by the JNF, reaching families across the south in cities including Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, and Netivot.