The Jerusalem Foundation has always been and remains the heart and soul of Jerusalem and the people of this special city. We believe it is our role to be present and ready for all of those who need our help at this difficult moment.
None of us have confronted a situation like this before and we are all finding new ways to support and preserve our communities. In Jerusalem we are doing our best to focus on what we can do to provide support and a safety net to our most vulnerable residents from all population groups in the city and also to the many cultural and educational organizations and institutions that have had to close down and face an uncertain future.
The Jerusalem Foundation has already allocated over 1 million NIS in emergency support in the city. Here are examples of what we are doing immediately in Jerusalem to help with the most critical needs in the city.
- Purchase and distribution of food packages to the elderly in all population groups in the city – for elderly from the Ethiopian community isolated or quarantined, the Al Jabsha Elderly Center in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, needy homebound Holocaust survivors through the Café Europa program and needy ultra-Orthodox elderly with Misgav Lekashish.
- Purchase of touch screen computers/tablets for distribution to people with disabilities and special needs populations throughout the city including the Ma’ayan School in Ein Kerem – for communication with severely physically handicapped children and their families during school closure.
- Support for the Home for Every Child organization (bayit lekol yeled) for special and additional emergency treatment costs of staff, equipment and nutritional support for young children in residential centers who have been removed from their homes due to prolonged neglect and abuse.
- Support for distribution of hot meals for Youth at Risk (42 participants) – the “Chut Hameshulash” special program in the city center for youth who have no safe home base – additional staff and programming.
- Support for special activities and extra staff for children living with their mothers in the Battered Women’s Shelter – 20 women and their children (80 children). The shelter is in lock down and all regular educational/therapeutic programs are currently shut down.
- Support to the Shekel organization to create and staff a new phone hotline (8AM-8PM) for help with support for adults with developmental disabilities and their families – guidance in Hebrew and Arabic.
- Distribution of food packages in east Jerusalem to many needy and at-risk families – special program through the community centers in Abu-Tor and Silwan (neighborhoods with some of most difficult socio-economic conditions) for children who were served after school lunches (80 families in each neighborhood). And continued support of the nourishment program for families with special needs children in all of east Jerusalem (1000 families) in partnership with the Jerusalem Education Authority and the philanthropy forum for east Jerusalem.
- Providing humanitarian aid to refugee and asylum seeker children and families (500 children) who lack health insurance and/or are not eligible for any social benefits and due to the crisis have lost their jobs and have no safety net. Distribution of food packages and emotional support and guidance to the families.
- Support for people with dementia or Alzheimers and direct individual professional assistance using Zoom software and smartphones (therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc) through the Melabev organization.
- Support for the medical teams in Jerusalem who are in quarantine or isolation due to exposure to the virus with delivery of special food packages for the holiday (packages for Passover/Ramadan holidays).
“Even in these difficult days of global crisis, I have been deeply moved by the commitment and care of friends of Jerusalem around the world. I am grateful for the efforts of the Jerusalem Foundation and all those who support their activity, to help respond to the needs of the city and our most vulnerable residents. Thanks to our partnership and dedication we will succeed in protecting the resilience of Jerusalem.” – Mayor Moshe Lion
We have begun a long journey to assist and support with preliminary and immediate help. Priorities for the short term – are different then in the past. At the same time, we are continuing to think and plan for the long term, to provide hope and light and vision for the better days that will be ahead.