The Ongoing Covid Crisis in Jerusalem: More than $2 Million of Emergency Support Allocated
After initially responding well to the Coronavirus, the situation in Israel has deteriorated and continues to be a great challenge. We are all slowly learning to adapt to the new reality and to continue life as best we can despite the difficulties that entails. The Jerusalem Foundation is at the forefront of efforts to support the city of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants, over these many months.
Now, half a year after we first started to respond, we have reached a double milestone – the terrible statistic of more than 20,000 infections in Jerusalem (the highest infection rate in Israel) – but, encouraging and heart warming to us, we have raised more than $2 million from individuals and communities around the world, and distributed these funds through dozens of initiatives to those most in need in Jerusalem.
Our efforts have focused on providing a safety net to the city’s most vulnerable residents from all population groups. Working in cooperation with support agencies in the city and the Jerusalem Municipality, we have been able to respond to changing needs on the ground and to respond quickly to provide help to all of the women’s shelters, homes for children and youth at risk, isolated elderly, adults with cognitive challenges and so many more. The Jerusalem Foundation directly touched the lives of over 150,000 people in the last few months, and distributed 4.5 million shekels to vulnerable populations.
From large-scale projects – such as the distribution of over 1000 tablets and computers to children with special needs to assist with their education – to smaller, but no less impactful, projects – such as distributing food parcels to single mothers who have left their communities and have no network of family support – the Jerusalem Foundation continues to be a backbone of support across the city.
The Jerusalem Foundation has also led the way in supporting the arts and culture community of the city to ensure that creative culture and civil society will recover from this unprecedented shutdown of activity. Cultural institutions and civil society organizations have been innovative and adapted to the situation, developing new models to create and present culture within the changing guidelines.
The ‘Triple Impact’ project, for example, brings youth-at-risk to cultural sites that have been inaccessible, or even closed, for many months. In doing so, the project helps the institutions, the local economy and the youth themselves. The Vertigo dance company put on a drive-in performance of their acclaimed ‘Birth of the Phoenix’ in a car park, which saw the audience surround the stage in their cars. In total, over 2.7 million shekels has been distributed in support of the recovery of cultural institutions and civil society.
As long as the crisis continues and there are people in need, we will continue our efforts and we are planning ahead to help many more people in the months to come.
As always, we are grateful to our friends around the world who continue to support our ongoing efforts.