On the interim days of Passover, also known as Hol Hamoed, Israelis typically greet each other with the Hebrew phrase “Moadim L’simcha” – may your times be happy. What an appropriate message of hope during these days of distance and fear. Hope and happiness. Perhaps the secret of the Jewish people’s longevity as a nation can be traced back to our collective sense of optimism. As JDC’s global staff declare in this moving Passover message - we’ll get through this current crisis as long as we stay positive and together.
News From Israel’s Civil Society
Congratulations to The Genesis Prize Foundation’s 2020 Laureate – Mr. Natan Sharansky. Sharansky has asked to donate his $1 million award to initiatives – primarily in Israel – aimed at helping vulnerable individuals and organizations combating the coronavirus. The Foundation is working closely with Sharansky to identify evolving needs and unique ways to help, and will begin announcing grants in May. Suggestions for worthy projects and grantees can be submitted directly to the Foundation.
Civic Leadership, the umbrella organization for Israel’s third sector, has recruited nonprofit leaders from around the country in a campaign to pressure the GOI to expand assistance for the country’s struggling NGOs.
Some of Israel’s brightest and most entrepreneurial minds are actively seeking ways to ameliorate the impact of the Coronavirus locally and around the world. Start-Up Nation Central together with HealthIL have launched CoronaTech Israel, a web portal that showcases coronavirus-related innovations and potential technologies and solutions that can help in the global fight against COVID-19.
By Sea And By Land: IDF and Mossad Activity During the Pandemic
Israel has mobilized all its resources to help in the fight against the coronavirus, including most units of the IDF and the country’s security agencies.
The Israeli Navy’s elite commando unit, Shayetet 13, has extensive experience in scuba diving and the capacity to manufacture compressed oxygen containers. Over the past few weeks, a number of teams from Shayetet 13 in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Yad Sarah and other organizations have developed a solution for civilians who are in need of oxygen tanks. The IDF released this two minute video of the production process.
In Israel, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus take us on a two minute tour of the Home Front Command's activities to help the civilian population, while overseas the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, is quietly acquiring medical gear and knowledge needed in the fight against COVID-19.
And even in the midst of this crisis, gratitude abounds. Inspired by the countless times help has flowed from North America into Israel, Israeli lay leaders have penned a letter to their peers from around the world, extending their friendship and support. Take a look at all those who’ve signed on, it’s likely you know many of these organizations and their leaders!