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Pandemic opens a new page in Jewish philanthropy

Jewish communities and organizations, including social projects, faced considerable financial and organizational difficulties associated with the spread of the pandemic. Nevertheless, many of them are stepping up activities aimed at uniting the community and supporting people in these challenging times.

Irina Shcherban, head of the Moscow Jewish Community House and the Association of Jewish Community Centers of the CIS, about the activities of the Sheket program for deaf and hard-of-hearing Jews and the Integration project for Jewish children with disabilities: “In the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic, many of our sponsors could not transfer their donations, and we have to take emergency measures to support people, many of whom are at risk from coronavirus. We received emergency financial assistance from the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress; students from the All-Russian Union of Jewish Students (RUJS) and other volunteers are helping us to manage. Psychologists and social workers maintain daily contact with our wards, we try to solve their problems. These days, student volunteers from the All-Russian Union of Jewish Students are delivering matzah and juice for our wards as a little gift and joy for the upcoming Pesach. ”

Many social projects have stepped up their efforts to support people on these difficult days.

Oleg Mortkovich, the head of the Moscow Public Organization of Jewish former prisoners of the ghetto and Nazi concentration camps, informed us that an operational headquarters of five people has been created, and they are constantly in contact with the Holocaust survivors. The timely support of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress allowed the organization to acquire and deliver medicines and kosher food packages for the upcoming Pesach.

Activists of the Jewish communities of the Euro-Asian region are striving to solve the most pressing challenges while making their contribution to the fight against the spread of the pandemic.

Concerned over the shortage of protective masks, activists of the Jewish community of Montenegro sewed from scratch and delivered face masks to all members of the Jewish community of Montenegro. And they did not stop there: hundreds of homemade protective masks have been already donated to the medical center in Podgorica.

In the current emergency, the Jewish community of the Philippines has been faced with the problem of financing the synagogue and the community. However, a solution was found: now, kosher food is prepared daily in the kitchen space at the synagogue.

“Due to the restrictions in the pandemic situation, logistics related to the supply of food, cooking, and delivery was complicated, but we have managed to overcome the difficulties and already receive a huge number of orders for kosher food delivery,” said Lee Blumenthal, executive director of the Jewish community of the Philippines.“The EAJC leadership has decided to provide emergency assistance to the Jewish communities and organizations affiliated with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. The world is in a pandemic situation, and we all need to mobilize so that Jewish life does not fade away. In this regard, we will focus on developing online projects and addressing the most pressing problems facing communities and organizations in the Euro-Asian region, ”said President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Dr. Michael Mirilashvili.