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For the People of Israel

19.1.2021

Home PageNewsletter January 2021

Dear Friends of Keren Hayesod,

For those of you who have been following us over the past year, you have had the opportunity to journey with us through the highs and the lows of an incredibly turbulent year. 2020 presented us with challenges that most of us had never imagined we would have to face.

We are now making our way through the first month of the New Year, 2021, and the world is still dealing with the impact of the global pandemic. However, as our daily lives have changed, there is one thing that remains constant at Keren Hayesod and that is our devotion to helping the people of Israel.

Let’s take a look at what has been going on in Israel and how your support has continued to have an impact in the start of this New Year:

Israel and the Pandemic

Since January 8th, 2021 Israel has entered into its third, full lockdown with heightened restrictions on movement, businesses have been shuttered, schools are closed, and the Israeli public has been forced to remain at home. As of January 12th, the number of daily cases of those infected with the coronavirus has reached a record high of nearly 10,000 cases. *1

 

However, as the state of Israel is in a state of emergency with the rising number of infections:

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active cases

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deaths

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people vaccinated. *1

Israel is leading the world in its vaccination campaign, with predictions that by the end of March, Israel will have vaccinated 5.2 million citizens out of a total population of 8,729,578 million people.

This is exciting and hopeful news for the year ahead! However, despite the hopeful outlook, the people of Israel still need your support.

‘Do not cast me away at the time of old age; when my strength fails, do not forsake me’
Tehillim – Psalms – Chapter 71

The residents of Amigour Sheltered Housing for Israel’s elderly and Holocaust survivors, a Keren Hayesod-supported project, have been a top priority throughout this pandemic due to their age and vulnerability.

We have worked hard, together with our strategic partners, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

The incredibly dedicated staff at Amigour have continued to look out for the residents during this unprecedented time, protecting them and keeping them safe from COVID-19, while also working to uphold their livelihood and dignity during this difficult time.

Thanks to your continued contributions and care, we were able to provide them with the necessary items and support they needed to safely deal with the pandemic.

In light of the difficult circumstances the residents are dealing with, they have begun to receive their vaccinations against the coronavirus.

Hopefully, this is leading us one step closer to returning to a sense of normalcy.

Additionally, the construction of more Amigour homes continues thanks to your support, which will soon allow more of Israel’s elderly to finally have access to subsidized housing in a warm and supportive environment.

Your commitment throughout this incredibly difficult time has allowed, and will continue to allow, the residents of Amigour to maintain a sense of pride and optimism.

 “Mitchashevim” – Computers for those in need
No Computer = No school = No connection

With a new reality in Israel, children throughout the country were forced to deal with the changing educational framework as a result of the pandemic. Instead of sitting in classrooms, with a teacher and classmates, students have had to learn from home, relying on technology.

For many, this new reality does not only present challenges in terms of the educational and emotional adjustment, but also in terms of not having the resources to engage in the required online learning.

On January 7th, our World Chairman, Sam Grundwerg joined together with the President of Israel, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon and the Mitchashevin team for an emotional and uplifting event that granted computers to children in need.

“This moment was a heartfelt and moving opportunity to connect directly with children from Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, and Rosh Haayin and to see first-hand Israeli children from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds receive these computers, which is just the minimum requirement needed for them be an active part of the classroom. With these computers, they can now focus on being present, learning and making the most of this experience,” said Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod.

Since April 2020, 14,000 computers have been given to families with children. Your support of this important project has helped families to adjust to Israel’s new educational framework.

Without you, many children would be unable to participate in the required schooling and would miss the critical opportunity to interact with their classmates and friends.

A Trip to Nitzana – a trip to the Egyptian border!

Surrounded by beautiful landscape in the south of Israel, just three kilometers from the Egyptian border, is Nitzana – one of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Youth Villages, supported by Keren Hayesod.

Last week we had the privilege of visiting the Youth Village and seeing what a day in the life is like for participants who have come from all over the world. Nitzana is home to several different projects like MASA and Sela, where young adults have the unique opportunity to gain meaningful and important skills before integrating into Israeli society.

Imagine these young teenagers who left their homes abroad and landed in an unfamiliar place, in the Israeli desert. No family, no familiarity with the surrounding culture and landscape and no understanding of the Hebrew language. They left their lives behind to find a new home in Israel, to be part of the people of Israel and part of the Zionist dream.

Despite the lockdown and unusual situation, the participants continued to engage in their daily Ulpan courses, had the opportunity to relax with yoga outside and enjoyed hanging out with their new friends.

These participants have decided to leave home and make Aliyah to Israel, even during a global pandemic. We are in awe of their bravery and commitment to making Israel their home.

We wish them luck on their new journey in Israel.

A lot has happened in just a few short weeks since the New Year began, and we are proud of what we have accomplished thus far. However, Israeli society has been deeply impacted by the global pandemic. Many families have lost their source of livelihood. Young people have lost their direction and have been forced to change their plans for the future. Israel’s elderly have gone months without being able to feel the warm embrace of their loved ones.

Even with the success of Israel’s vaccination campaign, the state and people of Israel will continue to feel the devastating effects and aftermath of COVID-19 for years to come.

Keren Hayesod, together with all of you, our worldwide family, will continue to stand united in our support of the state of Israel and will work to fulfill our sacred mission of safeguarding the wellbeing of the people of Israel.

Your support will help us to continue making an impact for the people of Israel

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