World Jewish Relief has today launched a major Covid-19 Global Emergency Appeal to provide critical assistance to those within and beyond the Jewish community whose lives have been devastated by the Covid 19 catastrophe.
The pandemic has hurt us all here in the UK but the most disastrous and threatening effects are being felt in the world’s poorest countries. With the World Bank estimating that over 60 million people worldwide will be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the virus and its economic impact, World Jewish Relief highlights that now is the time to act.
Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s Chief Executive says “ We had held off appealing to ensure our community’s domestic health care charities received the attention they deserved but we now cannot wait a moment longer to assist the thousands whose lives are being catastrophically affected by the virus. They face the most disastrous economic slowdown in living memory with unimaginable consequences unless we act now”.
As the virus continues to spread to less developed and fragile countries, weak health systems are buckling leading to increased death rates and the threat of devastating economic consequences. In Ukraine and Moldova the elderly and those that have lost jobs are most at risk with limited government support. Elsewhere crowded refugee contexts and those already in poverty or recovering from recent disasters are particularly vulnerable.
World Jewish Relief’s appeal will provide funding to assist the following areas:
- Critical homecare, food, PPE and medical assistance to older Jewish people across Ukraine and Moldova.
- Food packages and social assistance to Jewish individuals who have lost their jobs and have no source of income to survive on.
- Provision of essential hygiene items, handwashing and sanitation support to Rohingya refugees in over-crowded camps in Bangladesh, cyclone victims in Mozambique and those living in poverty in Haiti.
Paul Anticoni says “Our aspiration remains to do whatever we can now to ensure not one of our Jewish clients goes hungry and that those who rely on us for assistance can continue to do so in as effective a way as possible”.
As the British Jewish community’s humanitarian agency, we are inspired by Jewish values to work both within and beyond the Jewish community at times of international crisis. This appeal has the endorsement of 13 leading Jewish communal agencies*.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said:
“No words can encapsulate the depths of global human suffering as a result of Covid-19. Right now, there are many who are enduring ill health, extreme poverty and other horrific effects of the crisis in ways that we can hardly imagine. I urge all who are able, to extend a hand of support to them by donating to World Jewish Relief’s Covid-19 Global Emergency Appeal"
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi, Masorti Judaism said:
"Few of us have found it easy to manage isolation and anxiety during Covid 19. This is incomparably harder for those who have no source of income, few or none to help them, and who live in countries where resources of water and hygiene we take for granted are unavailable. It is the least we can do to support World Jewish Relief in providing basic help for the poorest in the Jewish community and the most oppressed across the globe".
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism said:
"We know painfully well of the tragedy, despair and trauma this pandemic can cause, and we have a deep Jewish responsibility to reach out and continue to support other communities who now need our assistance. Reform Judaism is proud to work alongside World Jewish Relief in this endeavor".
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director, Liberal Judaism said:
"Liberal Judaism fully supports this vital World Jewish Relief appeal to get aid and support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people in this time of crisis. This combination of working for both the poorest in the global Jewish community and those beyond our walls is what sets World Jewish Relief apart and we urge that you support them".
*The organisations backing World Jewish Relief’s Covid-19 Global Emergency Appeal are: Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council, JW3, Liberal Judaism, London Jewish Forum, Masorti Judaism, Movement for Reform Judaism, Office of the Chief Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community, Tzedek, United Synagogue and UJS.