COVID19: Vulnerable Populations Support | The Jewish AgencyCOVID-19 Crisis: Supporting Vulnerable Populations in Israel

Supporting vulnerable populations in Israel

during the COVID-19 crisis

We are hard at work in the broader Israeli society throughout this coronavirus pandemic, specifically fortifying the nonprofit/NGO sector that’s focused on welfare, education, health services and more.

At the beginning of March, as the coronavirus crisis reached Israel, tens of thousands of non-profit employees were laid off. As the situation persists, there has been a dramatic surge in the number of organizations seeking emergency assistance, including non-profits that serve at-risk youth, battered women, the elderly, people with disabilities, populations with special needs, etc.

Etya Papugayev is a resident at Amigour, a social housing community and Jewish Agency subsidiary serving elderly Israelis.

Born in Lithuania in 1931, Etya was her family’s sole survivor of the Holocaust, fending for herself since age 12. In 1996, at 65, Etya and her children moved to Israel but in 2009, when Etya realized she couldn’t live on her own anymore, she moved in an Amigour apartment complex.

With Amigour residents at high risk of contracting the coronavirus, Etya and others living at Amigour require food packages, health provisions, and staff on-hand, and The Jewish Agency has been meeting these needs and ensuring these elderly Israelis and Holocaust survivors are a priority during this unprecedented crisis.

Plus, Aliyah never stops, not even during the coronavirus pandemic. But quarantine is mandatory and many additional procedures and assistance are required.

In the first three months of the year, thousands of olim (new immigrants) have moved to Israel (more than 1,000 in March alone when restricted entry to Israel began), and more than 50,000 calls were fielded by our Global Call Center that manages Aliyah.

Nine-year-old Adiso Kahson and 13 family members had been waiting for 11 years in a Gondar transit camp in Ethiopia to fulfill their dreams of moving to Israel. Their approval for Aliyah came during the coronavirus pandemic — nevertheless, The Jewish Agency facilitated their journey to Israel and have been there for them since their arrival.

The Kahsons went directly into quarantine and are receiving daily food packages and emotional support from our staff on the ground — and other recent olim have been served in a similar way.


We need your support to help more people like Etya and Adiso and to continue serving the vulnerable populations in Israel at this uncertain time.