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Jerusalem, November 16, 2020

Jewish Agency Launches JReady Emergency Network
Global initiative introduced at Jewish Agency’s virtual Board of Governors meeting will help Jewish communities around the world with emergency preparedness, as well as respond to the alarming rise in hate crimes against Jews.

The Jewish Agency for Israel launched JReady, “the Jewish Emergency Network,” an initiative designed to assist Jewish communities in dealing with the challenging consequences of the COVID-19 crisis as well as, other emergencies including the uptick in antisemitic hate crimes around the world.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog and CEO Amira Ahronoviz decided to establish JReady in response to the devastation the pandemic has caused in global Jewish communities, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Jews and a deep economic crisis that led to the collapse of vital community institutions. The pandemic brought a significant increase in the number of Jews in need, harmed the Jewish education system and affected the entire fabric of community life.

The JReady platform was developed by The Jewish Agency in collaboration with a group of volunteer experts who have been assisting Israel in dealing with COVID-19. The Jewish Agency has recruited additional partners for this effort, including the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and other government ministries, the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, the National Emergency Authority at the Ministry of Defense, the IDF Home Front Command, Tel Aviv University and civil society organizations.

JReady’s advisory committee is headed by former Member of Knesset Ayelet Nahmias Verbin and includes prominent figures such as Haim Bibas, Mayor of Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut who also serves as head of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Prof. Eli Waxman, who headed Israel’s National Security Council’s Committee on Combating the Pandemic.

JReady is already assisting Jewish communities, including those in Italy, South Africa and Peru, in coping with the pandemic. The groundwork is being set to assist the response to future crises by sharing information, experience and technological capabilities accumulated in Israel and in global communities. JReady is also working with communities to build resilience infrastructures by training local organizations and professionals in emergency preparedness, trauma and rehabilitation.

As part of the initiative, a first-of-its-kind digital platform was developed to enable Jewish communities to use and share knowledge in crisis and emergency situations. The toolbox includes: best practices, dedicated courses for community emergency managers, webinars and training with professionals, volunteer management, a chat forum and access to advanced research and technologies, such as the ‘Haggai App’ an Israeli app for food distribution to those in need and a Belgian methodology to alleviate loneliness among the elderly.

JReady connects top professionals in Israel and worldwide who are managing the battle against COVID-19, such as heads of local authorities, school principals, nursing home administrators, experts in resilience and trauma and more. To date, The Jewish Agency has conducted numerous webinars in various countries on emergency preparedness and has held joint meetings between dozens of professionals from Israel and their counterparts in other countries.

We invite you to share your knowledge and expertise with other Jewish Communities at Jready.org