We pen this letter to all SA Jewish expats in Israel and around the world, to share an update with you on our response to the Corona virus and launch of our Israel-SA communal self-help Covid19 emergency fund.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Telfed has been the only umbrella organisation attending to the needs and welfare of the South/ern African (and subsequently Australian) communities here in Israel, and in all our years of operation, we have never faced a crisis of this magnitude.
Whilst Israeli scientists are at the forefront of the global effort to develop the vaccine and expect to start human clinical trials in the summer, the fact is that many families cannot hold on until then.
In ‘normal’ times, Telfed provides NIS 2,000,000 (per annum) of monthly financial assistance to SA olim, mainly in the form of food cards for those who have fallen on hard times. This is in addition to the housing, employment, immigration, educational, social and information services we provide to the community. However, the current situation is not normal and we are struggling to meet the added needs brought on, particularly by the economic effects of the virus.
The elderly (who have non-renewable income and are dependent on rand-based pensions) and unemployed, have been hardest hit by the effects of the virus, with the national unemployment rate skyrocketing from 4% to 27% in just four weeks and 1.125M people laid off. This enormous number includes many hardworking and talented olim, who have abruptly and simultaneously lost their livelihoods. We cannot turn our backs on them.
We are currently under severe pressure to raise the necessary resources, so that no South African oleh is left to destitution or suicide. Our Social Worker, Absorption Advisor and Employment Counsellor are on the phone non-stop, advising on any, and every, possible form of relief available and trying to keep the families informed and calm. It is clear that this will not be enough. For this reason, we are urgently calling for help, so that we can raise the necessary funds.
Our community is known and respected for always standing together and being the most resilient, especially in trying times. Now, more than ever, your help is needed. Only if we join together, will we be able to help many, who have no other recourse to survive during this time. The most effective and safest thing you can do, is to donate.
We are calling on you to do something potentially difficult, but very important, and that is to show up and say ‘Hineni – here I am’. Each donation counts and we urgently need your help to ensure that the SA presence in Israel remains strong and secure.
To you and your families, keep well, healthy and reassured in the knowledge that we, as a community, always stand together.
With best wishes,
Batya Shmukler Dorron Kline
To support our emergency relief fund
Call: +972 9 7907819
Online: Click here
Bank Transfer: Charity registration #: 58 001 7614
Bank: Mercantile / Branch: 655 / Bank Code: 17 / Address: 109 Dizengoff St, Tel Aviv / Account #: 2040664 / Name: Keren Telfed / Swiftcode: bardilit / BIC Code: BARDILITXXX / IBAN: IL620176550000002040664