New 'TakeAction' program helps emergency services and nonprofits serve their clientele

Jerusalem College of Technology launches initiative to develop tech solutions for emergency services, vulnerable populations, amid outbreak.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


As nonprofit organizations struggle to continue serving those in need due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT, or Machon Lev) LevTech Entrepreneurship Center has launched “TakeAction,” a special program which leverages the college’s resources to address emerging needs in social service and emergency relief.

TakeAction works to provide technological solutions that enable emergency services and nonprofits to serve the people they normally help but with whom they now have limited contact — including the elderly, children with disabilities, the sick, people in need of food and medicine, and any population whose existing vulnerabilities are amplified during this era of self-isolation. JCT’s students, alumni, and faculty are volunteering to create the technological bridges.

In response to acute needs arising from COVID-19, TakeAction has received requests to provide mobile and web-based solutions for emergency medical service and social service organizations. These organizations include ambulance services, a nonprofit with 11,000 volunteers that delivers food and medicine to the poor and homebound, services for cancer patients, conversion of existing programs for dementia patients into online versions accessible by caretakers and therapists, and remote interactive technology for children with physical and mental disabilities who are now homebound without the therapy they need.

“We understand that so many entities can use all the help they can get right now, which is why we are recruiting the talents and innovation of JCT for those who need it the most,” said Orlee Guttman, JCT’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and co-founder of LevTech. “We want to use the TakeAction initiative not only to provide essential relief and resources, but also to bring people together during this extremely difficult time.”

TakeAction has thus far recruited over 300 JCT students, faculty and graduates, who are already working hard to develop solutions for the problems communicated by these organizations, including volunteers and tech solutions for Magen David Adom, who are on the front lines in combating the coronavirus pandemic. TakeAction is also launching Artists TakeAction this week, an online platform for virtual shows in which musicians and other artists will interact live with children who are currently home without interactive therapy. Companies such as Wix and Amazon Web Services have partnered with TakeAction to provide voluntary services to help bring these tech solutions to reality.

Apart from its new coronavirus relief project, LevTech works throughout the year to apply the untapped potential of engineering and business students and JCT graduates from the Orthodox and haredi communities to create innovative solutions to identified challenges in the medical and social sectors. LevTech participants have developed proof of concepts for an electronic bracelet to help with triage in multi-casualty incidents, tech exercise solutions for disabled children, communication programs for elderly dementia patients and their families, and more.

Many of JCT's students, including the approximately 40% who come from the haredi community, have not previously been exposed to cutting-edge technologies. Through LevTech they are now spearheading innovation for the benefit of vulnerable populations, adding to Israel’s overall expertise in that arena. In addition, roughly 20% of all women studying computer science in Israel do so at JCT.