Israel loses almost all foreign tourists in 2021

Israel sees 20% of its economy disappear in the fight against COVID-19. Here is one story you must read.

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Israel Loses Almost All Foreign Tourists in 2021
Israel Loses Almost All Foreign Tourists in 2021
Courtesy of Meir Panim

The Coronavirus lockdowns have led to a 98.5 percent drop in foreign tourist arrivals to Israel during the first two months of 2021, according to recent data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Only 9,900 tourists visited Israel in January and February of 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020 which saw a figure of 652,400, even with the outbreak of COVID-19 shutting down the country in late February.

On January 26, 2021, Israel imposed a travel ban on both incoming and outgoing passenger flights to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 mutations. The ripple effect of this precaution has been felt in nearly every industry throughout Israel, including the food and dining sector.

One restaurateur who was hit hard by the ensuing financial blow was Harvey Peretz. Peretz, a resident of Or Akiva, opened the restaurant of his dream in 2018 in the neighboring scenic seaside town of Caesarea.

But that dream soon turned into a nightmare when the Coronavirus outbreak forced him to shut down his beloved restaurant last year.

Like so many successful Israelis who suddenly found themselves struggling with poverty, Harvey turned to Meir Panim, an organization with Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens and other Social Service programs fighting Israel's food insecurity crisis on the front lines.

While visiting Meir Panim’s Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen in Or Akiva, Harvey became aware of just how many people are struggling to make ends meet and he realized that he wanted to make good use of his free time.

And so, Peretz put his culinary wisdom to work and began helping the Or Avika branch of Meir Panim plan and prepare high-quality, home-cooked meals to feed the thousands of other newly impoverished Israelis who were now in need of this service.

To this day, Mr. Peretz will volunteer whenever he has time, but thanks to the help of Meir Panim’s staff who were able to find him a full-time job, he is back to running his own kitchen elsewhere.

Mr. Peretz’s story isn’t unique to Meir Panim. That’s because unlike many other soup kitchens which just turn out meals, Meir Panim believes in providing its recipients with extra care and dignity by taking the time to get to know people’s stories and needs. That way, Meir Panim is not just providing a temporary fix, but also helping people get back on their feet.

In order to keep this incredible program going, Meir Panim can’t do it alone. That’s why it is now asking friends of Israel worldwide to help ensure that Israel’s needy get the nourishment they need to turn their lives around.

Now is your chance to provide assistance. Help Meir Panim in its vital efforts. Donate to Meir Panim today.

Donations can be made online at , through the toll-free number at (1-877)-736-6283 or by mail to American Friends of Meir Panim at 88 Walton Street, Suite B1 Brooklyn, NY 11206-4479. All donations made in the US are tax-deductible under EIN# 20-1582478.

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