As the number of individuals in Israel diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus rises, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (ICFJ) plays a critical role in Israel’s fight against the pandemic.
On March 20, 2020, the Fellowship approved $2 million in special grants to 15 hospitals for respiratory equipment and other lifesaving machinery. Additionally, IFCJ purchased 20 special testing devices for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency medical response organization. The devices will help the staff test patients and reduce the burden on hospitals, preventing unnecessary contact between coronavirus patients and their surroundings.
Over the preceding week, the Fellowship received dozens of urgent requests from hospitals finding it difficult to manage without the proper medical equipment as the situation deteriorates. The Fellowship has expedited grant approvals and the hospitals have already begun the procurement process.
IFCJ is prioritizing hospitals in Israel’s periphery which receive less financial support and are at increased risk of collapse in the event of a coronavirus patient overload.
The assistance to hospitals is part of a $5 million emergency fund that IFCJ announced on March 16, 2020. The fund also provides basic needs to the elderly who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than other age groups. In support of this effort, IFCJ started a fundraising campaign, mobilizing thousands of its donors from all around the world to raise money for Israelis in need as they cope with the pandemic.
Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of IFCJ, said, "Israel is dealing with an emergency like it has never known, and we are all committed to enlisting and assisting the medical teams that are at the forefront in this struggle. This is an urgent need, and we will go above and beyond in order to help in every way possible. We call on all our friends around the world to join us and contribute any way they can. We are indebted to our committed donors who are already answering this call, even though the coronavirus poses a direct threat to them and their communities as well."
Founded in 1983, IFCJ aims to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and build broad support for Israel. The Fellowship now raises more than $120 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people.