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The Second Wave

We hoped it wouldn't happen

by Karen Reiffman

0 Comments | Sunday, July 05, 2020 under Food Boxes, Feed-a-Baby, Widow and Orphan Fund, Emergency Fund




The Second Wave. It’s the phrase on everyone’s mind. And the crazy thing is, a few months ago, if you had mentioned there was a “second wave” coming, no one would have known what you were talking about. A second wave of...what? Now, I can write about the second wave and I don’t even have to specify which one I’m referring to or explain what it is. But come to think of it, a few months ago, no one would have known what covid 19 was, either…


More of the same challenges, a second time around

Just the prospect of a second wave in Israel and all it potentially entails - high numbers of infections, overcrowding of the hospitals, going back to shut-downs of minyanim and public places, stoppage of bus and train service, closures of businesses and stores, and unemployment of course - again - is alarming. Most people are just trying to grapple with the numerous outcomes of the first wave - largely, trying to get back on their feet following the loss of their incomes. This has translated into families scrambling to put food on the table and pay the rent. One woman I spoke to recently, said “In the beginning of this whole thing, after I lost my job, I was optimistic that something else would turn up. In the meantime I had a bit of savings I could rely on for immediate expenses. But now it’s been months and I can’t find work. Paying for groceries for my family is becoming harder with each week. I don’t know how long I can go on like this.” She's certainly not alone. It’s estimated that a quarter of the Israeli population is still out of work and experts are warning that even by the start of 2021 the unemployment rate will likely still hover somewhere above 10%. If the second wave is anything like the first, who knows what the statistics will be.
 

The more we know, the more we don't

With each news conference, we learn what the government is planning. Most recently it’s the renewed reduction of guests at weddings and other gatherings - and that’s likely just the start. If the numbers continue to jump as they have in the past few days, we’ve heard that we’re talking two weeks until the whole country is back in quarantine. But then again, the one constant we’ve learned about this crisis is that whenever we think we know what’s going on, we learn once again that we don’t really….
 

Generous donations to Yad Eliezer are keeping families afloat

In the meantime, among all the current uncertainty - shutdown? No shutdown? - Yad Eliezer knows that there’s simply work to be done. So much work. The needs of the needy are always on our radar - our proactivity is what makes us one of the best Israeli charities - and with the increase in families dealing with poverty issues, especially related to the health crisis, and especially now over the long weeks of the sweltering Israeli summer, we are busy distributing the generously donated funds from our Corona Relief Campaign to help keep them afloat. The crisis has impacted pretty much everybody, which is why the donations we receive - and pass on - are especially appreciated. Take a look at the amount of aid we’ve dispensed in April and May alone. Millions of dollars to thousands of families have really made a difference in the provision of food and payment of bills ranging from rent and utilities to assistance with summer expenses - helping to stabilize their homes during this extremely precarious time. 

I think it’s fair to say that we all wish we could know what the next few weeks and months hold. It may sound naive - or maybe it's just optimistic - but it sure would be nice to just go back to “normal”. But until then Yad Eliezer will continue, with the help of our donors, to make life as normal as possible for the countless needy families we help throughout Israel. Let’s all hope that the second wave will, somehow, just pass us by.

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