(photo credit: J-SOS)
Bringing together Israeli hi-tech and Chabad’s global networking skills, a smart-phone app has just been released to help Israelis and Jews around the world report a terrorist attack or alert emergency services of a medical emergency or natural disaster which they have been caught up in.
The app, called J-SOS, was the brainchild of Yogev Deri, a member of the Chabad movement, and came to him after the 2014 terror kidnapping in which three Israeli boys were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in the West Bank.
The purpose of the app is two fold; to help Jewish travelers in countries other than their own report emergency situations where they likely do not know the phone numbers of the emergency services, do not speak the local language and are unaware of their precise location, and to report terrorist attacks wherever they happen to be, at home or abroad.
J-SOS’s global operations room, which is staffed 24/7 by a team of 20 volunteers and three full-time employees, receives all reports sent via the app.
The app has a simple SOS button which a user presses in an emergency and then stipulates what is the nature of the emergency, be it medical, a terrorist attack or other violent incident, or being trapped or incapacitated in any other situation.
In the case of a medical or other emergency when abroad, the report will be sent to the local Chabad emissary of whom there are some 6,500 around the world, and will include the precise location of the user identified by the app’s GPS technology.
The Chabad emissary will then immediately contact the appropriate emergency service to dispatch the relevant assistance.
In the case of a terrorist attack anywhere around the world, the global operations room will directly contact local police where the user is located to alert them of the attack.
Users can also send pictures, text and audio messages via J-SOS to assist the emergency services in finding them and helping police in the event of a violent incident or terrorist attack.
In addition, the operations room can send alerts to all local users of a terrorist attack being carried out to warn them to leave or stay away from the area, and can also send out a message asking local users if they need assistance in cases of natural disasters.
Users can also use the app to warn the authorities, through the services of the global operations room, of suspicious individuals or behavior via photographs and other media.
J-SOS was founded by Yogev Deri, who serves as its CEO. He previously served as a member of the Israeli Police’s elite anti-terrorism unit YAMAM and as an investigator with the Shin Bet (General Security Service).
The app itself was developed by an Israeli hi-tech company which wishes to remain anonymous, and Deri says it has been approved by a “highly qualified Israeli security organization” although he declined to say state which one on the record.
J-SOS is a non-profit organization and has raised $2.5 million to establish and run the application and its services.
Controls have been put in place to stop inappropriate abuse of the app and its functions.
“The organization was founded in order to save lives and provide immediate, precise, accessible, and free connection 24/7 to any Jew and Israeli, from anywhere in the world,” said Deri.
“By cooperating with Chabad emissaries and other entities around the world, and through use of the operation room and the application, the world becomes smaller and saving lives becomes accessible, immediate, and practical. This application can help any of us personally, as well as our children abroad.”
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