Israel's COVID vulnerable supported by KKL-JNF, by Benjy Singer.

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Israel's largest environmental agency, is on the front-line in defending the weak and vulnerable.

 (photo credit: HAIM VERSANO/KKL-JNF)
(photo credit: HAIM VERSANO/KKL-JNF)
Israel's Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, said Israel is in a war against COVID when detailing the regulations for the three-week lockdown starting on Rosh Hashanah eve. If that’s the case, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Israel's largest environmental agency, is on the front-line in defending the weak and vulnerable.

(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The COVID crisis is particularly challenging for those who are alone and do not have a support system or the tools to cope. In this period of social distancing, many have lost their sense of connectedness, due to the lack of social interaction and activities. Israeli families from lower socio-economic backgrounds, many of who live in Israel’s underdeveloped outlying regions, are really struggling.   
COVID has transformed all of our lives and we have had to adapt to an ever-changing reality. Mental health professionals are extremely concerned about the isolation and sense of alienation that many are experiencing – which will be made more acute over the lockdown period.   

(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The KKL-JNF have mobilized themselves - now for the fourth time - to provide assistance to those on the fringes of Israeli society, who may be suffering more than the rest of us, through their flagship initiative "KKL-JNF for the Community.”   
"KKL-JNF for the Community" distributes care packages to Holocaust survivors, the elderly and needy families, who are enduring the stress of dealing with COVID alone.   
"We have set ourselves the goal of assisting a range of communities across Israel, as part of our mission, to strengthen the social and geographical periphery,” said Daniel Atar, the Chairman of KKL-JNF.  
“We are implementing projects in diverse fields in different areas, and now, at the start of the New Year, we wanted to make it possible for everyone to enjoy a happy and pleasant holiday atmosphere.  
"In the event of a closure, many families will be staying at home under difficult conditions, so we chose to purchase essential items; heart-warming and joyous things for them, in order to try make their time at home as pleasant as possible and enable them to start the New Year on a happy note,” Atar concluded. 
Operations took place in municipalities and regional councils around the country, wherever the MAOF educational program - under the auspices of the KKL-JNF Education and Community Division - is being run.   
Residents of cities throughout Israel have benefitted from this initiative - from Acco, Beit She'an, Tzfat, Beit Jann and Yarka in the north; to Beitar Illit and Gush Etzion in the center; and Yeruham, Dimona, and Kiryat Malachi down south.   
The distribution was not just done by KKL-JNF employees and representatives of social welfare departments, but also volunteers, pre-military academy students, youth movement members and student village residents. 
In addition to the basic resources, the project included games, gift packages, and clothing for the upcoming winter which was distributed in nursing homes, institutions and residences.   

(photo credit: HAIM VERSANO/KKL-JNF)
The "KKL-JNF for the Community" distribution drive, which ran from September 14 and continued until September 17, didn't just provide for peoples' physical needs, but also succeeded in raising their spirits, helping them have a happier new year.