Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) has expanded its services for new immigrants, including financial aid for the unemployed and online Hebrew lessons to help people pass time in home isolation in the wake of the coronvirus crisis.
“This is undoubtedly a challenging time that has affected virtually all aspects of our lives,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of NBN Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.
“That said, we still have many olim (new immigrants) passionate about realizing their aliyah dream and even more olim who are adjusting to their new lives here in Israel. We are even more committed than ever to our role as the support mechanism for the oleh community in a myriad of new platforms and initiatives.”
NBN is an organization that works with the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government in accompanying Jews from North America and the UK through their immigration process, and provides them services after they've arrived in Israel. The social services provided has ensured that over 90% of Jews who have immigrated through the organization have stayed.
The most notable of the organization's actions since the the coronavirus has taken hold, has been to proactively reaching out to those most vulnerable in this time, such as lone soldiers, who do not have immediate family in the country or do not have their support during their service, the particularly young or elderly and the unemployed.
Some of the newest services provided for lone soldiers include supplying food to those in quarantine, keeping worried parents informed with online web seminars and advocating for recently released soldiers who have lost their jobs to receive their release stipend sooner than usual.
For the elderly and young, the organization has taken up efforts such as putting together food boxes for Passover, and for the unemployed, a numerous amount of additional services are now offered such as aid in finding intermediate jobs and continuous updates on the NBN website's coronavirus portal regarding rights and unemployment benefits.
Before the virus outbreak, NBN offered everything from financial planning, employment resources, to skill building workshops and guidance, as well offering help on attaining government aid for new immigrants.
Now they've added additional services to their program such online shopping in Israel classes, Hebrew lessons, and workout classes. They're working on more, such as pen pals for children and a language exchange program for olim.