Bank Hapoalim and Shaham–The Israeli Actors Guild, have teamed up to start a fund that will help actors and local businesses through the novel coronavirus crisis and long afterward.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis employed in the culture sector are currently unemployed due to Health Ministry restrictions on performing and filming. At the same time, many small businesses are struggling to survive this crisis.
So Bank Hapoalim and Shaham decided to create an innovative initiative to help unite the artists and small businesses in a way that will generate income for both. While the specifics are yet to be worked out, the basic idea is that the actors will choose businesses to support and will make videos or participate in other promotions to help publicize them. A portion of the revenue from these businesses will be donated to a fund that will support artists through this crisis and beyond.
In addition, Bank Hapoalim will contribute to the fund through its “Workers in the Community” program, and there will be an appeal for the public to make donations to it via a crowdfunding campaign. The goal of this campaign is to raise a million shekels.
Many prominent actors are involved in the initiative, including Hisham Suliman (best known for playing Abu Ahmad on Fauda), Moshe Ashkenazi (When Heroes Fly), Shlomo Vishinsky (Life Isn’t Everything), Avi Grainik (HaYisraelim) and Reymonde Amsallem (Hostages).
Bank Hapoalim marketing head Asaf Azulay said in a statement, “The project was born out of our desire to support three circles that are at the core of the bank’s business, and have been severely affected by the coronavirus: small businesses, actors and artists, and freelance professionals such as photographers, stage workers, lighting technicians and more.... Today, more than ever, it is more important to support local businesses, as well as provide assistance to the Israeli cultural world.”
Shaham chair Esti Zakheim said, “The corona crisis has pulled the ground out from under the feet of many culture workers, who today are in an unimaginable state of economic uncertainty and fear of what is to come. In light of the ongoing state institutions’ disengagement from our situation, we have realized in that we must do everything possible to help artists get through this difficult period and so we decided to set up this relief fund.”For more information and to donate, go to www.shaham.org.il/donate