COVID-19 is a new risk to Jewish life, and its threat to Jewish communities’ functions around the world is not less alarming than antisemitism or assimilation.The virus, like other pandemics, knows no boundaries. It attacks women, men and children; haredi, reform or secular; rich and poor; in Israel and in the Diaspora. This new public health risk meets Jewish communities unprepared, confused and distressed. Their professional and lay leadership is stunned. This is not HIV, H1N1 or Zika – diseases they could have shied away from, not being professionals in public health. COVID-19, as indicated by data accumulating daily, is here to stay, and its long-term effects require immediate, medium- and long-term emergency preparedness and response policies and plans. On 30 January the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern.” This status is still in effect, as is best demonstrated by the dramatic daily increase in diseased and deceased globally.ONE CAN argue that Jewish communities in the Diaspora, despite being minorities, could not aspire to be better shielded from COVID-19, influenza or other pandemics than the respective societies they live in.I don’t accept this view! As a global public health specialist who has devoted the last two decades to proactively saving lives from pandemics through public health interventions in Israel, the Diaspora and developing countries in Africa and Latin America, I look up to Hillel, who said: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?... And if not now, when?”In fact, on 27 October 2019, when revealing its new strategic plan, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog followed Hillel’s direction. “...We will work to provide concrete solutions to the greatest challenges facing the Jewish people at this time: mending the rifts among our people, building a two-way bridge between Israel and world Jewry... and providing security for Jews around the world,” he said.For Diaspora Jewish communities, “security for Jews around the world” needs to be redefined. We have a new enemy and risk, which is not anymore only external (e.g., terrorism, antisemitism) or generational (assimilation, Jewish identity, migration). The staggering numbers of Jews affected by COVID-19 globally, and in many cases disproportionately to the societies they live in, is alarming.Jewish leadership has both a tremendous responsibility now to do all it can to proactively control the spread of the virus and to mitigate its (health, social and economic) effects in Jewish communities, and at the same time a precious opportunity to strengthen the communities’ Jewish values, connection with Israel, intergenerational relationships and resilience, preparing for the next waves of the pandemic.Enhancing Jewish global public health security at community level could be guided by four principles:1. A Jewish Agency-led effort reinforcing the affinity between Jews and the State of Israel, building a two-way bridge between world Jewry and Israel and a Jewish global health security network.2. Israel will be the initiative’s global public health hub/center of excellence, bringing to the table its COVID-19 innovation, best practices and training modules.3. Close cooperation with respective in-country national public health authorities, to strengthen public health security, adapt national guidelines to local needs and enhance community compliance.4. Immediate, medium- and long-term actions managed by Jewish community leadership, assisted by designated and trained public health coordinators.The agency is best positioned to lead such a global initiative. It has the right leadership, networks, resource mobilization and partnership mechanisms, as well as the mission to provide security to every Jew in the world. I am not suggesting it should act alone. No need to reinvent the wheel.In the US, for example, the Secure Community Network may have the infrastructure and mobilization powers to embark upon such an initiative. CEO Michael Masters may gain additional funding and clout when collaborating with Israeli (private, public and academic) experts. In other countries, Jewish communities may need more support.How wonderful could it be, if US Jewry would colead with the agency a Jewish world initiative with one inclusive goal: global public health security for all in fighting COVID-19, the upcoming dual influenza–COVID-19 pandemics and future health emergencies.Next week’s Jerusalem Post Conference on COVID-19 and the Jews is an excellent opportunity to launch discussions on such an initiative and put words into action.The writer, PhD MPH, is a global public health specialist and a former World Health Organization scientist. He currently consults Jerusalem Municipality COVID-19 mitigation plans. He conceived and led Operation Abraham (2006-2012), has worked on Zika prevention in Brazil and on HIV prevention in Europe, the Americas and Israel.