Israel was already a tight-knit country, and the coronavirus brought us even closer!
1. Israeli artists come together through song
35 of Israel’s top artists sang from their homes and balconies, urging people to stay home and stay hopeful, with YouTube advertising revenues going to the Corona Relief Fund.
2. Arab Israeli doctor brings torah into corona ward
Dr. Abed Zahalka, working in the corona ward, brought a torah to the hospital in Bnei Brak for Israeli Jews who wanted to pray.
3. Raising money for protective masks for healthcare workers
Miriam Lottner and other coordinators organized a fundraiser to provide more protective masks for healthcare and hospital workers in Israel. This highly successful campaign has benefited hospitals all over the country!
4. Providing virtual psychological help
Metiv, the Israeli Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, has converted their workshops and services to the digital space in order to help those who are home alone and struggling with mental health illnesses and trauma.
5. Countrywide applause for healthcare workers
All over Israel, people stepped onto their balconies to clap for the healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus on the front lines.
6. Premier Israeli airline rescues citizens from abroad
EL AL employees risked their lives to save stranded Israeli’s around the world. Galya Benezra Levy is the Air Side Manager of EL AL and filmed exclusive footage of their rescue mission to Bogota, Colombia. Local Colombians were so moved, they took pictures with all the EL AL crew and aircraft.
7. Quarantine Aid Israel
This Facebook group is aimed at people “who are in quarantine, people in at-risk groups (elderly and immune-compromised), and people who are not in isolation. The idea was to connect those two groups of people, with those not in quarantine assisting those who are,” Amanda Govrin, one of the group’s admins, told ISRAEL21c.
8. Virtual jam sessions
Nechemia Seif started almost-nightly quarantine jams on the popular Facebook group, Secret Tel Aviv, and Michael Ridley organized many virtual performances in his Facebook group, Hounds of Love.
9. Driving creativity in quarantine
Joyce and Steph returned from their vacation in Italy to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, so they decided to make the most of this experience by creating an Instagram account in order to foster a community of positivity and creativity during quarantine.
10. Emergency food deliveries
Leket, Israel’s National Food bank, successfully delivered more than 2,500 meals to elderly housebound people throughout Israel.
11. Supporting local businesses
12. Free haircuts for healthcare workers
Sarah Ward, a hairstylist from the United Kingdom, offered 150 free wet cuts to nurses and paramedics who have been working overtime to fight the coronavirus.
13. Playtika packs food baskets
Instead of canceling their weekly lunches, Playtika packed 1,000 food baskets and delivered them to eight nonprofits across Israel, which also helped the catering company which Playtika works with.
14. Children “visit” their parents
After more than a month apart due to the lockdown, 12 adult children put on a mini outdoor concert outside their parents’ apartment in Jerusalem. This video captures the sweet moment, and the mother’s emotional response.
15. Searching for soulmates during quarantine
For many, this pandemic and ample time at home have elevated feelings of loneliness, especially for those who are not in a relationship. The Facebook group, CoronaCrush, sought to provide these people with a safe and virtual way to meet others during the quarantine.
16. From the ER, to cartoons
Dr. Momen Abbasi is an Arab Israeli doctor at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. By day he works in the ER. By night, he is an avid cartoonist who made illustrations about the coronavirus to help ease the fear of the pandemic.
17. Spiritual awakening in the age of coronavirus
Amichai Cohen of Live Kabbalah, based out of Tzfat, and Emily Frances of i24NEWS hosted The Spiritual Awakening In The Age of Coronavirus Summit, featuring some of the best spiritual teachers and practitioners in Israel.
18. An entire symphony — from home
Conductor Tom Cohen of the Jerusalem Orchestra East & West and his 36-piece orchestra pulled off an entire symphony, with each member recording themselves at home.
A group of locals created a Facebook group called COLOVE-19 to share tips, updates, and information on ways in which members can help others, along with links to job postings and groups for people looking for work.
20. Kabbalat Shabbat livestreams
For millennia, Jews have gathered on Friday nights to sing songs, light candles, drink wine, and eat challah. The team at Just A Moment hosted a series of special edition Kabbalat Shabbats via Zoom, featuring songs, candle lighting, blessings, and words of gratitude and solidarity.
21. Instagram takeovers to promote Tel Aviv businesses
With over 180,000 followers on Instagram, the City of Tel Aviv wanted to highlight local businesses to increase their exposure and strengthen their relationships locals, so they asked bloggers to take over Tel Aviv’s Instagram stories for a day and share their favorite local businesses!
22. Humanitarian aid across the country
The Israeli non-profit, Lev Echad (meaning “one heart” in Hebrew), provided aid to humanitarian emergencies across the country.
23. Arab Israeli volunteer medic honored
Yasmeen Mazzawi, a seven-year volunteer paramedic with Magen David Adom, was honored during Israel’s 72nd Independence Day, which took place on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.
24. From Israel to Italy, with love
Second-generation Holocaust survivors started a fundraiser for the Italian town, Selvino, which was deeply affected by the coronavirus.
25. Saluting Israel’s Arab medical professionals
More than 1.5 million Israelis — representing a sixth of the population — have watched the 55-second video above, which shows Arabs from around the country at work, in scrubs.
Bonus: IZZY announces $1 million investment in Israel’s culture industry