The month of March began with Chaim V’Chessed advising on Israeli elections, which were held at the beginning of the month. Immediately after that, Purim took place, with various emergency situations reaching our offices, as well.
And then… the Coronavirus Crisis erupted. The Misrad Hapnim is providing emergency services only, during limited hours. Bituach Leumi offices are shuttered. Iriyat Yerushalayim is not receiving the public. The US Embassy has cancelled all consular services and is only providing emergency services. Most bank branches have been closed.
At Chaim V’Chessed, however, we continue to stand behind our motto: “We are here for you!”
Rather than slowing down, Chaim V’Chessed’s workload has exploded, with every sort of difficulty or challenge imaginable – and some unimaginable. In accordance with our status as a vital service, the main Chaim V’Chessed office remains open. At the same time, each employee has been set up with a Chaim V’Chessed phone and computer in their own homes, and we continue to operate as regular, despite the difficulties entailed.
The issues we have dealt with have included:
- Obtaining permission for foreigners stuck abroad to enter Israel
- Emergency passports for newborns due to fly abroad for Pesach
- Arranging health care and Bituach Leumi for foreigner babies born during the crisis
- Extension of coverage for those with expired visas
- Advising on matters relating to unemployment due to the crisis
- Deaths: Shiva assistance and transfers of deceased to Israel