We cannot ‘Lockdown’ the needs of those in our care here at WIZO


Israel has now entered a second lockdown, beginning on Erev Rosh Hashana. The first stage of this lockdown will last three weeks, ending after Sukkot on 11 October. However, there is no guarantee that WIZO will be able to return to “normal” functioning at that time. There are several possible scenarios, including a continuation of the lockdown.

As with the first lockdown, the most immediate and dramatic result is a massive loss of revenue. While a small number of WIZO projects and services continue to operate, WIZO’s largest economic component by far is our day care centre network, which has shut down completely, with the exception of several essential day care centres operating in hospitals.

The payments WIZO receives from parents and the government cease when the day care centres are closed. In addition to losing that potential revenue, WIZO must also refund parents for each day in September that the centres are closed, as these fees have been prepaid.

A huge additional loss is the millions of shekels in lost income due to the partial or complete closure of a large part of our services in youth villages and schools, and other projects.

Below is a message from World WIZO Chairperson Anita Friedman:
“Once again, WIZO is faced with agonising uncertainty, and we will have to do our best to cope with it. Throughout the corona crisis, I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded and supported by WIZO’s volunteer leadership. First and foremost, President Esther Mor and the World WIZO Executive Board, and by our talented and devoted professional management and staff, led by our CEO, Mira Mines. It is they, together with thousands of WIZO volunteers and employees at all levels, that are the unsung heroes of WIZO’s rising to meet the corona challenge. 
We also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to you, WIZO federations and members around the globe, who, despite the great challenges you face in your own countries and communities, have worked tirelessly in solidarity with Israel and WIZO, leaving no stone unturned to provide moral and material support, love and encouragement. Now, with this second lockdown again tossing the WIZO ship into turbulent and uncharted waters, we need to count on you more than ever.”

It is due to WIZO’s amazing professionalism, expertise, passion and commitment to those who so desperately need our services that, despite the lockdown, WIZO has still been able to keep many vital institutions and services running, despite the odds. An overview of these is listed below.

WIZO Institutions and Services: What’s Open, What’s Closed:

Day Care Centres: WIZO will continue to operate six or seven Day Care Centres (DCCs) in hospitals, enabling medical staff to continue their life-saving work, while we take care of their small children. These DCCs are the only public day care centres in Israel (out of a total of 1,700 DCCs) that will continue operating during the lockdown.

Frameworks for Israel’s most needy: WIZO continues to operate our services for those who need them. These include projects such as Ahuzat Yeladim, a school in Haifa, for children who have suffered severe violence, trauma and neglect and our vocational and special education high school in Jerusalem.

In this time of a sharp increase in domestic violence, all our major services for victims of abuse continue to operate, including: our two permanent shelters; the National Emergency Shelter we established in May; our centres for treatment and prevention of domestic violence; the men’s hotline; and more.

For children who are unable to live at home with their biological parents, family and foster home frameworks such as Neve WIZO and the family units in Hadassim and Nir Haemek continue to operate.

WIZO youth villages will also continue to provide a safe and embracing home for hundreds of teenagers who do not have stable families to return to during the lockdown, and they will also be home to over 200 Na’aleh students from numerous countries, who are living and studying in Nahalal, Hadassim and Nachlat Yehuda.

Parents’ Home in Tel Aviv: WIZO’s home for the elderly continues to operate, with over 100 residents aged 75-105 including Holocaust survivors.
From the first days of the corona pandemic, WIZO’s Parents’ Home has made tremendous efforts to keep its residents safe and healthy, and we are thrilled to report that not one single resident of the Parents’ Home has been infected by the coronavirus. This is an amazing achievement of which we are very proud!

So, as you can see, with your much needed and valued help, WIZO is determined to continue to do its best for all those vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens who depend on us at all times, throughout any eventuality, including a pandemic crisis. We cannot ‘Lockdown’ the needs of those in our care.