Vaccine of Love: In more normal times, the CIS-based youth organization — EnerJew — concerns itself chiefly with fostering Jewish values and activities, for the benefit of Jewish teenagers living in various parts of the former Soviet Union. In addition to the nurture of heritage and roots, the other, equally important ideological aspect of EnerJew’s activities is the promotion of a spirit of community-based activism. The challenges presented by the worldwide outbreak of the COVID19 virus, have presented EnerJew’s members with a unique opportunity to put this ideal into direct practice.
Far from being caught off guard, the organization’s dedicated activists used news of the impending public health emergency in order to prepare contingency plans that would help the community’s most vulnerable members weather the crisis. One of the ways in which EnerJew has done so, was to rapidly redirect most of its activities and communications into an online format. Even prior to the world-wide breakout of COVID19, EnerJew was in the process of developing a state-of-the-art digital platform for hosting its online activities — EnerJew.online. While the platform was practically completed before the arrival of the pandemic, its launch date was dramatically pushed forward in order to be of use to the organization’s staff, right as the crisis was beginning to unfold.
Implicit in the design of the EnerJew.online is the aspect that functions as a platform for the management of collaborative-project activity. It is this functionality of the platform that made it possible for EnerJew’s activists to manage the organizational, communicational, and logistical needs of their relief efforts, so efficiently.
In order to give their efforts a more organized form, EnerJew has launched an emergency initiative called “Vaccine of Love” — the main aim of which is to provide support to those community members that are the most vulnerable and hard-hit by the epidemic — such as the elderly and people with health conditions. EnerJew’s main volunteering and charitable works arm — #ТАКНАДО (translated from Russian as “That’s the Way”) — has taken upon itself the task of administering and implementing all aspects of the project.
The key aspect of this program is based on constantly maintaining open channels of communication with members of communities that find themselves within the danger zone. The objective of this is twofold: first, is to provide members of affected communities with moral support and encouragement, through simple phone conversations and contact. The second aspect is to utilize the above-mentioned phone contact to be up-to-date on the needs present within each community (of things such as food and/or medicines), so that all community members that require any assistance may receive it without delay.
EnerJew’s Director, Mr. Konstatin Shulman, commented on this point during a recent phone conversation; “Just this—reaching out to people in order to provide them with human contact—is in certain ways even more important than material care. Yes, everyone needs food and medicine, and we do everything we can to ensure that they have proper access to these things. But people also have needs that go much deeper than that—emotional, psychological—so just to spend time talking to a lonely, isolated person, letting them know that someone out there cares about them, is not indifferent to their fate, is interested in talking with them and hearing their voice, goes such a tremendous way in addressing these needs!”
Mr. Shulman went on to confirm that just in the days and weeks around Passover, EnerJew’s volunteers have succeeded in distributing no less than 2684 care packages to needy persons all over the FSU.
EnerJew has announced that the successful implementation of this initiative requires the active participation of many volunteers, in order to fill a great deal of important positions including callers, project coordinators, and logistics experts. Anyone interested in lending a hand is encouraged to contact EnerJew to learn how he or she can help to make a difference.