“Israel is strong and we are always here, at its side”

Baroness Ariane de Rothschild

The foundation during the Coronavirus Crisis

Together, we can overcome the challenge – and win

The Rothschild family and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation stand by the State of Israel at all times, in normal and emergency periods alike. As part of their deep commitment to Israeli society, upon the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Baroness Ariane de Rothschild and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild decided to expand the family’s and the Foundation’s activities and assist Israel in coping with the health crisis.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation has provided emergency grants to Israel’s hospitals and for medical research in the field. It has also worked to support Arab society’s coping with the crisis, provided targeted assistance to the nonprofit organizations it supports, advanced significant actions vis-à-vis decision makers, and mobilized thousands of volunteers – participants in various Foundation programs – who have initiated dozens of projects across Israel for the benefit of its society.

Strengthening the medical system: NIS 50 million provided to 22 hospitals across the country

When the crisis first broke out, the Foundation swiftly responded by donating NIS 50 million to increase Israel’s hospitals readiness to contain coronavirus spread. The donation was distributed among 22 hospitals throughout the country, enabling their immediate preparation, including the purchase of emergency equipment. Provided with maximal flexibility, the donated funds gave each of the hospitals an appropriate response for its specific needs in fighting the infection.

The donated funds were transferred to the recipients in record time, enabling the immediate procurement of protective equipment for medical teams and life-saving instruments for large numbers of patients. The purchases included 96 automated systems, ventilators, tens of millions of gloves and other protective items, over 850,000 masks of different types, more than 100 monitors for varied purposes, intensive care and hospital beds, specialized coronavirus treatment and disinfection devices and equipment, 84 IV therapy systems, 15 resuscitation instruments, as well as electrocardiography, X-ray, and other systems.

The hospitals receiving the equipment through the Foundation’s donation are: Bnai Zion Medical Center; Barzilai Medical Center; Carmel Medical Center; Galilee Medical Center; Hadassah Medical Center; Ha’Emek Medical Center; Hillel Yaffe Medical Center; Kaplan Medical Center; Meir Medical Center; the Nazareth Hospital; the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya; Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson and Hasharon Hospitals); RAMBAM Academic Hospital; Schneider Children’s Medical Center; Shaare Zedek Medical Center; Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh); the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer; Soroka Medical Center; Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov); Wolfson Medical Center; and Ziv Medical Center.

Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, who heads the Foundation, said: “In keeping with the Rothschild family legacy, we have undertaken to provide the missing and essential medical equipment throughout Israel, along with protective gear that would enable the dedicated medical teams spearheading the war against the pandemic to continue to save lives – and win. Israel is strong and we are always here, at its side. I am certain that together, we can overcome this crisis and win the battle.”

Miki Kliger, Vice Chair of the Foundation’s Council of Governors, added: “The Rothschild family has stood by Israel during its difficult times in the past, as it is doing now. Alongside the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation’s day-to-day activities to reduce gaps in Israeli society through higher education, we are fully mobilized to care for and assist the State and its residents through – and out of – the crisis.”

End-to-end support

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation IL has donated NIS 15 million to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to support research aimed at finding a vaccine for the coronavirus, through antibody discovery and production

The donation was also put towards the develop of an advanced method for faster coronavirus testing, in collaboration with the Hadassah Medical Center, and towards fund a range of research studies on different aspects of coping with the pandemic.

Strengthening Arab society: The Foundation has established a local coronavirus emergency response center in Jisr-a-Zarqa

The Foundation has extensive ties with Jisr a-Zarqa and assists the local council’s residents. During the coronavirus outbreak, the Foundation led the establishment of a local emergency response center through an investment of NIS 2 million. The center distributed information, food and medical supplies, as well as hygiene kits, collaborated with the local authority and the Edmond de Rothschild Partnerships organization.

To date, a scarcity of resources has prevented the local community from establishing an emergency center or system that would address residents’ inquiries and provide assistance in coping with the coronavirus crisis. In addition, throughout Arab society across Israel, an inadequate response on the part of the state’s various authorities has resulted in a significant lack of knowledge and tools to deal with the outbreak and its implications. The Foundation’s entry into the community, with numerous volunteers and in collaboration with local leadership, has led to a sharp drop in the number of patients.

The day after coronavirus

How will the crisis resulting from the viral outbreak affect the future of higher education as a tool for social mobility?

The Foundation is leading a discussion of partners and experts, addressing the challenges and opportunities of the day after the coronavirus crisis, and the question of how the crisis will affect the future of higher education as a tool for social mobility. At the end of June 2020, the Foundation held a Zoom meeting with all stakeholders in the field, including Minister of Higher Education, Ze’ev Elkin; Chair of the Council of Higher Education, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats; and partners and experts from the industry, universities, organizations, and nonprofits, which included the discussion of the following issues:

  • What are the challenges and opportunities of online learning?
  • How is the coronavirus affecting the ability of students from the Arab, Haredi, and peripheral communities to participate in higher education?
  • How can an increase in the academic dropout rates be prevented in light of the new situation?
  • Will the crisis affect the employment potential of academic graduates?
  • How can the creation of student leadership, which serves as a force multiplier in times of crisis, be encouraged?

All the lectures, discussions, background materials, and position papers are available here >

In the numbers

new projects
in crisis were
developed by
of the
led significant
social action
in 50 localities
during the
people in
have been
exposed to
the activity
led, volunteered,
and took part
in activities
for the benefit
of residents of
their home towns,
in dozens
of initiatives
hours of
in a wide range
of projects

The Foundation’s activity during the coronavirus crisis – a video