By Raphael Poch, Israelrescue.org—
United Hatzalah initiated a campaign aimed at explaining to the Charedi communities around Israel the importance of adhering to Health Ministry Regulations when it comes to Covid-19 Coronavirus. The campaign consists of tens of thousands of pashkvillim being posted in Charedi cities and communities, recorded phone calls targeting some 500,000 Charedim who do not use smartphones and have no access to the internet, and cars with loudspeakers traveling around Charedi neighborhoods, all of which told Charedim to stay inside their homes.
The targeted campaign, that began on Monday and will continue for the coming weeks leading up to Pesach, outlined the dangers of gathering together in groups, including prayer groups (minyanim) and detailing how group interactions encourage the spread of the virus.
The campaign was kicked off in Bnei Brak, Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Modi’in Illit, Elad, Ashdod, Netanya, and other cities with a high concentration of Charedim.
The pashkvillim signs state: “Do not leave your homes, Period. The leaders of the generation ruled that no minyanim should be held, even outdoors with ten people as it is endangering lives. Sophistry and debate may result in those you love losing their lives.”
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 among the Charedi community is alarmingly high. It is because of this that United Hatzalah launched this campaign to remind the Charedi public that “every time a person leaves their home or comes in close contact with another person they are increasing the risk and threat to the entire population. “You must stop this. Simply do not leave your homes.” The telephone campaign urged. “This way you not only protect yourselves from contracting the virus but you are also saving lives. Abide by the regulations and protect yourselves.”
Vice President of Operation Dov Maisel spoke about the campaign and what stands behind it: “United Hatzalah believes that actively targeting the Charedi community with the proper publicity that will speak to them will create a quantifiable shift in the adherence to the regulations within these communities. Once we recognized the lack of accurate information being shared within the Charedi community, we realized that this campaign was critical to getting the Charedi public to follow the regulations properly. We see the number of confirmed cases within the Charedi community increasing daily. Simultaneously, we saw the negative reaction that the Charedi public was having towards the disease and the regulations of the Health Ministry and we realized that we needed to act. We, therefore, thought it prudent to bring the information to this community through the mediums that it is familiar with.”
Maisel concluded: “The Charedim are just like everyone else and wish that they and their families stay healthy. I feel confident that this precisely targeted publicity utilizing the methodology that the Charedim know and recognize will help bring about adherence to the Health Ministry’s regulations within the Charedi community as well.”