Israeli Scientologists Reach Out With Help

Volunteers from the Center of Scientology in Tel Aviv care for marginalized communities that have been hit hard by restrictions to curb the pandemic in Israel.

For the past month and a half, since Israel implemented regulations to halt the spread of COVID-19, the Volunteer Team of the Center of Scientology Israel has been providing urgently needed help to those in need.

They joined local WhatsApp groups to find out who needed help. They reached out to charities, nonprofits, police and community centers. And when the requests started pouring in, the Scientologists stepped up to help.

One example was that morning when 20 volunteers showed up to help a charity that serves an ultra-Orthodox community. There were so many requests for help, the organization couldn’t cope with the demands. The volunteers took over the phones, compiled lists, updated information in the computers and delivered food to 200 needy families. When it all calmed down the woman running the charity said that when she woke up that morning she had no idea how she would get through the day. She asked God for help, “and he sent us the Yellow Angels,” she said.

Another association that provides meals to needy families had two of their offices crashing under the demand. The Scientology volunteers took over packing sterilized masks and gloves for the elderly, answered phones, handled the paperwork and got in touch with 50 caregivers who take care of the elderly to make sure they were all OK. 

A ten-minute walk from the Scientology Center in Jaffa, a charity needed volunteers to distribute food to the elderly who lived in the area. On the first day, seven volunteers showed up and delivered food to 25 families. In the following days and weeks the list expanded more and more, and today the volunteers are responsible for bringing meals to 48 families—5 hours a day, every day.

A call came in from the prison services. Inmates were very worried about their children. Could we donate games, toys and books to the children of 35 prisoners? Of course. The volunteers immediately contacted the local Scientology community and got a full stock of items and distributed them to 35 families—not forgetting to take and send photos of each child receiving their gifts to the prisoners. This activity continued and expanded to include women who are ex-prisoners and girls in distress, culminating in the volunteer team pulling together donations of clothing and toiletries and arranging everything in the Scientology Volunteer Team’s bright yellow tent set up next to the organization, for everyone to come by and take anything they need.

Another team of volunteers worked from the onset of the crisis with an organization that provides help to Eritrean asylum seekers. They helped move large quantities of food to the organization’s packaging center, packed up the meals and distributed them to the families who live in South Tel Aviv.

And the list goes on—connecting residents of Jaffa who volunteered to prepare meals by the dozens for needy families with teams driving out to distribute them, bringing food to elderly Holocaust survivors who cannot leave their homes, calling hundreds of residents on a daily basis to make sure they are doing well, even one particularly intense project of distributing 300 packages of food in one day—10 hours of hard, nonstop work done by 77 volunteers—for the Welfare Department of the local municipality.

The ongoing activity, which includes 123 Scientology volunteers working together with 88 other residents of the city who joined in along the way, has reached 2,764 families and individuals so far on 637 different projects and expands day by day to answer any and every need that comes up.

With every person or group they contact, the volunteers make sure the people they talk to understand the importance of prevention, provide them with booklets of guidelines for prevention and refer them to the How to Stay Well Prevention Center on the Scientology website. Available in Hebrew and 19 other languages, it provides information on how to prevent the spread of illness and help people keep themselves and others well.

As the restrictions begin to lift, it is even more important to understand how germs spread and how to keep yourself and your family well to prevent a reversal in the progress gained over the last two months since they were put into place. The simple videos and booklets in the resource center make it easy to understand what anyone can do to keep themselves and others well.

With the motto “an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure,” the website includes information on how to properly wash your hands, the correct use of masks and gloves, social distancing tips, how to clean and sanitize your home, and what to do if you become sick or have symptoms.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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