World Jewish Congress statement of concern regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

19 Mar 2020

Dear friends,

We have been monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the world with great concern over the last months and we are acutely aware that it is having a significant impact on many of our affiliated communities and organizations. 

We realize that this is a very difficult time for community leadership, as many aspects of our lives are affected by the restrictions being put in place by local, regional or national authorities, or by uncertainty amongst community members about participating in communal events, attending synagogue services, or sending our children to schools. 

Unfortunately, it appears that the worst of the spread of the virus is not yet behind us, as the number of reported cases continues to grow daily in many countries.

At the WJC, we have taken steps to reduce the risk of infection for our staff, and also have postponed all of the events planned for the next weeks as a precautionary measure.

If there is anything that we can to do be of assistance to you in these times, please be assured that we are there to help you in any way, shape or form that might alleviate the difficulties that you are experiencing. We also have staff members who are very experienced in crisis management already in touch with some of your communities – their advice in preparing for and dealing with difficult situations can be invaluable, so please do feel free to ask for their help.

Fortunately, thus far, the number of cases reported from within our community is relatively small, and the strict measures that have been imposed in Israel appear to be retarding the number of cases there. We certainly hope that the spread of the virus can be contained.

We, and all of the WJC staff, are thinking of you all in these trying circumstances.


Ronald S. Lauder

President, World Jewish Congress


Maram Stern

Executive Vice President, World Jewish Congress