Without any government aid, many South African Anash are struggling financially due to severe shutdowns. A campaign to help them has raised thousands within its first few hours.
When a group of South Africans living in the USA woke up on Friday to find thousands of dollars deposited in their bank accounts as a special covid relief stimulus from the US government, they realized how blessed they were to be living in the USA. At the same time, they decided that they have an obligation to help their fellow chassidim, who live in South Africa, who are struggling financially due to Covid, but since they live in a much less affluent, African country, and have absolutely no access to any government support.
“We are truly blessed to be living in America”, said Rabbi Yossi Pels, one of the coordinators of this effort. “And we want to share that blessing with our brothers is South Africa. The Rebbe, many times, encouraged Jews to stay in South Africa, and they have been the recipients of amazing blessings. It is truly a beautiful community. But COVID has hit South Africans hard. And we would like to share our government stimulus with them. So we launched our own stimulus relief effort.”
The goal of this initiative is to encourage former South Africans living in the USA, and friends and family members of Anash in South Africa, to donate the Maaser (or Chomesh) of their stimulus checks to Anash in South Africa who are struggling financially due to Covid. Also, due to the favorable exchange rate, a few US dollars converts into many South African Rands – making this fundraiser much more impactful.
The campaign was launched on Friday ,when the first stimulus checks reached peoples accounts, and already within the first few hours almost $10,000 was raised, with much of it from people who are not themselves South African.
For Americans who at any times learned in South Africa or visited South Africa, this is an amazing way to give back to that community.
South Africa has just entered into another lockdown, much stricter than anything in America. In addition, for many reasons, South Africans will not begin receiving vaccines for another 3-6 months, which means that the coming year could be extremely challenging.
The money will go to a fund called Ahavas Achim – the Tzedoko fund of Chassidim Shul, a young and dynamic lubavitch community Shul in Johannesburg. Ahavas Achim distributes money to Anash and Shluchim in SA who are in need – to help pay for their basic necessities.
Donations in the USA are being raised through the Friends of the Torah Academy South Africa Fund and . ALL DONATION ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE and will go directly to help Anash families in need.
If you would like to send a check or to make a wire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Video: The Rebbe tells Jews in South Africa not to be afraid!