Community Intelligence Brief: March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Intelligence Brief

Canada, U.S. to Temporarily Close Border to Non-Essential Traffic Over Coronavirus

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier today that a mutual decision has been made to temporarily close the border between Canada and the U.S. to non-essential traffic, a measure taken to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Prime Minister Announces More Support for Workers and Businesses Through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

A new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak were announced today as part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households.

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FSWC Calling on Government to Include More Charitable Sector in Economic Response Plan

FSWC commends Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Economic Response Plan in response to COVID-19 and encourages the government to offer a dedicated package to front-line charities that service community needs and vulnerable sectors. "What we are proposing is a much more robust and dedicated package for coast-to-coast charities that are assisting the most vulnerable members of our communities, including food banks, homeless shelters, medical treatment centres, children’s aid organizations and many others," said Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of FSWC.

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Kind Canadians Start 'Caremongering' Trend

More than 35 Facebook groups have been set up, with more than 30,000 members between them, to offer help to people in communities throughout Canada. The organized movement is called "caremongering" and has led to, as well as showcased, acts of kindness amid the pandemic.

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Jewish Community Reacts to Coronavirus Outbreak

The Jewish community across Canada has taken numerous measures in response to the coronavirus. Jewish days schools - including TanenbaumCHAT, Associated Hebrew Day Schools and Bialik Hebrew Day Schools - announced the closure of their doors last week; meanwhile, some synagogues have suspended services while others are moving services to larger spaces to comply with social distancing guidelines.

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In Midst of Coronvirus Crisis, Israeli Knesset Sworn In Before Nearly-Empty Chamber

Israeli Knesset members were sworn in separately in groups of 10 as the coronavirus crisis intensified on Monday. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called for a "national emergency government" following year of political deadlock.

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Police Told to Prepare for ‘Inevitable’ Nationwide Lockdown

Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has instructed the Israel Police to prepare for a complete lockdown of the country, calling such a move "inevitable." During a conference call Tuesday night with the chief of police and heads of other security agencies, Erdan requested a detailed plan for implementing the lockdown, stating it's preferable to take tough measures for a short time to defeat the coronavirus quickly.

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Israel, Palestinian Authority Join Forces vs. Coronavirus

Israel and the Palestinian Authority are working in close coordination to assure the best possible healthcare during the coronavirus crisis. Thus far, Israel has delivered 400 medical kits and 500 protective equipment kits to PA healthcare and security workers, while joint online tutorials and professional medical workshops have been organized for Israeli and PA medical staff in how to deal with infected patients.

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Report Antisemitism and News of Concern to FSWC

If you would like to report antisemitism or news of concern to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, please email

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