Israel’s Knesset passed the Economic Aid Plan Bill in second and third readings on Wednesday. The legislation, known as the “Safety Net” program, aims to help those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation passed by a vote of 67-0, with three abstentions.

Under the plan, which was presented by Israeli Finance Minister Israel Katz, unemployment benefits will be extended until June 2021, or until unemployment drops below 7.5 percent. If unemployment falls below 10 percent, benefits will be decreased to 90 percent.

Self-employed Israelis who report a 40 percent decline in business volume will receive a grant of up to NIS 15,000 ($4,400) every two months. Businesses that reported annual profits of NIS 100 million ($29 million), NIS 200 million ($58 million) and up to NIS 400 million ($116 million) will receive scaled aid if they can prove a decline in profits of 40 percent, 60 percent or 80 percent.

There are also grants and loans for those fired or on unpaid leave, and also for recently released Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers.

The program also sets aside NIS 100 million ($29 million) accessible to aid foundations and NGOs affected by donations drying up due to the pandemic. Katz is set to decide on the criteria for receiving the funds in August.

Katz called the program “a dynamic economic safety net that adjusts itself in all areas in order to help people get through this period.”

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.