Already running for over a year, "Vatikim B'reshet" (Elderly Online), connects older people who cannot leave their homes easily, to other elderly people, with social activities and opportunities. Led by a certified facilitator, weekly meetings are held online (video conferencing). Generally (non-emergency times), JDC operates courses of 4-8 weeks each, with topics of the meetings ranging from current events to intergenerational communication. On average, 10 people join for each meeting.
Since the outbreak of Operation Protective Edge, JDC recognized the need for immediate and ongoing meetings (no need to sign up in advance). During the current conflict, daily meetings are being held online. Elderly Online provides internet-based support for elderly with lectures, workshops, etc. giving them the possibility to connect with peers and develop skills via the web without having to leave the safety of their own home. See a short clip of the Elderly Online,http://youtu.be/8kR_DbGuSOI
One of the participants, Yossi Lotati, says I am here all alone. The phone doesn't even ring. During sirens I go to the building's stair well - that is all there is. Thanks to Elderly Online I am still at home but I am with people.
Program director Anat Shuster checks in on Yossi asking him how he is doing with all the sirens in Ashdod. She says about the program: Everybody sees each other and hears each other - exactly like a real meeting, the only difference is that the participants are connecting with people from the comfort of their own homes.