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How You Can Help During the Outbreak

How You Can Help During the Outbreak

Clients line up at the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network in Brooklyn, New York, April 2020. (Masbia)
Clients line up at the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network in Brooklyn, New York, April 2020. (Masbia)

Even while officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut saw signs this week that the coronavirus was easing its deadly grip on the region, hospitals and first responders remained overwhelmed. Beyond the medical and public health challenges, millions have been left vulnerable by closures, layoffs and stress. Nonprofits in the Jewish community are facing increased demand while being compelled to cancel crucial fundraising events.

Below is just a partial list of ways you can help nonprofits meet clients’ needs.

UJA-Federation of New York is helping on multiple fronts, from basic needs, to sustaining Jewish community centers and other hard-hit institutions, to helping Israel through the crisis. The philanthropy has allocated nearly $36 million across the community — and between the healthcare crisis and the economic fallout, needs are only escalating. Currently every gift up to $20,000 to support UJA will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to philanthropists Jane and Daniel Och. 

Jewish Funders Network, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies and the North American Volunteer Network are teaming up (and raising funds) to purchase equipment and distribute personal protective equipment to healthcare providers and institutions affiliated with the NJHSA and the Association of Jewish Aging Services. 

New York’s Hebrew Free Loan Society’s lending programs offer up to $10,000 in interest-free borrowing to individuals and small businesses for pandemic-related needs. Rabbi David Rosenn, executive director of the organization, said donations made to the organization are used as capital to make a loan. Once the loan is repaid, the capital is given out as a new loan.

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has a Covid-19 emergency crisis fund for seniors, Holocaust survivors and those living near the federal poverty line. Support for Met Council, which also runs America’s largest kosher food pantry system, can help provide cleaning supplies, additional emergency food and new interventions as the situation changes.

Masbia Soup Kitchen Network is offering food relief to those quarantined for coronavirus prevention, people out of work and families whose children normally depend on school breakfasts and lunches. They’ve set an initial goal to raise $350,000 and help 1,000 people. 

The Jewish Board, whose 75 locations in New York City and Westchester address mental and behavioral health, children’s services, trauma and recovery, is providing relief for programs that are struggling in the wake of Covid-19. You can also create your own fundraising page or team.

Areyvut, a New Jersey-based organization that engages Jewish youth, is delivering kosher meals to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, the heavily Jewish township in New Jersey that has been hit hard by the virus.

International Relief

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is providing life-saving aid for the most vulnerable, including the poor and elderly, who’ve been hardest hit by the crisis in Israel, the Former Soviet Union, Latin America and Europe. Services include the safe provision of supplemental food, medicines, medical care, hygiene supplies and training, as well as programs to battle loneliness and retrain the unemployed.

American Jewish World Service is working with its 487 grantee organizations across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean to stop the spread of Covid-19. The global aid organization is providing critical aid, life-saving information and material assistance.

This is just a snapshot of the charitable efforts being conducted in the region. If you have an organization or project to add to the list, email us at

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