The unsettling, fast-moving and unpredictable world of life with COVID-19 is upon us. As we’re all discovering, a worldwide pandemic disrupts everyone on an unprecedented scale. COVID-19 represents a challenge to all of us in varying degrees. For some, it is frustrating and a grave inconvenience. For others, it is life changing, scary and a very real threat. For all of us, it represents the opportunity to ensure that our community does what we do best—come together and support one another.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has already received more than $3.89 million in donations. 100% of the funds raised will be distributed to meet our community’s unprecedented needs.
AVAILABLE FUNDING FOR RELIEF EFFORTS
Donations to COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
Transfer of remaining balance from Federation Response Fund
Initial grant from Federation Response Fund prior to Emergency Fund launch
Global Emergency Funds – Federation transfer of funds previously set aside for global response
IN GRANTS ALREADY PROVIDED
In addition to this, we are incredibly grateful for the fundholders of Atlanta Jewish Foundation who have granted $12.1 million (as of 6/15/20) since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. These are directed gifts initiated by our fundholders to organizations they want to support during these challenging times.
EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Requests for emergency financial assistance have increased exponentially within our community. Federation has granted $444,000 for relief in this area.
Jewish Family & Career Services
Round 1 (April): $100,000
Round 2 (May): $120,000
Jewish Interest-Free Loans of Atlanta
Round 1 (April): $174,000
Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
Round 1 (April): $50,000
EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE
Requests for emergency financial assistance have increased exponentially within our community. Federation has granted $107,500 for relief in this area.
Jewish Family & Career Services
Round 1 (April): $50,000
Round 2 (May): $37,500
Round 1 (April): $20,000 (granted prior to the launch of the Emergency Fund; also includes support for socialization and telephone reassurance)
SAFETY STAFFING AND EQUIPMENT
There is a tremendous need for PPE and other safety precautions for our frontline caretakers, and the cost of acquisition has skyrocketed. Federation has granted $348,000 for relief in this area.
Round 1 (April): $273,000
Round 2 (May): $75,000
EXTENDED HEALTH INSURANCE
We are committed to taking care of the Jewish communal workers who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of this crisis by extending their health insurance coverage. Federation has granted $332,000 for relief in this area. Committed healthcare funds are released only as expended.
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
Round 1 (April): $202,000
Round 2 (May): $108,000
Atlanta Jewish Academy
Round 1 (April): $22,000
MENTAL HEALTH AND CAREER SUPPORT
There has been an increase in requests for mental health assistance and needs to assist older homebound adults with socialization, as well as career counseling. Federation has granted $70,000 for relief in this area.
Jewish Family & Career Services
Round 1 (April): $70,000
As organizations begin to re-open, this will come with costs for PPE, cleaning, technology and additional personnel to comply with safety requirements. Federation has granted $620,000 for relief in this area.
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
Round 2 (May): $100,000
Round 2 (May): $400,000
Round 2 (May): $100,000
Up to $20,000
The pandemic has created significant instability for many of our organizations, and support is needed to assist with cash flow as stability is restored. Federation has granted $325,000 for relief in this area.
Regional Overnight Camps
These grants are for organizations or initiatives in the community that are responding to needs presented by the pandemic and stepping up to fill a void or a service that is not being provided by other organizations. Federation has granted $85,000 for relief in this area.
Jewish Community Relations Council
Round 2 (May): $25,000
Repair the World Service Corps
Round 3 (June): $60,000
STRENGTHENING THE SYSTEM
These grants are to support the larger Jewish ecosystem, sectors, and potentially individual organizations as they rebuild. Potential areas of support include centralized services, strategic restructuring, capacity building, technology and talent retention. Federation has granted $120,000 for relief in this area.
Centralized Purchasing Support for Safety Equipment
Round 2 (May): Up to $100,000
Round 3 (June): Up to $20,000
As Israel, Belarus, and all other countries around the world continue to fight Coronavirus, our partners abroad are working to ensure health and safety needs are met. While we must ensure our community is taken care of, our connection to Global Jewish Peoplehood cannot be ignored in this great time of need. Federation has granted $150,000 from global relief funds for emergency needs abroad, including meal delivery, food coupons, medical care, financial assistance, and activity kits.
Target Population: Older adults in FSU
Funding Amount: $50,000
Target Population: Older adults who live in Amigour facility (Israel)
Funding Amount: $25,000
Yemin Orde Youth Village
Target Population: Youth at risk (Israel)
Funding Amount: $25,000
Partnership Region (through JAFI)
Target Population: Populations at risk (older adults, children with special needs, Ethiopian community)
Funding Amount: $50,000
Additional rounds of funding will continue to focus on meeting urgent needs of vulnerable individuals and will turn to the important work of ensuring the stability of our Jewish organizations over the coming months.
Thank you to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund Task Group who is actively assessing needs and assisting with the grant-making process:
Jeremy Berry | Seth Cohen | Lois Frank | Dara Grant | Harry Heiman | David Herskovits | David Hirsch | Michael Kay | Sidney Kirschner | Michael Kogon | Randy Korach | Deborah Levinson | Robert Rothberg | Mark Satisky | Colby Schwartz | Lori Kagan Schwarz | Lewis Shubin | Mark Stern | Stanley Sunshine
Chair | Mark Silberman
Below you will find a growing list of resources provided by organizations around Jewish Atlanta which is updated real-time as we learn about more available resources, as well as information on how you can help through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
JF&CS Kosher Food Pantry |Offering food and household supplies. Open M/W/F, 11 am – 2 pm by appointment only. Call 770-677-9389 or visit the website for more info. Donations accepted on Tuesdays & Thursdays – see list of items needed.
Note from JF&CS: For the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients, we are asking our clients to make an appointment during the hours above. All food will be pre-bagged and handed to you outside of our building.
JF&CS Telehealth Counseling Services & Virtual Support Groups | Offering telehealth options via phone or video conference for current and new clients. For more information or to make a telehealth appointment, email email@example.com or call 770-677-9474. Offering support groups with JF&CS staff for caregivers, parents, students of all ages, teens and more. Calendar of support groups.
Jewish Fertility Foundation | Ask the Expert: ask one of JFF’s physicians, therapists, or lawyers about any of your infertility questions during COVID-19. Questions will be responded to within 2 business days and will posted anonymously on the JFF social media platforms.
Ruach Emotional and Spiritual Care | Ruach Emotional and Spiritual Care is offering Jewish emotional and spiritual care providers, spanning the spectrum of Jewish identity and practice, and they have providers who specialize in LGBTQ+ and accessible care. If you are in need of support, you can fill out this form and you will be matched with a professional for a 30 minute call at no cost.
The Blue Dove Foundation | A Resource for Gratitude in a Time of Social Distancing
Recovery Village | Teletherapy Program | A resource for anyone struggling with substance abuse or mental health disorders. The Recovery Village is offering access to one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and various online services virtually with a licensed professional, improving their chances of a successful recovery. Learn more here.
Covid-19 Guidance and Daily Updates | For daily updates, information about the virus, and guidance for prevention and care: Centers for Disease Control and
Local Information about Covid-19| For testing sites and local alerts, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health or call DPH’s Covid-19 hotline at 844-442-2681
City of Atlanta Meal Assistance for Seniors | Meal and grocery delivery for seniors. Learn more here.
Jewish HomeLife the One Group | Learn more here | Care, support and companionship for aging, home-bound older adults. Assistance with grocery shopping, companionship, and support for activities of daily living. From a few hours a week to 24/7 care.
AgeWell Atlanta | A one-stop shop for a broad spectrum of services, including reassurance calls and referrals for food assistance, transportation, and other older adult services. Services are provided by AgeWell Atlanta partners, including Jewish Home Life, JF&CS Aviv Older Adult Services, and MJCCA. Contact 1-866-AGE-WELL or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MJCCA Virtual Programs| Offering a full schedule of virtual programming for all ages. Programs include fitness classes, camp activities, book festival talks, and more. For a complete schedule of virtual programs, see the website.
PJ Library | Resources for quarantined families, including virtual programs, craft ideas and guidance for parents here. PJ Library Atlanta is also offering virtual programming for kids of all ages and parents on their Facebook page.
Jewish Abilities Alliance| Resources and strategies for supporting children who learn differently during virtual learning on the JAA website.
Jewish Education Collaborative | The Jewish Education Project Early Childhood and Family Engagement Team has created a Pinterest for families and teachers at home. This board resources for educators and parents focusing on Coronavirus itself, as well as Jewish communal responses and Passover resources. See the Pinterest board.
Israel American Council @Home| Offering activities for kids, teens, young professionals, and adults to stay connected to Hebrew, Israeli and Jewish heritage, online activism and to one another. More information on the IAC website.
Checking on Neighbors|Share this printable card to share with your neighbors if you are able to help others in need.
Repair the World | This one-page resource on caring for the sick in times of crisis.
Creating Connected Communities | CCC is collecting items to distribute to kids and families who are stuck at home while self-quarantining. Accepting donations of books, legos, toys and gifts.
Mask Donation Project | Own a sewing machine? Please consider making reusable masks for the community. Please watch this YouTube video for step by step instructions and contact Henry Siegelson for information about collection/drop off.
Donating food and household items to Kosher Food Pantry | Donations accepted on Tuesdays & Thursdays – see website for more information and list of items needed
Jewish HomeLife staff | Care Packages | Drop off an appropriate “care package” or “care package goods”, prepared by a healthy person, for their care givers and staff. These individuals are leaving their own families every day to care for our community’s families, putting themselves at risk to ensure our residents feel engaged, cared for and loved. Appropriate items include, but are not limited to, wrapped candy, power bars, granola bars, individual sized chips, crackers or cookies, individual sized nuts, pop-tarts, travel size hand sanitizer, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Emergen-C packets, individually wrapped tea bags or other “comfort” items. Drop off on Fridays at front of The William Breman Jewish Home.
Jewish HomeLife staff | Card and Notes | Send or drop-off kind and encouraging notes to the amazing caregivers, housekeepers and dietary staff who continue to care for our community’s loved ones with unwavering courage and dedication.
Summer Kosher Food Program | Submit form by Tuesday, June 30 | This program distributes free meals to any child through age 18, regardless of household income. The program will launch on Monday, July 6, and run through the first week of August, providing breakfast and lunch for each day, to be picked up twice weekly, Monday morning and Wednesday morning. It will be hosted at Congregation Beth Jacob and is open to all, without any regard for synagogue, school, or religious affiliation. Participants will drive-through to receive their food. Fill out the form here.
More volunteer opportunities from Repair The World | Volunteer opportunities: Stay engaged while social distancing: live list of volunteer opportunities and donation needs.
Services | Most synagogues are offering virtual programming. Check with your local synagogue for more information.
The Podcast from The Temple | Rabbis Peter Berg and Loren Filson Lapidus host this weekly podcast from The Temple, a Reform Jewish synagogue in midtown Atlanta. Delve into Jewish topics and get to know The Temple’s historic congregation and the Atlanta Jewish community through meaningful and fun conversations and interviews.
MyJewishLearning.org | A few Jewish learning resources to get you through these difficult days here.
Hillel at Home | Resources and virtual programs for college students looking to stay connected.
Partnership Region – Yokneam and Megiddo | Connect to our partnership region in Israel through their Facebook page, offering virtual programs and online activities for adults.
Jewish Time Podcast | A monthly podcast brought to you by the Atlanta Jewish Times
Atlanta Jewish Music Festival Spotify Lists|In times like these, it’s easy to forget about the little things that help make us feel better, like listening to music. We invite you to pause for second and listen here.
Georgia Center for Nonprofits | Nonprofit Guide to COVID Planning here.
The U.S. Small Business Administration | The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing disaster loans to impacted businesses and for the first time to nonprofits and churches. The loans will go directly through them at 2.75% interest. Funds are short term but can be amortized up to 30 years on a case by case basis. Apply here.
MobileCause | Has your fundraising event been cancelled? Click here for tips on how to shift your event to being virtual!
Secure Community Network | Reopening Guidelines
Orthodox Union | Guidance to Shuls and Communities on Reopening
Reconstructing Judaism | Reopening Our Institutions
Rabbinical Assembly | Jewish Values Regarding Physical Reopening of Our Institutions
Jewish Together | Jewish Communal Scenario Planning Resources
Congregation Gesher L’Torah | Facebook Live Shabbat Services | Friday at 7 pm | Saturday at 9:30 am
Congregation Beth Shalom | Friday night Shabbat Service here| Shabbat morning services here | Havdalah family service here | Weekly Torah Study Class | Thursdays at 11:30 am. Regular scheduled services here
Temple Emanu-El here
Shearith Israel here
Ahavath Achim Synagogue live services here.
Congregation Or Hadash here
The Temple here
Temple Sinai Atlanta here
National livestream services here
Intown Jewish Academy:
Every day, 12 pm | Daily Power Parsha Live | A Quick Daily Dose of Torah Inspiration | Join by Zoom here.
Sundays, 9:30 am | Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching and learn how to apply these profound teachings to your daily life. Join by Zoom here.
Mondays, 7:30 pm | Original Chasidic Discourse on the Soul of Passover | Join by Zoom here.
Tuesdays, 8 pm | Talmud Tuesday Live | Study Tractate Pesachim About the Holiday of Passover | Join by Zoom here.
Wednesdays, 7:30 pm | Torah Studies Live | Deep Torah Analysis | Join by Zoom here.
Thursdays, 8 pm | Cookin’ with Rabbi Ari Live | Shabbat and Holiday Recipes | Join by Zoom here.
Limmud North America | eFestival | May 24 | Limmud eFestival features the most interesting, inspiring and important Jewish ideas today. Connect with Jewish community, cultivate your curiosity and expand your horizons, all from the comfort of your home. Register here.
National Gatherings for Livestreaming, Torah Study, Tot Shabbat, and more!
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
AJFF In Conversation: The Podcast
Bi-Weekly | Online
In this bi-weekly podcast series, the voices of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival engage listeners in an entertaining, illuminating and stimulating discussion around a variety of themes and topics rooted in Jewish cinema. Hosted by AJFF’s Sara Glassberg and Brad Pilcher, each episode will feature a special guest, and showcase exemplary films, from past AJFF favorites, to hidden gems, new releases and classics. Listen and subscribe here.
AJFF In Conversation: The Webinar
Monthly | Online
In this monthly webinar series, take a deep dive into a spotlight work of Jewish cinema, and come face-to-face with filmmakers, actors, journalists, academics and industry leaders in a virtual post-film Q&A discussion. Audiences are invited to view the selected film via on demand streaming service or other platform, and then join the webinar for an in-depth talkback with film artists and other experts. The next scheduled webinar is June 25. Learn more here.
Every Tuesday | Online
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 20th anniversary season continues online with an interactive film contest. We invite you, our loyal audience, to cast a vote for your favorite films from our festival vault, and help determine which will claim the title of “2020 AJFF Playback Winner” in the categories of short, documentary, and narrative. Learn more here.
Starting July 10th The Breman Museum presents free online art workshops where participants work with artists to create puppets, sculptures, and projects that celebrate our earth. Pre-registration is required at TheBreman.org. Attendance is limited. RSVP early to attend.
MJCCA is committed to staying together as a community during this time. The following activities have been shifted to virtual gatherings:
MJCCA Day Camps: Please visit the MJCCA Day Camps Facebook page for daily fun activities, live events, exercises for your mind and body, and competitions for your children to participate in to win awesome prizes (including a chance to win a FREE week of camp)! Rabbi G will also be leading Camp Shabbat Fridays at 2:00 pm on the MJCCA Day Camps Facebook page.
MJCCA Book Festival: Click here to view MJCCA’s upcoming Book Festival virtual events!
MJCCA Athletics: The MJCCA Athletics program encourages kids to stay active at home while school is out for an extended period of time. Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit organization that promotes a focus on health, fitness, and wellness in schools, has provided some amazing resources to keep kids happy, engaged, and focused on their overall health while at home. Click here for activities to do at home and here for MJCCA’s Game On Activity Library.
MJCCA BBYO: Tune into BBYO On Demand, a brand-new virtual experience for teens worldwide. Enjoy amazing programming and global events! Some of the sessions will even be led by our very own Greater Atlanta Region BBYO members!
MJCCA Blonder Department for Special Needs: Please stay tuned to the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs Facebook group for daily activities, chats, workouts, and more!
MJCCA Aquatics: Swim Skills Guide
MJCCA Outreach: Rabbi G will be leading Acoustic Shabbat Live on Fridays at 6:30 pm on the MJCCA Community Outreach Facebook page.
Path by Plywood
July 9 – September 3 | Online Course
Great ideas are born during times like this! Do you have an idea, or the makings of an idea? Dive into it with this 9-week online course designed to help problem solvers decide which direction to take with their idea. You will be asked the hard questions and will be introduced to a community of support. Learn more and register here.
Relaxing, Kosher, Labor Day Weekend Getaway at Ramah Darom
Spend this Labor Day Weekend boating, hiking, biking, crafting, swimming, making smores, and singing by the campfire or just lounging around at Ramah Darom. Each all-inclusive Mishpachah B’Ramah, Physically-Distanced Kosher Getaway is only open to around 50 guests so book your spot ASAP. Visit their website for all the available Getaway dates and details.
Addiction & Families: A Conversation with Author David Sheff | August 20 | 7 – 9 pm
David Sheff is the author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, a number one New York Times bestseller; the book was adapted as a feature film starring Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet in 2018 and is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Learn more and register here.
Virtual Partnerhsip Village | Join P2G Yokneam Megido – Atlanta/St. Louis for activities and sessions each week! You can learn more here.
Jewish National Fund | With everything going on in the world, the U.S., and Israel, always remember that you’re a cherished member of the Jewish National Fund‑USA family — and families unite when times get rough. More than ever before, it’s important that we feel connected, engaged, and yes — even inspired. Across the country, we have been working tirelessly to create engaging and meaningful experiences for you — to connect you with the land and people of Israel, even during this time of social distancing. Click here for updates as new content will be added regularly.
The Breman Museum | Field Trip Fridays | The initiative includes ongoing social media and website posts of unique content from 11 organizations, culminating each week with a special “Field Trip Friday” event. The first event begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 3. A variety of activities and experiences allows audiences to take a virtual field trip or enjoy a virtual spring break around the city from home. Because many plans were canceled or rescheduled because of COVID-19, this programming still allows all communities to participate in meaningful and fun digital experiences together. Here are the following participating Atlanta attractions: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta History Center, Breman Museum, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, Fernbank Museum, 3D Theater and Forest, Georgia Aquarium, High Museum of Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Zoo Atlanta.
Since the crisis started to unfold, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has been intently focused on working with our community partners to understand immediate needs and how we could respond most meaningfully. This may be a challenge unlike any we’ve faced before, but helping our community through these difficult times is what Federation is here for.
As the Philanthropic Champion for our community, Federation opened the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Learn more and donate here.
Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community members. If you need help or resources please click here.
Our first stage of response through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund addresses people’s basic needs — food, employment, insurance, the continuation of essential health and human services, and emergency financial assistance.
Through multiple rounds of grantmaking, Federation has provided $1,901,500 in relief funding to our community in this area. Additionally, Federation granted $150,000 from global emergency reserves for emergency needs in Israel and Belarus. See details here.
While our initial grants have been directed primarily to individuals and social service needs, we all know that the essential pillars of Jewish community — our Jewish community center, camps, day schools, synagogues and many other community serving organizations — are facing dramatic challenges. We have already granted $450,000 relating to the financial stability and support of our Jewish organizations, and we will continue to evaluate this need closely. Learn more and see details here.
Federation programs such as PJ Library, JumpSpark, Shinshinim Atlanta and Jewish Abilities Alliance have been hard at work transforming programs into virtual offerings, and Federation has also been serving as a curator for virtual offerings throughout the community.
Learn more about available resources and virtual gatherings here.
Federation serves as a convener and an amplifier of the Jewish Atlanta ecosystem. As such, we have been communicating with organizations throughout Greater Atlanta on a regular basis, assessing needs, offering resources around SBA loans and other topics of interest, and fostering opportunities for collaboration.
As our community now begins to contemplate a return to communal activity, we want to ensure that our actions are dictated by our values, and are in concert with the best scientific and medical advice available. We are committed to bringing the Jewish community together for these important conversations about how we can consider each other’s organizations and needs while caring for our individual and collective well-being.
We’ll be hosting sector conversations that look at specific considerations of types of organizations and will also host an initial cross-sector conversation so we can explore together what reopening responsibly looks like for our community.
As a starting point, we are sharing this COVID-19 Guidance and Considerations for Resumption of Operations prepared by the Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening Working Group through Secure Community Network (SCN), the Jewish Homeland Security initiative. Our Community Security Director, Neil Rabinovitz, and Deputy Community Security Director, Zach Williams, continue to work closely with SCN and we will continue to share further guidance as it is received.
The Atlanta Jewish Community has responded to the challenges and the pain of this pandemic with a swift call to act upon the primary value of pikuach nefesh (saving lives). We centered the wellbeing of our community as we emphasized safety, particularly the safety of those most vulnerable. With our desire to serve the members of our community, we proceeded with caution with campaigns to employ social distancing and our organizations pivoted to provide our services virtually and we responded to the many needs of our members caused by the pandemic.
The value of kol yisrael aravim zeh la zeh (the entire Jewish community is responsible for one another) was powerfully evident in how we came together to mourn our losses, extend resources for mental and physical well-being, and raise funds for those economically impacted. Under these unprecedented difficult circumstances, we showed courage, strength, compassion, and wisdom.
The work of keeping each other safe is still needed. There are many factors to balance and each sector of our community has specific needs and concerns; yet, we urge that the stakeholders from all sectors of the Atlanta Jewish community engage in conversation around our decisions for reopening and how those decisions impact one another. As a community, we are deeply interconnected and we are responsible for one another.
We are sharing this Covid-19 Guidance and Considerations for Resumption of Operations prepared by the Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening Working Group through SCN, which includes our Deputy Community Security Director, Zach Williams, and with input from our Community Security Director, Neil Rabinovitz. They continue to work closely with Secure Community Network, the Jewish Homeland Security initiative, and will share any further guidance with you as it is received. We strongly encourage you to review the documents above with your organization and layleaders as you consider the phases of re-opening.
We’ll be hosting sector conversations that look at specific considerations of types of organizations and will also host an initial cross sector conversation so we can explore together what reopening responsibly looks like for our community. If you are interested in co-hosting a sector conversation, please reach out to Amy Glass at email@example.com.
As we begin to contemplate a return to communal activity, let’s ensure that our actions are dictated by our values and are in concert with the best scientific and medical advice available. We are committed to bringing the Jewish community together for these important conversations about how we can consider each other’s organizations and needs while caring for our individual and collective wellbeing.