Jewish Federation has Distributed $1,549,380 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds

As of December 15, 2020, the Jewish Federation has distributed $1,549,380 in coronavirus relief funds in four areas:

  • Seniors: $313,842
  • Vulnerable Populations: $157,566
  • Children, Teens & Their Families: $401,522
  • Emergency Funding, Food Insecurity & Career Assistance: $676,450

Jewish Federation also helps coordinate coronavirus relief in Pittsburgh by:

  • Working to determine the community’s growing needs
  • Providing government relations support for SBA loans and other regulations
  • Providing webinars for the entire community with experts from CDC and labor attorneys
  • Assessing security needs – both physical and cybersecurity
  • Providing virtual programming and content for different audiences
  • Assessing the needs of smaller organizations and synagogues
  • Conducting a needs assessment of individuals to connect them to services

Learn more below about:

Details About the Four Areas of Need:

CDSProvide Chromebooks for students K-5 in anticipation of remote learning.$20,000Children, Teens & their Families
Early Childhood Centers (11)PPE and addtional supplies for teachers, staff that is more regulated by the County.$12,409Children, Teens & their Families
Hillel AcademyProvide Chromebooks for students in anticipation of remote learning.$20,000Children, Teens & their Families
JAAPurchase a thermal thermometer that connects to their existing security kiosk. This will also relieve staff time that is currently required to manually take temperatures.$15,960Children, Teens & their Families
JCCContribution to Grinspoon "All Together" Matching Grant for Emma Kaufman Camp.$6,275Children, Teens & their Families
JCCPay screeners for three months to take temperatures at various early childhood and camp sites.$42,598Children, Teens & their Families
JDCFood, medicine, medical assistance for children in FSU to address hardship created by parents’ job loss.$2,150Children, Teens & their Families
Part Time SchoolsProfessional Development in remote learning.$12,050Children, Teens & their Families
Yeshiva Schoolsfor equipment and staffing to implement free kosher breakfast and lunches for kids up to age 18. $35,000Children, Teens & their Families
Yeshiva SchoolsTechnology to enable teachers and families to engage in virtual learning.$20,000Children, Teens & their Families
Yeshiva, CDS, Hillel AcademyTwo days of summer planning and professional development to prepare for a safe reopening and a new blended online/in-person learning environment.$68,800Children, Teens & their Families
Hillel JUCDevelopment and implementation of new orientation strategy to engage Jewish college students in socially distanced and/or virtual campus environment.$25,000Children, Teens & their Families
JDCProviding basic assistance to Israeli families in poverty (exacerbated by pandemic crisis) including hygiene kits, medicine/health needs, games/books for children, food, computers, as well as family counseling and therapy for families and children.$10,000Children, Teens & their Families
JDCProviding European families and elderly with supplementary food, medicine and shelter.$7,500Children, Teens & their Families
RatzonSupporting food distribution in partnership with Repair The World and Pittsburgh Mutual Aid, to LGBTQ+ Jewish youth (teens, young adults) who do not feel comfortable going to the JFCS Food Pantry or other sites.$15,000Children, Teens & their Families
Chabad on CampusTo support virtual programming and additional cleaning for facilities.$8,240Children, Teens & their Families
MisgavProvision to promote virtual learning, outdoor High Holiday prayer, assistance for families in need, and other COVID related needs.$30,000Children, Teens & their Families
KarmielProvision to promote virtual learning, outdoor High Holiday prayer, assistance for families in need, and other COVID related needs.$20,000Children, Teens & their Families
Dror IsraelContinuation of their childcare program for children of essential medical workers.$15,000Children, Teens & their Families
Tzohar SeminaryVirtual education technology and additional Shabbat food expense due to the inability of students to be hosted in the community.$7,500Children, Teens & their Families
Krembo WingsTo provide six KremboBus home visits to children with disabilities in Karmiel/Misgav. KremboWing counselors come to sing songs and play games with the children at their homes.$9,000Children, Teens & their Families
vulnerable populations
JAAAdditional scrubs for staff use-onsite only and surgical masks​.$20,930Seniors
JAACost of installing “virus-killing” technology in HVACV ductwork in some of common areas.$14,740Seniors
JAAFace Shields – 1,000 (re-usable).$5,000Seniors
JAADisposable isolation gowns – 5,000.$25,000Seniors
JAAPortable sanitizing machines (2).$4,000Seniors
JAAMedical Supplies, N95 Masks, PPE (for 3 weeks).$23,000Seniors
JAAScrubs for on-campus use only.$12,000Seniors
JAAPaper products, no re-usable dishes (for 3 weeks).$12,000Seniors
JAAMollie’s Meals – increased demand.$20,000Seniors
JAFIPassover food for quarantined seniors in Israel.$12,200Seniors
JCCTechnology to enable immunocompromised AgeWell staff to work from home.$3,000Seniors
JCCPPE and equipment for Agewell to make and deliver meals to homebound seniors.$6,800Seniors
JCCAdditional staff time for AgeWell at the JCC to prepare and distribute grab and go meals between May and August.$30,212Seniors
JDCProviding 250,00 quarantined and homebound Israeli seniors with essential care services such as medicine, housekeeping, home repairs, transportation for caregivers and a call center for further assistance. $25,000Seniors
JDCEmergency medicine, medical care, food for homebound seniors in FSU.$10,000Seniors
JDCFood, medicine, other support for homebound seniors in Israel.$20,000Seniors
JFCSAgeWell Pittsburgh: virtual pharmaceutical screenings for 200 high-risk seniors not currently enrolled in HomeMeds (an evidence-based medication reassurance program that helps older adults understand what medications they are taking and how those medications affect them)​.$6,000Seniors
Repair the WorldLaunch a summer pilot program to create 10 young adult fellows to mobilize volunteers in acts of service in Pittsburgh. This is part of a national initiative.$15,000Seniors
JAAPurchase Negative Air Machines and Well-Air Machines to protect residents and staff from aerosolized virus.$17,000Seniors
JDCProviding quarantined and homebound elderly Israelis with essential care services, e.g. medicine, housekeeping, home repairs, transportation for caregivers. In addition, JDC is providing logistical and volunteer support to ensure that government-provided food and the additional services arrive at the homes of the elderly.$25,000Seniors
JDCFood, medicine and monetary assistance to the neediest elderly Jews, people with chronic diseases, and families with children at risk in Argentina.$6,000Seniors
FederationPurchase at-cost surgical masks and other PPE stockpile for distribution to Jewish organizations (up to $10,000 but not to exceed)​.$10,000Career Assistance
JCCEmployer premiums for furloughed employees for two months (interest-free loan).$97,500Career Assistance
JFCSPPE for JFCS Employees.$3,000Career Assistance
JFCS1 FTE counselor in Career Development Center (3 months).$23,300Career Assistance
JFCS2 FTEs case workers to help clients apply for benefits (3 months).$25,000Career Assistance
JFCSTelephone Interpretation to assist clients in applying for benefits.$15,000Career Assistance
Hebrew Free LoanEmergency loans to meet dramatically increased demand.$100,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
Hebrew Free LoanEmergency loans to meet dramatically increased demand.$20,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
Jewish Assistance FundEmergency cash grants to meet dramatically increased demand.$50,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
JFCSVan for food pantry deliveries to home-bound individuals ($15,000 contributed to by the United Way).$10,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
JFCSFood for Food Pantry – increased demand.$20,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
JFCSSOS PGH cash – increased demand.$50,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
JFCSFood Pantry staffing – 2 FTEs (for 3 months).$23,600Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
JFCSSOS PGH staffing – 1 FTE (for 3 months).$17,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
SynagoguesRabbi discretionary funds - emergency cash for congregants/community members in need.$75,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
Jewish FederationPurchase PPE for distribution to Jewish organizations including PPE to New Chevra Kadisha and the Gesher Hachaim Jewish Burial Society to conduct taharoth (the ceremony of washing a corpse before burial) $7,050Career Assistance
JDCWorking with the Government of Israel to help people who have lost, or are about to lose, their jobs or be furloughed, by creating re-skilling content, highlighting alternative employment opportunities. $15,000Career Assistance
ITCProviding online self-care training and techniques to teams in hospitals around the country with a priority to those in specialized Corona care facilities.$4,000Career Assistance
CWBProviding unique online programs that include professional development workshops, continuing education events, ‘in-school’ instruction and resources with direct applications for the digital classroom.$30,000Career Assistance
SynagoguesUnrestricted funds to defray costs associated with online and in-person worship during the fall holidays.$75,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
United WayTo pay for the gap in providing kosher food to families who require it. This provides 150 families with kosher meals for five weeks.$6,000Emergency Funding & Food Insecurity
food bank

Past Chairs of the Board

David D. SufrinImmediate Past Board Chair
Meryl K. AinsmanPast Board Chair
Barbara S. BurstinPast Board Chair
David BurstinPast Board Chair
Douglas H. OstrowPast Board Chair
Louis B. PlungPast Board Chair
James A. RudolphPast Board Chair
William C. RudolphPast Board Chair
Stanley C. RuskinPast Board Chair
Ruth G. SchachterPast Board Chair
Cynthia D. ShapiraPast Board Chair
Daniel H. ShapiraPast Board Chair
David S. ShapiraPast Board Chair

How Jewish Federation Is Able to Help Quickly

The Federation’s board of directors authorized a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Committee (a subset of the existing Planning and Funding Committee) to redirect funds to immediate relief needs. Following this quick needs assessment, on March 31, the committee approved $183,600 to local beneficiary agencies and $66,400 to overseas partners. On April 6, the Committee approved an additional $294,800 to local agencies. Funding in subsequent weeks has brought the total distributed to $775,875. These funds are a combination of campaign and foundation allocations that were reallocated and supplemental donor gifts.

Because the Jewish Federation already had excellent relationships with our primary beneficiary agencies as well as with the many other Jewish agencies and synagogues in Pittsburgh, the Federation was able to remain in constant communication with our beneficiary agencies, community leaders, and overseas partners as part of the needs assessment to understand pain points, both financial and operational; to develop a short-, medium-, and long-term list of financial needs; and to itemize the needs with dollar amounts.

Impact Stories: Your Dollars at Work

Stories from people directly affected by this funding has been heartwarming. The spouse of a JAA resident said, “The only way I am getting through this nightmare is knowing that my wife is being taking care of so beautifully.” A client of Hebrew Free Loan commented,

“I’ve never had to apply for any kind of loans before. This was so much easier than I expected, and you have no idea how much of help it’s going to be to me and my family. Thank you so much for being here and doing the important work you do!”

The Federation also received positive feedback from agency staff and volunteers. The chair of the board of JFCS commented, “Your continued support for JFCS is quite meaningful and we value our ongoing relationship that allows us to make a difference in the lives of individuals in our community.” The chair of JRS’s board of directors said, “JRS is so appreciative of Federation’s support in these difficult times, and always.”

JFCS related a story about two Pittsburghers, Ron and Julie (names disguised), who have been living in Pittsburgh for the past year and approached the Food Pantry for the first-time last week. They have never utilized a food pantry before and were clearly uncomfortable with needing to do so. In addition to reassuring them and providing them with food, JFCS referred Ron and Julie to the Career Development Center. JFCS also connected them with resources outside of the Jewish community for other kinds of potential assistance.

Making Your Dollars Go Further

The Jewish Federation’s financial resources development team continues to work hard to increase the unrestricted Community Campaign that makes this work possible. More help is still needed: seniors continue to live in isolation, furloughed employees need to provide food for their families, people living with mental health issues require specialized assistance, Jewish children need a Jewish education, and organizations are still relying on allocations from the Federation’s Community Campaign to pay employees, to provide innovative programming, and to keep the lights on so that Jewish Pittsburgh can continue once people are able to leave their homes.

In addition to Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s direct contributions, our national partner Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) tapped into Israel emergency funds (partly established by Pittsburgh contributions through our Federation’s Community Campaign) to make the following allocations to our international partners:

  • $350,000 to the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for direct services to Jewish seniors internationally
  • $200,000 to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) to support residents of Amigur housing facilities with protective equipment, hygiene supplies and food
  • $200,000 for loan funds for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that Pittsburgh supports
  • $75,000 to the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) for their work with first responders

JAFI is also working to establish a loan fund to preserve infrastructure in Jewish communities around the world, available to Jewish organizations around the world for four years with a one-year grace period. A global partnership between JAFI, Keren Ha’Yesod and JFNA will create this loan fund, and the leadership of these organizations will oversee the loans in a newly formed ad-hoc committee

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