Happy Jewish Communal Professionals' Week!

Thank you for everything you do!

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Incident Report

Submits to Security Director.


for Hillel JUC to develop and implement new orientation strategies


for Ratzon to distribute food to queer Jewish youth in Pittsburgh


for Chabad on Campus to support site sanitization and virtual programming


to the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to help homebound seniors in Israel, Argentina and the former Soviet Union


for the JAA to purchase personal protective equipment and air filtration systems and to increase staffing


for AgeWell Pittsburgh to maintain services and provide food to Pittsburgh's Jewish seniors


to Krembo Wings for home visits to children with disabilities in Israel


to JRS for technology to connect residential clients with their families and friends


to Sally and Howard Levin Clubhouse for smartphones and wi-fi to allow members access to services


for JAA to install virus-killing technology in HVAC system in common areas


for JDC essential care of quarantined, homebound seniors in Israel


for AgeWell to access technology for immunocompromised staff to work remotely


for CWB to provide unique online programs, workshops and events


for HFLA to meet the dramatic increased demand for emergency loans


for Repair the World to launch Serve the Moment initiative

COVID-19 by the Numbers

Thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh



Total Distributed COVID-19 Relief Funds

$0 Million

Youth, Young Adults, & Families
vulnerable populations

$0 Million

Vulnerable Populations

$0 Million



"Thank you for this important and life-sustaining act of generosity. These funds will be so important to many in our community in the days to come — those wrestling with job loss and mounting bills, those struggling to make ends meet in normal circumstances, those in need of extra supplies — and I appreciate your assistance on their behalf."

Temple Emanuel of South Hills

"As usual, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has risen to the challenge of the times. You were there during the tragedy of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and again you are with during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Temple B'nai Israel

"Thank you again for this ongoing support, which is even more needed as we watch exponential growth in the incidence of COVID. Undoubtedly, the next few months will be even more challenging. It is reassuring to know that we have Federation’s support.!"

Yeshiva Schools

Most Recent Emergency COVID Relief Impact

COVID-19 Relief Stories: Ruth Skeegan

February 26, 2021

For years, Ruth Skeegan looked out for the Jewish community. Now, with help from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the community looks out for her during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Barbara and Kevin Ginsburg

COVID-19 Relief Stories: Kevin & Barbara Ginsburg

February 19, 2021

The Jewish Federation improved the well-being of Kevin, a mostly nonverbal man with intellectual disabilities in group care.

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Tahlia Altgold Hillel JUC Chanukah

COVID-19 Relief Stories: Tahlia Altgold and Eli Sigman

February 5, 2021

Jewish Federation has provided funding not only for the “obvious” things like life-saving personal protective equipment, but also for life-saving programming.

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COVID food insecurity relief at the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry

COVID-19 Relief Stories: Ron & Julie

January 21, 2021

Imagine realizing for the first time in your life that you need food assistance.

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Highlights from Recent Distributions

Blue Point Security

Keeping Our Community Safe and Open

I have taken some time over the last few weeks to reflect back on how much has happened in the last two years since the attack at the Tree of Life Building but especially on the leadership and investment made by our Federation in the area of security. You will recall that our Federation Board took the step of hiring our first ever Jewish Community Security Director in January 2017 and we know that his work had been so important in not only saving lives on October 27, 2018 but in protecting all of us from the inception of our security program. Since October 2018, we have continued to build upon the foundation we set.

Recently, our Security Director, Shawn Brokos, with our Security Committee chaired by David Ainsman, took the lead in procuring and providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to any Jewish organization requiring it at no cost to any Jewish institution. To us, safety includes keeping people healthy.

Due to the incredible generosity of a private foundation, we are close to completing installation and activation of a system called BluePoint in 15 of our Jewish institutions. Bluepoint is a state of the art alert system that not only connects to our local law enforcement, it also connects all the Jewish institutions with each other. If something might happen at one organization, all will know about it. This investment of nearly $750,000 comes at no initial cost to any local synagogue or agency and Federation security will manage the platform going forward. We have installed it in our Jewish Day Schools and Early Childhood Centers.

We assembled and distributed 500 “Go Bags” for every classroom in the Jewish community within synagogues and agencies. These bags contain nearly everything one would need in case of any kind of emergency whether it be medical or security related. This came at no cost to any local organization.

We are trying not only to keep our community safe, but also trying to help everyone to feel safe. Feeling safe is just as important so that all will continue to engage in Jewish life. We have been saying since the start of our security initiative that our goal is to make the community both safe and open. None of this would happen without the convening power of our Federation. These and other capital investments, government dollars we successfully lobbied for, and security personnel hired by Federation on behalf of the Jewish community has resulted in approximately $2 million in investments since October 27, 2018.

We wish we didn’t need to spend a penny on security. We would much prefer putting those dollars into programming, education or support for those in need, but unfortunately this is our reality and we will always take the safety of our community members as a high priority.

Thank you for helping us keep our community safe. Shabbat Shalom. Go Steelers. Wear that mask!

P.S. If you are interested, the Secure Community Network conducted a webinar entitled “Two Years After the Pittsburgh Attack: The Evolution and Future of Securing the Jewish Community” that includes our former Security Director Brad Orsini, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and me.

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Distributions to Seniors

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

Distributions - Vulnerable Populations

Aleph InstituteSupport families and individuals in need of immediate financial assistance.$30,000 Vulnerable Populations
Israel Trauma CoalitionProvide online support for teams for social workers in order to help them recoup energy and review tactics for coping with the stress.$10,000 Vulnerable Populations
JAFIFinancial support for lone soldiers.$2,500 Vulnerable Populations
JAFIHygiene supplies, basic nutrition for Ethiopians awaiting immigration to Israel.$8,100 Vulnerable Populations
JAFIFood kits for new immigrants to Israel.$4,100 Vulnerable Populations
JDCSupplies for staff/volunteers to enable food/medicine delivery and virtual check-ins on homebound clients in FSU.$9,850 Vulnerable Populations
JFCS/FederationCommunity resource hotline.$5,000 Vulnerable Populations
JRSTechnology for staff and clients to facilitate communication.$10,000 Vulnerable Populations
JRSPrepaid smartphones for 20 Clubhouse members.$1,000 Vulnerable Populations
Bikkur CholimSupports increased costs for housing, transportation, food, cleaning, etc. for grassroots, lay-led organization that assists patients and their families who come to Pittsburgh for medical treatment.$5,000Vulnerable Populations
JAFISupport to fight Domestic Violence in Absorption Centers in Israel. As part of the acculturation process, Jewish Agency staff address domestic violence within new immigrant families. During the crisis, 7,000 new immigrants already struggling with the stress of adjusting to a new country, language, and culture in exceptional circumstances found themselves largely confined within the four walls of their small absorption center apartments, increasing the potential for abusive situations. JAFI will map instances of abuse and create small group workshops and individual therapy for those that have been living in a home affected by domestic violence. $5,000Vulnerable Populations
JRSSupporting 25 participants or Clubhouse members with technology (Chromebook, Facebook Portal or similar equipment, plus monthly Wi-Fi cost for 12 months) that would allow them to connect to JRS programs, and to family and friends. $20,000Vulnerable Populations
Squirrel Hill Health CenterStaff costs associated with providing COVID-19 testing at the JCC between now and June 2021.$47,016Vulnerable Populations

Distributions to Children, Teens & Their Families

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 queer 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

Distributions to Emergency Funding, Food Insecurity & Career Assistance

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