Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

This page is being updated daily and contains information about the anticipated effects of COVID-19.

The rapid progression of COVID-19 and its recent upgrade to pandemic has required everyone in our community to react and respond to new information and restrictions every day. The recommended practice of social distancing is a particularly challenging requirement during these uncertain and chaotic times when so many of us turn to our Jewish communities for comfort, care, and connection.

Although we are daunted by the enormity of the threat of COVID-19, we also have deep confidence in the ability of our community to face it. Here are some initial updates, with more to follow in the coming days.

    Ways to Give

    The Federation has established a COVID-19 Response Fund to enable our donors and community to help meet both individual and organizational needs. Even as we assess the medium to long-range impact, we know these needs are already felt by our community organizations. Your support of this fund will enable a response to emerging community needs, with a view of the full ecosystem of Jewish organizations in the Bay Area.

    You can also recommend a grant from your donor-advised fund to the Federation (Tax ID# 94-1156533). Please indicate COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund as the Grant Purpose. If you have a donor-advised fund at the Federation, click here to recommend a grant.

    Bay Area Jewish Agencies

    All of our Jewish agencies need your support at this time. The organizations below have urgent needs for based on their response to the crisis.

    Local Response

    Bay Area Food Banks are providing food to those who need it most during this crisis and are experiencing unique challenges, including getting food to the families of children who normally get their only or main meal at school.

    Glide’s Daily Free Meals program has been adjusted to utilize takeout containers to deliver hot meals three times daily. Their walk-in center services, including shelter bed reservations, continue via a triage desk in the lobby to avoid congregating unsafely in the building.

    Larkin Street Youth is combating COVID-19 and the effects on the youth they serve. They are committed to providing essential services to young people during this time.

    Tipping Point COVID Fund addresses increased needs for all of their grantees across the Bay Area.

    Some of our communities are also organizing funds to help address the needs of low-income families facing additional hardship from this crisis, including:

    • The Oakland Students and Schools Fund through the Oakland Public Education Fund has an initial goal of $1.1 Million to ensure continuity of teaching, safe, clean spaces, and food for vulnerable families.
       
    • Redwood City Education Fund has reached its initial $200,000 goal, although as this crisis goes on we expect this need to grow significantly.

    Global Response

    American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is supporting its partners in 19 countries to address the pandemic. In particular, they are monitoring the Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp with approximately 1 million Rohingya refugees who are extremely vulnerable.

    IsraAID has initiated a Global Coronavirus Emergency Response focusing on mental health support for health care workers in China, Italy, and South Korea. They are currently also supporting urgent migrant and refugee needs in Greece and Venezuela.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • Jewish Family and Children's Services offers safe opportunities for Emergency Service Volunteers, including making phone calls to isolated homebound seniors through the Safe At Home program, and purchasing and delivering groceries, including special Passover Care Packages, to Holocaust survivors, other frail seniors, and homebound disabled adults.
       
    • Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay is looking for volunteers to offer phone support to vulnerable, isolated community members, most of whom are older.

    Get Support

    Many of our community organizations remain operational to provide assistance during this time:

    • Bay Area Jewish Healing Center is responding to this pandemic by creating spiritual care resources that can be accessed from home or phone to address the current situation.
       
    • Hebrew Free Loan: If you're having trouble making ends meet because of the effects of Coronavirus, including child care costs when schools are closed, small business losses, canceled study abroad programs, and lost wages because you can't go into work, Hebrew Free Loan may be able to help.
       
    • Jewish Family and Children's Services' staff are first responders during this pandemic emergency. If you or someone you care about needs help, please call the JFCS Bay Area Critical Help Line at 415.449.3700. Additional assistance lines:
      • Parents – call 415.359.2443
      • Families and adults – call 415.449.1212
      • Seniors and disabled care – call 415.449.3700
         
    • JFCS of the East Bay provides essential mental health and social services through every stage of life. Services include therapy for parents and children, refugee and immigrant support, home care and services for seniors.
       
    • Shalom Bayit​​​​​ is the Bay Area’s center for domestic violence prevention and response within the Jewish community. Call 866.SHALOM.7 for free, confidential support.

    Online Activities

    • View upcoming virtual events on our online community calendar. Want to list your own virtual event? Check out our calendar tutorial.
       
    • Many Bay Area congregations and communities are offering remote worship, learning and/or other activities. Visit j. The Jewish News of Northern California's Resource Guide to find the website of your favorite shul, synagogue, temple, or havurah.
       
    • California Pop-Up Virtual Camp: Join our California Jewish overnight camps for some free online fun! Starting Monday, March 16, many of our California overnight camps are volunteering to provide families and kids some much-needed fun and distraction. Join us for a taste of camp and enjoy everything from science experiments to cooking to Israeli dancing. Visit the CA Jewish Overnight Camps Facebook page throughout next week from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm PST to check out various live-streamed content. Please note, there will always be a break from 12:30 - 1:30 pm and not all scheduling blocks may be filled.
       
    • Hillel@Home: Hillel has virtual meet-ups and online gatherings that bring you together with Jewish and Jew-ish students from around the world in real-time.
       
    • IAC @Home: The Israeli-American Council brings you the most innovative content online while continuing to build a national community with Israel at heart. With activities for kids, teens, young professionals, and adults, you can stay connected to Hebrew, Israeli, and Jewish heritage, online activism, and to one another.

    • Holocaust education: The JFCS Holocaust Center is providing educational programming online to meet community needs.

    • JCCSF Online Hebrew classes: While we shelter in place, beloved JCCSF Hebrew teacher Yael Ronen will be teaching live classes online. Choose from one of four levels of mastery in day or evening language courses taught by a native speaker who provides an engaging and supportive environment.

    Passover

    • Statement from the Northern California Board of Rabbis regarding Passover
       
    • Passover resources from the Northern California Board of Rabbis: Information about remote worship, Seders, learning, and other activities hosted by shuls, synagogues, congregations, temples, and other Jewish venues throughout Northern California.
       
    • Seder in a Box: Chabad of SF is offering a "Seder in a Box" with everything you need to have your own seder at home. The box comes with Passover essentials and contains handmade Shmurah matzah, a Seder plate complete with all the items, English/Hebrew Haggadah, grape juice or wine, and a Seder meal (Spanish Eggplant, Moroccan Carrots, Beet Salad, Gefilte fish, Roasted Potatoes, Grilled Veggies, and Roasted 1/4 Chicken). Orders must be received by April 3.
       
    • Webinar on How to Host a Virtual Seder: A Virtual Seder will look a little different than an in-person Seder, and 2 for Seder is here to help bring us together. Learn how to direct a fun virtual Seder, use technology effectively from multiple locations, make your virtual Seder engaging for all age groups, and locate online Seder tools and extras. Join one of three sessions – March 30 at 4:00 pm, March 31 at 10:00 am, or March 31 at 4:00 pm.
       
    • "How to Host a Virtual Seder" – Hey Alma: A comprehensive guide for hosting a collaborative, meaningful seder — even when the guests are physically far away.
       
    • Passover@Home: Sheltering-in-place doesn't mean we can't celebrate Passover as an SF Hillel community. Here are some ideas we pulled together so you can engage with the holiday from home.

    Health

    News

    Resources

    We encourage you to visit JewishTogether.org, a hub of virtual community and informative resources, powered by The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

    CARES Act

    On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history. The CARES Act includes more than $2 trillion to help individuals and businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes a provision for $350 billion in Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. 501(c)(3) nonprofits with less than 500 employees are eligible for these loans. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, these loans are intended to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn.

    To ensure that our communal institutions will be able to access these funds, we encourage you to consider applying and to take steps now to prepare for that.

    For more information:

    Webinars

    CDC Info

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has periodic updates on COVID-19 and helpful guidance. The CDC’s advice on prevention focuses on hygiene, especially handwashing, and limiting contact with others if you are sick.

    We also recommend the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy’s toolkit, Doing Business During an Influenza Pandemic, which includes extensive guidance on policies, protocols, human resources, and employee protection.

    The Federation's operations will shift to best protect our employees and the community.

    • Starting Monday, March 16, most of our employees will work remotely and will continue to be available by phone and email during normal business hours of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
    • Our offices are closed, with a few people working a reduced schedule at our 121 Steuart Street location in order to carry out some key operations.
    • Planned events over the next few months are canceled, and meetings will be conducted virtually.
    • Look for announcements coming next week regarding additional operational changes.

    Security and resilience of the Jewish community continues to be one of our key strategic priorities.

    We know that each of our agency and synagogue partners is focused on these priorities for their organizations and communities and we have great respect for the manner in which they are addressing this challenge. Some key activities that took place this past week included:

    • Convening a teleconference of almost 100 local Jewish organizations to provide real-time updates, exchange ideas and information, and assess specific needs and threats likely to arise in the weeks ahead. We will continue to host these webinars on a regular basis as the situation evolves.
    • Sharing a contingency plan for the Federation’s response to COVID-19 that is easily transferable to any organization.
    • Convening with local foundations to discuss urgent and emerging funding needs in the community and how we can work together to address them.

    We will update with more information on operational changes, ways in which we are supporting the community, and opportunities to help as the situation evolves.