Tomorrow night, Jews around the world begin observing Passover. While Passover commemorates liberation, many of us will be celebrating from what feels a bit like confinement -- social distancing in our separate homes to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Nothing replaces in-person togetherness, but your friends at Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey want you to know we are here to connect you with your caring community during this time. Please see our list of synagogue links at jewishlifeonline.org for congregations conducting virtual seders and providing other types of Passover resources.
In turn, we are heartened at your outpouring of support -- asking how you can help Federation help the community! You know we're the place the community turns to at a time like this. I am confdent that working together, extending compassion for each other, and by demonstrating our collective spirit of generosity, our Jewish community will emerge from this difficult time stronger, sweeter, and more supportive than before.
In the last two weeks, Federation has:
- Built an online destination for Coronavirus-related updates and resources connecting people to services, expertise, tips for thriving through quarantine, and Jewish life online (see jewishlifeonline.org or jewishheartnj.org/coronavirus)
- Facilitated security grant applications and consulted on cyber-security practices with dozens of organizations across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties
- Convened organizations and individuals across our area to launch a community-wide COVID Relief Fund for first responders and the most vulnerable people in our community who are hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic
- Hosted public webinars on Coping with COVID Stress (Part 3 takes place Monday, April 13 at 7PM) and medical safety precautions (register here);
- Convened social service agencies, day schools, the Rabbinic Association in the Heart of NJ and community rabbis to share resources, informaiton, and support
- Gathered PJ Library families for fun, learning, and Passover celebrations to keep spirits high and families connected
- Updated and assisted non-profits on the Small Business Administration Loan Application, establishing a small local group to vet questions, so these organizations can continue to employ people of every religion, race, and ethnicity
- Connected non-profits with law enforcement and best practices to respond to and protect against the newest form of hate crime -- Zoombombing.
Following Passover, we will once again come together -- virtually -- to share all the meaning of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust remembrance), Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day), and Yom Haatzmaot (Israeli Independence Day).
Watch our Facebook page (facebook.com/jewishheartnj) and your email for all the details.
Friends, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, please stay in touch. If you or someone you know is in need or you have any suggestions for ways we can be helpful at this time, please let us know.
Wishing you a meaningful, healthy, and sweet Passover.
Susan Antman, Executive Director