The Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York (JFNENY) has raised and will allocate $216,000 to provide local residents with support during the ongoing  COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign included $102,000 in matching funds from an anonymous local donor and the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA).

Financial, Counseling, Occupational Therapy
“The pandemic has certainly heightened the needs of our community and the local human service agencies that provide services to those who are most in need. The increased demands for food security, trauma care, job support and creative programming have never been more apparent,” said Rob Kovach, president and CEO of JFNENY. “We’re very grateful to those in our community who donated to this fund to help people in our community overcome the challenges that the pandemic has magnified.”

Monies raised from this campaign will go to local Jewish human service agencies that offer diverse services in the community. Jewish Family Services will use the funds to support a variety of programs from financial assistance to counseling to occupational therapy. Shalom Food Pantry will provide food and meals to those unable to leave their homes. The funds will help Delmar Chabad provide loans to those in need. The Hebrew Academy of the Capital District and Maimonides Hebrew Day School will use funds to enhance remote learning and in-person safety for students. The Albany and Schenectady Jewish Community Centers will provide additional remote activities and safe in-person programs. Daughters of Sarah Senior Community will have access to additional PPE and COVID testing for its residents. The Federation partially funded the ongoing home delivered meals program in partnership with Jewish Family Services with its share of the funds.

“Jewish Family Services is grateful to our community for its response to this first-of-its-kind effort to recognize and support the critical human services and programs that we have been offering to those impacted by the pandemic,” said Jane Berger Ginsburg, president and CEO of Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York. “With the continued partnership of Jewish Federation and the increased contributions made by our donors, JFS will expand efforts to address food insecurity, financial instability and mental wellness through our expert staff and volunteers.”

Food Services
“When the pandemic hit, the food pantry was inundated with additional requests for assistance to the point that we are now servicing four times the number of individuals we previously were,” said Chanie Simon of Shalom Food Pantry. “With this funding from the Jewish Federation, we now have the ability to expand by purchasing a large cargo van to meet the additional need, continue providing quality nutritious food and, most importantly, ensure that each and every person knows that we are here for them during this trying time.”

“These are difficult and painful times for many of us in this region. Our community has risen to the occasion to help make a difference for thousands of families who may be suffering because of the pandemic. Creating this fund and allocating such a significant amount of money will make a real difference,” said Kovach.