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Updated March 25, 2020

How You Support Our Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Without your generosity through the Annual Campaign, our Federation would not be in a position to respond to today’s crisis. But we can. As the saying goes, we were there on 9/11 because we were there on 9/10. The Federation is organizing the community response and convening our agencies, schools and congregations to keep them running and providing essential support.

The coronavirus crisis has produced six areas of immediate need:


  1. Groceries, meals, and essential supplies 
  2. Jobs
  3. Counseling
  4. Care for our most vulnerable
  5. Helping people avoid isolation and stay connected
  6. Crisis management

Here’s how you, as a donor, have helped so far:

1. Helping People Get Groceries, Meals, and Essential Supplies


  • Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry is still fully operational. They have modified their pick-up so clients receive pre-bagged groceries and supplies, while making sure their staff are maintaining safety protocols.

  • With Passover approaching, Jewish Family Service ramped up efforts to provide approximately 650 kosher Passover meals to food-insecure individuals and families.

  • With the help of our staff and other community professionals, the Mayerson JCC prepared and delivered 5,000 meals to local homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels. That’s a 14-day, shelf-stable supply for every person. Read a beautiful first-person story about this.

  • The Mayerson JCC is also continuing Meals on Wheels deliveries as long as they are allowed to do so, and fielding calls from older adults who are having difficulties or have questions. 

2. Helping with Job Support 


  • JVS Career Services is working diligently through video chat or phone conference calls to deliver critical support services for job-seekers. These services are currently free of charge to those experiencing financial hardship. In the coming weeks, they will launch a series of free live webinars covering all types of job and career topics along with helpful career-building resources. 

3. Helping Through Counseling


  • Jewish Family Service is continuing to provide counseling to all its clients, primarily over the phone or through video conferencing. 

4. Helping By Caring For Our Most Vulnerable


  • Jewish Family Service is checking on Cincinnati’s Holocaust survivors and Russian-speaking seniors, and meeting their needs—whether buying groceries, rescheduling medical appointments, or connecting them virtually with family members. Read Fox19's story on this crucial service.

  • The Mayerson JCC’s team has done an “above and beyond” deep cleaning of every surface at the J, so that when people return, it will be a safe space for all of us.

5. Helping Lessen Isolation and Staying Connected


  • To keep our Russian Speaking older adults more connected, Jewish Family Service Russian Jewish Cultural Center is offering participants English classes online, starting Monday, 3/30.

  • The Mayerson JCC overnight has developed an entirely new program of at-home resources: 

Jump into live-streaming workouts in the J Cincy Fitness Community group; and check out arts and culture and foster community connections here.

See familiar faces with live-streamed classes, PJ Library stories, and more in our J Cincy Families group.

The entire list is being continually updated here​.


  • The Federation created and is maintaining digital resources to keep us all connected:

COVID-19 Resource Hub: a source for daily updates from trusted sources, including how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus. 

Virtual Community Event Calendar: While we can’t gather in person right now, here are creative opportunities to connect virtually with others in Jewish Cincinnati as well as ideas for families.

Please send us Your Ideas to Connect: Share your creative ideas for how we can stay connected and support each other.

6. Helping with Crisis Management


  • Federation is helping our agencies, schools and congregations continue operations, so they can help thousands of community members. This includes:


​​The Federation has accelerated our next funding allocation to community agencies, including to Jewish Family Service, the Mayerson JCC, and JVS Career Services, so they can continue to serve the most vulnerable among us. 

Our Shared Business Service professionals are supporting over 20 agencies, congregations, and schools, which are providing essential services while operating remotely and despite fast-changing financial realities. 

We are providing a communications backbone for the community – convening our agency and organizational professionals and rabbis every week by video call to understand everything from how to secure government relief funding to how to do funerals safely during the crisis.

Seeking financial relief for our Jewish nonprofits, in collaboration with our national umbrella organization, our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and Shared Business Services.

Our JCRC has been doing government advocacy, coordinating hourly with Jewish community government affairs specialists in Columbus and Washington, DC. They have spoken directly to Governor DeWine and US Senators Portman and Brown to ensure that state and federal relief includes support for our community and its essential services.