Jewish Federation Response to CoronaVirus
In light of the challenges facing our community in Ocean County and the Jewish Community around the world, the Jewish Federation is pleased to share the following steps taken to help those in need and on the “front lines” at this time.
Jewish Family & Children’s Services has adjusted so that counseling and support groups are now taking place virtually. “JFCS is the centerpiece of how the Jewish Federation provides help and support to those in need in our community,” said Shelly Newman, Co-Chair of the Board of the Jewish Federation.
Those who are current clients, as well as those who are dealing with anxiety or relationship challenges during this time of self-isolation and too-close-quarters, can schedule appointments via video-chat or phone. Caregiver and bereavement support groups are also meeting via ZOOM. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact JFCS@ocjf.org or call 732-363-8010.
The Jewish Federation is also working diligently to ensure that our community remains connected and with productive ways to explore Jewish culture, education, and perspective at this time. Regular anti-Corona updates with links to myriad online opportunities are sent weekly, and the Jewish Journal is being published on schedule for a more tactile means of communication. To subscribe to either, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another key element of the Jewish Federation’s mission is philanthropy, and at its most recent meeting on March 31, the Board of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County approved 3 grants to help organizations dealing with the most vulnerable in our community, especially during the present situation.
$2,500 was awarded to Fulfill, the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, to help support those members of the Jewish and general communities that are seeking help with food resources. Those who need food assistance at this time should contact a local foodbank: www.fulfillnj.org
Said Carol Friedman, Co-Chair of the Board, “During crises, people tend to limit their scope and only think about what is going on in their backyard. Yet, the Coronavirus does not discriminate, and elderly and vulnerable populations are especially hard hit around the world. The Jewish community embodies the maxim that each Jew is responsible for one another.”
As a result, the Jewish Federation is making two additional $2,500 grants to two of the premier social service organizations in the Jewish world, who help poor and vulnerable Jews in Israel and elsewhere internationally, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Lastly, as a show of support, the Jewish Federation sponsored pizza deliveries to the 4 community hospitals in Ocean County before Passover. Shelly Newman added, “On behalf of the entire Jewish community, we are so appreciative for all that our nurses, doctors, and health care workers are doing to keep us safe.” Local area synagogues continued this program by adopting hospitals for more “thank you” efforts after the holiday.
Through philanthropy, encouraging meaningful connections, and convening our community, the Jewish Federation committed to addressing critical needs and caring for the most vulnerable in our midst. We thank those members of the Jewish community who have helped make this possible. For more information, visit www.jewishoceancounty.org
KEEP CALM AND STAY CONNECTED
Jewish Family and Childrens’ Services of Ocean County has been going virtual to best respond to needs during this time of Corona Virus. Those suffering from anxiety or in need of counseling can take advantage of video or phone sessions with a licensed social worker.
“Anxiety and other mental health issues can become magnified during this crisis, especially as people stay indoors in very close quarters – or alone,” said Rita Sason, Director of Jewish Family & Childrens’ Services. Rita offers these tips to stay calm and collected during stressful times:
- Don’t isolate yourself. In these days of self-distancing and staying at home, it is easy to feel alone and isolated. Because older adults can be more vulnerable to COVID-19, even close family are keeping their distance – out of the best of intentions.
o Remember there are people who care about you – just from afar.
o The phone (and facetime) work two-ways. Reach out first to family and friends. Go through your phone book and call friends and family you may not have been in touch with recently. Odds are, they will be thrilled to hear from you!
o Pick a book (such as from PJ Library) and read together with a grandchild…or a great-grandchild.
- Similarly: If you know someone stuck at home, reach out. Call. Send a text, an email, or try facetiming. Or go “old school” and send an actual card. You don’t know how much this will be appreciated. Children, grandchildren – Call your parents and grandparents. Repeat often.
- Stick to a schedule. If your calendar of events has been cancelled, make sure to create new opportunities each day – including getting up at a set time and getting dressed, and scheduling specific appointments throughout the day. Set times to speak with friends and family by phone or facetime to talk. Schedule – and stick to – a set time to go for a walk in your neighborhood. Enjoy the sunlight – just be sure to stay 6 feet away from others when doing so!
Focus on things that make you happy. This could be wearing clothes or jewelry that have positive associations, getting to those projects you’ve been putting off for a while (reading that book you bought, or doing a puzzle you set aside), or catching up with some good programs or series that caught your eye.
- STOP WATCHING THE NEWS. Seriously. If you wish to stay informed, set aside one or two times to watch or listen to the news in a specific time slot. But don’t watch or listen to the news all day, whether CNN, CNBC, or FOX. You are not going to miss anything, and you can catch up later. This, more than most other things, can lower your stress level.
The good news is that, today, there are many tools and technology innovations that can help everybody to stay connected to others and find ways to grow and have fun personally. If you haven’t done facetime or ZOOM before, or you haven’t set up your smart TV…now is the time to do so. And, if you don’t know where to start – that’s another great opportunity to connect with a grandchild that can help (over the phone, of course).
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react." Charles R Swindoll
“Don’t separate yourself from the community.” Hillel
Should you or others be dealing with chronic anxiety or other issues, there are resources to help. Contact Rita at JFCS@ocjf.org or 732-363-8101 to set up a virtual or remote consultation or counseling session.
Technology Primer: Not sure how to access all this stuff? Here is a quick listing of what you need to know and what you can/should get set up. If you need help, email us at email@example.com and we will have a volunteer reach out!
- In terms of equipment, to access these online offerings, you need a tablet, a computer with speakers (and ideally camera and microphone), or a smart phone. If you don’t happen to have any of these, you can buy a very cheap tablet to give you access to all these fun things.
- If you are using a laptop, tablet, or smart phone, you want a wireless network set up in your home. If you don’t already have that and have cable…you can ask your cable company how to do this. Bottom line – you want high speed access to the internet.
- When you have this set up, you can make video calls with friends and family. It’s easy! Your 3 best options are: Facebook, Skype, and Zoom.
- On facebook, you need to set up an account – which an be a lot of fun. And then you can make “facetime” calls with other friends and family on facebook.
Another option, which many groups are using to broadcast concerts and classes, is Zoom. Usually, there is a link in the invitation which you can just click on to gain access. But here is a tutorial to better help you set this up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ik5o6WptX0
COVID-19 SCAM ALERT
Be aware that there are several scams that have emerged in response to COVID-19, including people going door-to-door saying they represent the CDC. The New Jersey Department of Health did not say what the alleged CDC imposters were soliciting from residents, be it donations or personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned of scammers trying to take advantage of the crisis through email and donation scams.
The Secret Service this week warned of “phishing,” a widely-used scam where an email appears to be from a reputable company, with the goal of getting victims to hand over sensitive information like usernames and passwords.
In one case, victims received an email from a fake medical organization with attachments purporting to have important information about COVID-19. Another scam dupes victims into making donations to fake charitable causes.
BE AWARE. DON’T GIVE OUR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE YOU DON’T TRUST!