Sunday, March 29, 2020
Birmingham Jewish Federation
COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

The importance of a strong and vibrant Jewish community has never been clearer than it is today. The Birmingham Jewish Federation, in collaboration with Collat Jewish Family Services, Levite Jewish Community Center, N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, and all area synagogues, are proud to play a role in safeguarding the most vulnerable among us, and to help coordinate and communicate the efforts of our community partners.

We are all working together to understand the immediate and short-term needs of members of our Jewish community and the greater community most impacted by the situation surrounding COVID-19. This may include emergency financial support for housing and utilities, medicine, food assistance/delivery, and social work/counseling services.

In response to the current crisis, we have created the Birmingham Jewish Federation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support our agency partners, Israel and the broader Birmingham Community. While this effort must not replace our annual campaign, there is an immediate need for these funds, which we hope will be above and beyond your generous annual commitment. 100% of all contributions will directly support those impacted by the pandemic, and/or programs providing critical community services.

A singalong video and songbook, developed by Greg Womble and Lise Grace for families affected by dementia, is among the resources posted to a new CJFS blog, “Distancing Together.” The blog provides guidance and ideas for coping with the coronavirus crisis. 
CJFS Offers Free Counseling, New Blog, to Address Emotional Effects of Pandemic
To help individuals and families cope with the stresses of this crisis, Collat Jewish Family Services is responding in a number of ways, including:

- The CJFS clinical team is providing supportive counseling at no charge via telephone. Reach a CJFS counselor by calling 205.879.3438.

- CJFS has launched a special blog, “Distancing Together,” to provide resources and guidance for individuals and families. Here are links to a few examples:
o   How to Manage Your Emotions During the Crisis , a column by CJFS Social worker Gail Schuster.
o   CARES Singalong Video and Songbook – an active, uplifting activity for social distancing with a loved one who has dementia.
o   Caregiving During the Pandemic , a helpful and supportive post by Pam Leonard, Program Director of the CJFS CARES respite program.
This list includes the leaders of the largest nonprofits and charitable trusts in the region, based on our most recent lists, as well as other individuals who were selected based on nominations received at bbj.com .
Two members of Jewish community selected to BBJ Who's Who in Nonprofits for 2020
Two of our Birmingham Jewish community’s Agency Directors have been selected as part of the 2020 Birmingham Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Nonprofits.
 
Please help us congratulate longtime Birmingham Jewish Foundation Executive Director, Sally Friedman, and new Birmingham Jewish Federation CEO, Danny Cohn. Our Jewish community is so fortunate to have these two outstanding professionals. They are both inspiring leaders in our community, and we are proud of their accomplishments and leadership.



LJCC staff and volunteers put together sack lunches for families who rely on school lunch programs in the Birmingham area.
LJCC Helps Feed Community
The LJCC is providing food for families who rely on school lunch programs and do not have access to that resource right now. Operation Cares Kitchen is open and we are hoping to provide this service as long as the crisis continues. We are asking no questions and will be providing food every Monday-Friday from 11 am - 1 pm.

The LJCC is also collecting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE, including face masks or N95s) for local hospitals who are running desperately low. A box is located outside of the LJCC main entrance for collection. 

If you would like to donate food or give financially to help with lunches, please contact Dan Tourtellotte .
Kids of essential worker families enjoying “camp” at the LJCC as part of its Operation Cares effort.
LJCC Helps with Emergency Childcare to Essential Workers
"The LJCC is responding to an urgent need to support our community during this uncertain time surrounding the spread of COVID-19. As I write this, we are continuing to work tirelessly to turn our facility into "camp" and provide emergency childcare to essential workers. We are calling this effort Operation Cares: Camp for Essential Worker Families. We are lifting the burden of childcare from those who are caring for our community at one of the most critical times in our recent history."

- Samantha Dubrinsky

If you are in the “essential worker” field and in need of emergency childcare, please contact Tina Weldon .
Don’t miss your chance to view this moving event from the comfort of your own home while we are practicing social distancing.
Dreams of Hope Streaming on the Web
Dreams of Hope  is now available for viewing online. Feel free to share the link with others and to help continue telling this story! Click the image below to watch. #dreamsofhopebham
Community Events & Announcements

In case you missed the BJF's conversation with Dr. Michael Saag, click here to watch .

5 Tips to Get Through the Coronavirus Quarantine
Natan Sharansky was born in the Soviet Union and at the age of 20 he was arrested for Zionist activity. He spent 9 years in prison, half of it in solitary confinement, and 405 days in a punishment cell. Because he had the first-hand experience of spending time in solitary confinement, he offers this video with five tips to get through the quarantine. Watch video

Virtual Torah Study with Rabbi Yossi Friedman
Just as the body needs nourishment to be healthy, so too does the soul. Nourish your soul with Virtual Torah Study with Rabbi Yossi Friedman from his Facebook page . For a full schedule of daily classes please click here

Pesach Seder-To-Go Boxes and Matzah Available
Pesach is coming! Let Chabad of Alabama help you celebrate Pesach under quarantine! All items are available for curbside pickup only during specific times! Please look at details when you order! Order Seder-To-Go boxes here with Shmurah Matzah, a loaded Seder plate, Haggadah, and choice of wine or grape juice! Order your Shmurah Matzah here ! Let us cater your Seder! Find the catering menu here . Sell your Chametz here !

Science & Torah Book Club
Sunday, March 29 at 2:30 pm using Zoom Video Conferencing, hosted by Knesseth Israel Congregation. Using Rabbi Natan Slifkin's book, The Challenge of Creation , we will explore and discuss the fascinating topic of connecting Torah and Science. Topics to be covered include Evolution, Dinosaurs and the Age of the Universe. Click on the link to join the Meeting:  Join Science & Torah Book Club Meeting.

Coping During the Coronavirus Crisis
Tuesday, March 31 at 7 pm using Zoom Video Conferencing. Hosted by the Birmingham Jewish Federation, CJFS Social Workers Cynthia Bryant, LICSW, and Gail Schuster, LICSW, will lead an interactive discussion via zoom on “Coping During the Coronavirus Crisis”. The discussion will focus on issues children and adults may face during this stressful time, as well as offering coping strategies. A Q&A session will follow. To sign up, please email florinan@bjf.org  - or watch a recording of the session later on the BJF Facebook and YouTube pages.

LJCC Debuts New Membership Approach
The Levite Jewish Community Center is excited to introduce a new approach to membership that is more flexible than ever! The J has options to fit your lifestyle and, best of all, your budget. If you have any questions about our new approach to membership, please reach out to our Membership Department . Our goal in this transition is to provide you with a great customer service experience at the J, so please do not let your questions go unanswered! We'll see you at the J!

POSTPONED: Collat Jewish Family Services “Hands Up Together”
CJFS' "Hands Up Together" event honoring Marjorie Perlman has been postponed from Thursday, April 2. The annual event helps fund CJFS programs that provide care and support for older adults regardless of faith or financial ability.
Support our Local Agencies and Synagogues with Amazon Smile
Amazon Smile, a website operated by Amazon lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Please visit: smile.amazon.com If you have an existing Amazon.com account, you use the same account on AmazonSmile. All of our Birmingham agencies and synagogues are listed on Amazon Smile and you may choose one of them as the beneficiary of your purchases.