Dear YULA Family,

We know that the last few weeks have been exhausting and challenging on many levels. In a community blessed with so many Jewish institutions, it has been painful that shuls and schools have made the unprecedented decision to close our doors for an extended period of time. When we need the support of our religious institutions most, we know that it is safer for those exact institutions to be closed. In the face of that, it is uplifting to know that our shuls and schools have shown that we are resilient and creative when it comes to taking care of those in need.

Paradoxically, this is a time in which people will both need their various micro-communities even more than their macro ones. This has resulted in different shuls and schools doing what is best for their respective communities at different times. We also know that there are times when different groups need to link together to send out a unified message.

Among many other efforts underway across institutions and communities, we thought it might be meaningful for an even wider group of Shuls and schools, who individually have already undertaken efforts to help the elderly and home-bound in their own communities, to come together as a unified group to share a few critical messages:

  • Making sure that the vulnerable elderly who would benefit from regular check-in calls and who need support to access food and medicine are a kiyum (fulfillment) of the Jewish imperative of pikuach nefesh (saving lives)

  • Monies donated to this purpose are strongly encouraged and fall under the biblical commandment to give tzedakah.

  • Anyone delivering packages or supplies to the elderly must make sure they are under the strict direction and guidance of a healthcare professional. When possible, packages should be left by the door and visits should be done virtually.

  • Here is a link to a spreadsheet of organizations (schools, shuls, etc) who are providing help and assistance to the elderly and homebound. If you want to add to the spreadsheet, please email kavodforeldersLA@gmail.com. We strongly encourage you to visit the spreadsheet and support these efforts as generously as possible. We know the stock market is down, people are worried about parnasa (livelihood) and the future is unknown. We are not minimizing those concerns. But if you are fortunate enough to have more than enough resources, please do as much as you can to make sure the elderly are cared for during this time.

  • It is critical for the chinuch (education) of our children that we include them in these efforts – let them see you writing a check, making a donation, using Facetime to check on someone. The Jewish notion of kavod for our elders is something we all share.

  • Share what you are doing to support the elderly with others. This may help inspire others to do more as well.
Sincerely,

Kalman Topp - Beth Jacob Congregation 
Yosef Kanefsky - B'nai David-Judea 
Mark Shpall - deToledo High School
Mordechai Shifman - Emek Hebrew Academy
Boruch Sufrin - Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy
Sharon Braus - IKAR
Jason Weiner - Knesset Israel Synagogue and Cedars-Sinai Spiritual Care Department
Sarah Shulkind - Milken Community Schools
Yonah Bookstein - The Pico Shul
Erica Rothblum - Pressman Academy
Ari Segal - Shalhevet
David Wolpe - Sinai Temple
Adam Kligfeld - Temple Beth Am
Elazar Muskin - Young Israel of Century City
Pini Dunner - Young Israel of North Beverly Hills
Joshua Spodek - YULA Girls High School
List of Kosher Restaurants' Safety Precautions
Put Together by YINBH Staff
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