We just got word of two more local virtual services we wanted to share, from Beth Or and Beth Ahm Shalom. They are now added to the list of local virtual activities.

I also wanted to share two heartwarming videos with you. One of people on the streets in Israel applauding health workers. And another of a trumpeter serenading those self-quarantined at home in Italy. Imagine...how nice it will be when we get through this together.

Shabbat Shalom.


Greetings and salutations! Shalom!


It seems clear that social distancing is the new normal. However, we are social creatures and we can adapt – thanks to technology, there are ways to connect with others and experience some great Jewish presentations and performances. Our aim with this guide is to give you your “cheat sheet” of some of the best opportunities out there.

And there are some great ways to connect this Shabbat and weekend with local rabbis, great performances, and interesting classes. See our listing below – which will also be reflected on our web site: www.jewishoceancounty.org

We hope this is useful – enjoy! And Shabbat Shalom!

Keith and the Federation and JFCS Team
PSA #1:

First, though, we wish to start with a PSA. It is very easy to become anxious and get stressed with all that is going on. The Director of our Jewish Family & Childrens’ Services program, Rita Sason, has a few pieces of advice for you.

-           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, scheduling specific times to take advantage of some of the opportunities below, making appointments with friends and family by phone or facetime to talk.
-           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. 

Also, keep in mind that should you or others be dealing with chronic anxiety or other issues, there are resources to help. Contact Rita at JFCS@ocjf.org to set up a virtual or remote consultation or counseling session.

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. 


Good reads and perspectives

A special message from the President of Israel during the Corona Crisis:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=836835740152028

Jewish livestream: The best of performance, talks, presentations….

  •  A live Kabbalat Shabbat with David Broza and the Israeli American Council. Today at 5:30 pm Eastern: https://www.facebook.com/israeliamericancouncil

  •  Musician Idan Raichel will perform from his living room this Sunday night, March 22, at 4 p.m. ET (Courtesy Jewish Agency for Israel). Visit www.facebook.com/jewishagency to sign up for a reminder and the link!

  •  Rabbi Michael Jay and the JCC of LBI are offering daily Torah study at 11 am. You can join virtually via ZOOM (if you don’t know what that is, see below). 
Meeting ID: 212 012 424, Password: 755739
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,212012424# US

  •  Rabbi Gershon and Congregation Bnai Israel are offering a whole array of opportunities to pray and learn together, separately. Here is the whole list: 
  •  Morning Minyan will be at 7:45AM, Monday and Thursday via Zoom. Click here to access Minyan.
  •  Morning Minyan on Sunday at 9AM will also be provided via Zoom. Click here to access Minyan on Sunday. 
  • Rosh Chodesh services and/or other religious services will be scheduled and links provided at a later date.
  • Friday night services will be from 6PM to approximately 6:45PM via Zoom. Click here to access services. 
  • Shabbat, Saturday morning services will begin at 9:30AM to approximately 11:30AM via Zoom. Click here to access services.

  • Temple Beth Or is offering services on Zoom Monday through Thursday for weekdays; Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat all at 6:30PM
join Zoom Meeting at: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/879644908
Meeting ID: 879 644 908

Virtual tour of Israel
Did you know there is the Israel National Trail, stretching from the Golan to the Negev? Wouldn’t that be fun to hike? Well, now you can get a taste of this trail from the comfort of your home! Check out these videos that are the next best thing to hiking the trail yourself:  https://www.israeltrail.net/videos

There is so much variety in Israeli society and daily life. You can get an insider’s view through IsraelStory, one of the BEST podcasts about life in Israel. You can access this through the podcast app on your smartphone or directly through their website. It’s worth it: https://israelstory.org/

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is offering an array of virtual tours of its current and past exhibits. This is an AMAZING museum, and if you have not had the chance to visit…now’s your chance to check it out:  https://www.imj.org.il/en/
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 federation@ocjf.org 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



Keith Krivitzky, Managing Director
The Jewish Federation of Ocean County