Milwaukee Jewish Federation >> Jewish Community COVID-19 Resources
Since 1902 the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has been here to care for the needs of the Jewish people — from the everyday to the extraordinary. And today, we find ourselves living in extraordinary times. As the COVID-19 pandemic expands, so do our community’s needs for connection and support. We know you are uncertain about the challenges we’re facing. We share your concerns and are here to help. We want to connect you, your friends, and your loved ones with important resources.
How can I get help?
J-Help offers crisis funding for individuals who need assistance with rent/mortgage, food, transportation, clothing, utilities (phone/internet), and other emergent needs. Call Jewish Family Services at 414-390-5800 for more information.
Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association (MJFLA) offers confidential, interest-free loans to people who find themselves in a time of financial need, for any purpose. Call 414-961-1500 or visit MJFLA.org.
Jewish Family Services is helping families who are struggling to purchase essentials like food. Bags of groceries and other items are available for pick up at synagogues and other locations. The bags contain staples like peanut butter, oatmeal, canned vegetables, bar soap and toilet paper. (The items included in the box are subject to availability.) To learn more, including pick-up dates and locations, contact JFS at 414-390-5800.
The Chabad CAREs Kids Wellness Initiative is a program offering Kosher meals for all children across the state free of charge. This program is open to ALL families with children under 18. Sign your family up. In the first week of Chabad CAREs new Kids Wellness Initiative, over five tons of food and milk were delivered to Milwaukee-area families. If you have any questions, please contact Lubavitch of Wisconsin at CARES@chabadwi.org or 414-961-6100.
Jewish Family Services is open for business. They are available to meet the social service and mental health needs of all ages and stages of life. They are also able to meet the unique cultural needs of Jewish clients. Call JFS at 414-390-5800. Visit JFS’s website at JFSMilw.org.
The combination of social isolation and increased societal stress caused by coronavirus creates an increased risk for domestic violence for many of our friends and family members. SHOFAR is an initiative of Jewish Family Services and the Milwaukee Jewish Federation that focuses on meeting the unique needs of Jewish individuals and families who are dealing with domestic violence.
Are you or someone you know struggling with fear and isolation related to the COVID-19 crisis? Self-isolation to reduce risk of exposure and illness can cause intense feelings of anxiety and depression and can exacerbate prior experiences of loneliness and isolation. Jewish Family Services (JFS) seeks to help alleviate this loneliness and isolation with a Friendly Caller Program. Calling hours are Mon. – Thurs. 8:30 am – 5 pm; Fridays: 8:30 am – 2 pm. Get in touch with JFS to receive a call or have someone you know receive a call. Contact info: Call (414) 225-1374; Email; Text: 414-376-0711
MJF has put together a one-stop-shop list of funding resources (local funding, national funding, reopening toolkits and checklists) for small business that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Small Business Funding Resources Memo June 29th-July 24th.
Deciding when and how to reopen will vary based on the unique needs of each organizations and the people they serve. To help navigate the process, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has created a wealth of reopening resources curated for our Milwaukee Jewish organizations. Visit MilwaukeeJewish.org/Reopen.
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation recommends the following Zoom Setting methods for securing your meetings and webinars. Download the PDF Zoom protocol.
Does your organization have constituents who are struggling with fear and isolation related to the COVID-19 crisis? Self-isolation to reduce risk of exposure and illness can cause intense feelings of anxiety and depression and can exacerbate prior experiences of loneliness and isolation. Jewish Family Services (JFS) seeks to help alleviate this loneliness and isolation with a Friendly Caller Program. Calling hours are Mon. – Thurs. 8:30 am – 5 pm; Fridays: 8:30 am – 2 pm. Get in touch with JFS to receive a call or have someone you know receive a call. Contact info: Call (414) 225-1374; Email; Text: 414-376-0711
According to Wisconsin DHS as of Sunday, July 26 at 2 pm CT there are 18,140 confirmed cases and 427 deaths in Milwaukee County. 157,401 negative tests have been performed in Milwaukee County. There are 468 confirmed cases and 16 deaths in Ozaukee County, and 3,001 confirmed cases and 43 deaths in Waukesha county. Follow the most up to date local data and trends with the North Shore Health Department.
The following resources are curated by Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s staff in our commitment to our work of caring for the needs of the Jewish people. It is a selection of valuable resources from national Jewish organizations as well as local and secular organizations to help our community navigate through the impact of the coronavirus.
Jewish Federations of North America has created exceptional COVID-19 scenario planning tools to help Federations across North America plan for the future during time of great uncertainty. These tools are useful to organizations of all types, and we are pleased to share them here:
What can I do to help?
Continue to observe the guidelines of the CDC for how to keep yourself and your family healthy. More here.
The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle is sharing real-time information about the impact of the coronavirus in Milwaukee’s Jewish community.
If you would like to volunteer to make social phone calls to seniors and others who are feeling isolated, fill out this online form. You can contact Cait Schmidt at CaitS@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-390-5741 for more information.
As the center for Jewish philanthropy in Milwaukee, MJF is leading our Jewish community’s response to the coronavirus. We have launched a $2 million fundraising campaign called The Fund for Jewish MKE, a centralized source of support to benefit our whole local Jewish community.
Your donation to The Fund will offer critical help to our people – from caring for our elders to feeding the hungry. You’ll also give much-needed assistance to Jewish organizations that need our help now, and over the coming months, so our Jewish community comes out of the crisis as strong as ever. Give to The Fund.
How do I stay connected to Jewish life?
Many Jewish organizations are creating virtual opportunities to stay connected to Jewish life. These opportunities are developing quickly, so this is just a small collection of possibilities. We will add more to this webpage as they become available. If your organization has opportunities to share, please contact:
The Milwaukee Jewish Community Calendar is a tool for planning events and for keeping a pulse on what’s going on in Jewish Milwaukee. Although the programming has gone virtual, there is still a lot going on in the community. Check out the Community Calendar.
Check out #Summer5780, a summer resource site that lists tons of Jewish engagement opportunities for children, teenagers and young adults during summer 2020.
Find a complete listing and searchable directory to connect to Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform and unaffiliated synagogues in the Milwaukee area in our Guide to Jewish Wisconsin.
A Guide to Jewish Wisconsin, known as the “Jewish Yellow Pages,” is your connection to Jewish arts, culture, education, camping and religious life.
How to Reopen
Each day of the COVID-19 pandemic presents us with serious new issues to tackle. Now, as talks begin about reopening Milwaukee, it is simultaneously unthinkable to go back to “business as usual.” Determining how to resume or more fully open operations can be overwhelming.
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s internal task force, in planning our own reopening and strategizing how to assist the broader community, has had one guiding principle: the sanctity of life, Pikuach Nefesh. The safety of every human being is paramount and drives every decision. During these difficult times the Milwaukee Jewish Federation also has continually sought guidance from our mission: to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people, enhance the quality of Jewish life and build a strong, unified Jewish community, especially through the provision of our leadership and resources.
We are collecting resources from public health officials, the Secure Community Network and others to guide the reopening process.