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Jewish Child and Family Service plans to safely delivery over 130 Passover hampers

posted March 28, 2020

[Editor's note: This is an excerpt from a message sent out by the Executive Director of Jewish Child and Family Service, Al Benarroch on March 27, 2020]

COVID-19 has slammed the brakes on so many aspects of our lives.  For those infected and not infected alike, it has impacted our essence of what it means to be social beings.  We‘ve been forced to radically adapt so many aspects our day to day social lives, and how we connect Jewishly to each other.  Face-to-face Jewish communal life has essentially been put on hold. 

To many this may seem as an inconvenience, but to others, their very lifeline has been closed off.  The most vulnerable and isolated in our community are even more deeply affected.  Their increased physical and social isolation is impacting them in deep and challenging ways.  At this time we have to rise to the challenge to assist our isolated seniors, those living with mental health differences, children and families experiencing stress at home, those at higher risk due to compromised health, and others.  

Rest assured JCFS remains here to help through COVID-19.  We’ve adapted our practises, which may look and feel different, but we are here to help.  While we are not providing face-to-face appointments, visits, meetings, groups, or workshops during this time, we remain accessible and available to respond to community needs.  In this amazing age of technology, JCFS remains connected.  Our staff are working remotely, making countless phone or video calls to clients with regular check-ins, assessing and responding to needs.  Our phone lines and email channels remain open to address new concerns.  Our counselling services continue to operate through Zoom, FaceTime, or other video conferencing platforms.  We continue to be able to provide no-contact-deliveries of essential items when necessary, and still plan to safely delivery over 130 Passover hampers. 

This all will eventually pass and our staff are here to assist through this storm.  If we can learn anything from this week’s Torah portion and those seemingly irrelevant sacrificial process, it’s the importance of the strength of community and the sacrifices we make which make us stronger.  It teaches the importance of faith and the role our traditions play in making us a strong people.  The destruction of the Temple which put an end to the practise of sacrifices teaches us an even greater lesson - that we are resilient and have the power as a community to persevere and adapt. 

Our community needs JCFS to adapt, and we have.  We will keep people connected and will continue to meet community needs.  You can also help by making a difference in someone’s life by volunteering to call a senior or someone that is alone and shut-in.  Those calls can be a lifeline. 

If you would like to participate in volunteer phoning to a senior or isolated person, please contact Einat Paz, JCFS Coordinator of Volunteer Services at [email protected] or Sam Slutchuk, Administrative Associate at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg at [email protected].

Together we can are a stronger, connected community!

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Connected!!

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.