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How to Help During Coronavirus

Updated 8/6/2020

V. Today's Way to Help

  • From Racial Injustice to Community Change: Whether it’s protests in the streets or signs in apartment windows, calls for racial justice are everywhere. We are a multi-racial Jewish community dedicated to healing a fractured world.  But, in these turbulent times, what can we do beyond making a statement to make a meaningful difference? The answer is: quite a lot! In this highly participatory online workshop, we will explore historical and contemporary cases that will prepare us to join with our own communities and our neighbors. You will get a chance to reflect on your own experiences and leave with new tools that will enable you to take action and engage effectively with friends, colleagues and community leaders,
    Join one or more of these stand-alone, and connected, sessions, the first of which is August 7th.
    Presented by JOIN for Justice: The Jewish Organizing Institute and Network, with support from UJA Federation of New York.
    Session 1 - Friday, August 7th, 2-4pm est. Register here.
  • Shabbat Nachamu Cards For Atria Residents: Please help our neighbors at the Atria who haven't had guests or visitors for almost six months. Take some time during Tisha B'Av to spread some Ahavat Chinam // Free Love -- and write, paint, or draw a card to be delivered on Shabbat Nachamu.Drop off at bottom of HIR Driveway through July 31st, Friday afternoon. 
  • Fast for Feast: Please join us this Tisha Bav, not just by fasting, but following the advice of the Prophet Isaiah and many great rabbis by calculating the approximate sum of money you saved by abstaining from food, and donating it to Fast for Feast for hunger relief.
    With the funds split between BJCC and Leket Israel, your fast will transform into a feast for our brothers and sisters in Israel, and support the Bronx Jewish Community Council's hunger relief work right here in our community. Click here to Donate 
  • NYS COVID Rent Relief Application Deadline is tomorrow July 30th!  Please share with someone in need: The application period for the NYS COVID Rent Relief Program closes this Thursday, July 30th, 2020. New York State renters can apply online in English here. Applications and supplemental forms are also available for download in English and other languages. An Authorized Representative Release Form is available, and can be found in additional languages here.

This program is designed to provide assistance to low-income households experiencing an increased rent burden due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a one-time payment to cover the difference between a household’s rent burden on March 1st, 2020 and the increase in rent burden during the months for which the household is applying for assistance (up to four months, from April through July 2020).

  • Volunteers Need @ the Census Week of Action: Please consider signing up to participate in the "Census Week of Action", taking place Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1. To ensure a complete and accurate count of our communities, we are offering people to sign up for activities such as phonebanking (on any day between Mon-Fri), peer-to-peer texting (on Fri only), and "Friends and Family" outreach (on any day between Mon-Fri). To sign up click here.
  • Day in the Life at POTS on Thursday, August 6th at 5pm: We invite you to join us for a free virtual gathering that will provide an inside look into A Day in the Life at POTS. Meet POTS staff members working to ensure that New Yorkers in poverty continue to have access to food, housing, supplies, benefits and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can click here to register.
  • Support Excluded Workers: The Bayit's Social Action Committee focused last year on immigration and is currently focused on addressing the most urgent needs of health, hunger and housing instability in our greater Bronx neighbourhood. The presentation by the leadership of POTS last week heightened our awareness of the way in which the pandemic has increased these dire issues in our borough.
    These injustices converge around the welfare of workers, in particular underdocumented workers, in this pandemic time. Nearly on in six New York City jobs lost due to the pandemic was held by an undocumented worker. However, despite contributing to NY's tax base, these workers and families have been excluded from stimulus checks, the unemployment insurance system, or pandemic unemployment assistance. To understand these issues and learn more about advocating for the New York State Fund to support excluded workers and their families, join a briefing through the Manhattan JCC with Ruth Messinger and others today at 2pm. Register here.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: POTS (Part of the Solution) could not possibly accomplish all it does without the time, talent, and labor of thoughtful and caring volunteers. POTS is grateful to the many hundreds of people who become part of the solution every year. Due to the rapidly developing situation, specific opportunities and possibilities for volunteering at POTS are likewise changing. Please get in touch with their Volunteer Coordinator, Stephanie Caban at scaban@potsbronx.org to find out how you can help.

Become a POTS Ambassador: POTS is only as strong as its community. Boost POTS Awareness by letting someone who needs help or who would like to give help know about POTS, and by sharing POTS’ social media posts with family, friends, and the groups you belong to. To become a POTS Ambassador email acollard@potsbronx.org ​​​​​​.

  • Looking for Spanish & English speaking Social Worker: If you are, or know of, a social worker who speaks Spanish and English who can help some immigrant Bronx families in crisis due to COVID-19 get connected with social services and resources, please contact Rav Steven - ravsteven@thebayit.org.
  • Learn more about Bronx hunger and homelessness with POTS this Wednesday night! BRONX LIVES MATTER: FIGHTING HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS IN OUR BOROUGH

Wednesday • 8:00PM • zoom.us/j/61316133702

Please join Rav Ezra & The Bayit Social Action Committee as they host a community meeting with a presentation from Christina Hanson and Dan Rostan from Part Of The Solution (POTS). POTS is a social service organization with many connections to the Bayit community, located near Mosholu Parkway and Botanical Garden. Learn about what it’s like to live today in the neighborhood where the Hebrew Institute was founded, University Heights. Food insecurity, homelessness, and challenges accessing healthcare and legal services make everyday life difficult. Learn concrete ways to get involved and partner with our broader Bronx community. This presentation is the first step in a long-term commitment by the Bayit to encourage every member to invest in POTS and our neighbors. More to come!

  • Blood Drive at Manhattan College - Thursday July 9: Make an appointment, online, here. The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) is closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and continues to carry out our lifesaving mission in our communities.  To ensure we are prepared to support health agencies in our communities and across the country, NYBCe strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma.  DONORS PRESENTING:
    Must wear a mask or face covering
    Will have their temperature taken
    Must be 14 days symptom free if recovered from COVID-19
    May NOT donate if they have a positive diagnostic test or experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
    May NOT donate if they are currently on self-quarantine restrictions 
  • Join POTS: As part of its outreach to our neighbors in the Bronx who are coping with food insecurity, the Bayit Social Action Committee recommends that we all demonstrate our support by joining with a local Bronx organization: POTS (PART of the Solution). POTS serves some of the most vulnerable of our Bronx neighbors, and each day the COVID-19 crisis continues, the problems they already face are magnified. Already familiar to many Bayit members, POTS has been operating since 1982 and its services beyond food pantries include homeless prevention programs, transitional residence programs, clothing programs, case management services and a legal clinic.  
    Click here for ways that Bayit members can become engaged with this important agency - by volunteering your services or by donating money which is desperately needed and will be used to support their services.
    You can donate through the link above or by check to POTS / 2759 Webster Ave, The Bronx, NY 10458. You can also volunteer: from helping with their soup kitchen to doing deliveries to volunteering professional help in their many skilled support areas, POTS relies on your contributions of time, effort, and skills.
    Stay tuned for more information about The Bayit's upcoming work with POTS. 
  • New York Cares Volunteers: New York Cares is currently:
    • Running on-the-ground volunteer programs that focus on urgent needs, like providing meals for food-insecure and homebound New Yorkers.
    • Shifting existing programs from in-person to online and adding new virtual volunteering opportunities.  Some of our latest projects include virtual yoga and Judo for elementary school students, a virtual fitness dance party with students and families, virtual SAT tutoring, phone banking to homebound seniors to conduct wellness checks, virtual citizenship preparation, and an online current events discussion group with adults and seniors who are blind or have low vision. 
    • And More...
      Learn about the organization and find opportunities to volunteer go to: https://www.newyorkcares.org/coronavirus 
  • BJCC Seeking Volunteer Musicians: Music can make the world a bit sweeter even in these very trying times. Seeking individuals or small groups to soothe and entertain our seniors with outdoor concerts all summer! Social distance observed of course If you have music to share, contact Niti, BJCC Director of Volunteers: nMinkove@bjcconline.org or at 917-693-3084, 8am-8pm any day Sun-Fri.
  • KCI Community Food: KCI Community Food provides fresh Kosher food delivery to anyone in the community. The pandemic has affected many people, and UJA and the Met Council have helped the community get these food resources to help. Please call (646) 647-1380 or email kcifoodpantry@gmail.com. All requests are confidential, and all food is delivered to your door.  Volunteers are needed at the pantry - please fill out the volunteer form here.
  • Wondering What To Do With All That Food Waste?  A Green Team Message: Sadly, the NYC Organics Collection Program has been suspended due to the pandemic. While our brown bins will remain idle for now there is something each of us who is invested in composting can do.

1. Email the City Council to express your feelings about composting: speakerjohnson@council.nyc.govareynoso@council.nyc.govacohen@council.nyc.gov   

2. Try composting at home:
Outside: Purchase a composting bin or place a board down on the ground, pile greens (food scraps) and browns (lawn scraps) and cover. Keep Moist. 

Apartment or Terrace: Choice: No Worms or Worms - Vermicomposting - Eg. https://unclejimswormfarm.com/ or www.LESecologycenter.org  
Place dampened newspaper in 1 inch strips as bedding in plastic bin, add vents, like these (click to view) - 3 parts bedding to 1 part greens.
Contact green@hir.org with any questions or comments.

  • Join the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership Book Club TODAY!: We are embarking on community-wide Riverdale Book groups. While some may want to simply read and discuss with their families, we strongly encourage everyone to join a group to engage in communal conversations. Book groups will consist of 8-12 people who will read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo or the book of their choice, and they will take place on the platform of their choice.
    Click here to join a group. Forms should be filled out by July 3 so we can begin our important work together. We hope reading, learning, and sharing with others in our community will lead to more personal and communal reflection and inspire more action toward a better tomorrow.
  • Reduce your own use of plastic (a reminder from the Bayit Green Team): When ordering online, use the “Contact Us” link to send this statement: "When filling my order please only use plastic packaging when absolutely necessary and use degradable/environmentally friendly packaging at all other times."  For Amazon orders: Sign into your account; Select Help from the tool bar/banner under the search window; Scroll down to "Browse Help Topics"; Click on "Need More Help"; Click on "Contact Us"; Click on button "start chatting now"; Express your feelings about degradable/environmentally friendly packaging. Don’t be discouraged by negative responses. The more inquiries they get the more likely they will take this into consideration. Contact  green@hir.org  with any questions or comments.
  • POTS (PART of the Solution): POTS serves some of the most vulnerable of our Bronx neighbors, and each day the COVID-19 crisis continues, the problems they already face are magnified. Already familiar to many Bayit members, POTS has been operating since 1982 and its services beyond food pantries include homeless prevention programs, transitional residence programs, clothing programs, case management services and a legal clinic.  

See the link below for ways that Bayit members can become engaged with this important agency—by volunteering your services or by donating money which is desperately needed and will be used to support their services: https://potsbronx.org/how-you-can-help-during-the-crisis/

You can donate through the link above or by check to POTS / 2759 Webster Ave, The Bronx, NY 10458. You can also volunteer: from helping with their soup kitchen to doing deliveries to volunteering professional help in their many skilled support areas, POTS relies on your contributions of  time, effort, and skills.

  • Bechol Lashon and Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat: Be’chol Lashon (Hebrew for “in every language”) "strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience. Be’chol Lashon brings the historic Jewish commitment to civil rights and racial justice forward into the 21st century. Embracing the historical diversity of the Jewish people and, more importantly, the growing diversity of the community today is the most important step toward securing relevancy in an exciting American future."
    • Learn about and support their work here.
    • Join Rabbis Sandra Lawson and Isaama Goldstein-Stoll for a special Kabbalat Shabbat service on Zoom on Friday at 5pm ET to mark Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the day when the enslaved people of Texas were freed, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  Register here.  Hosted by Be’chol Lashon, Keshet, and the National Council of Jewish Women
  • This Wednesday, 6/16 at 8:00pm, we ask you to join us in a shared learning experience as we watch together “Space of Healing and Listening”, a JCRC-NY program that was live on June 7. This is a 75 minute video presentation in which we hear voices of prominent Black leaders sharing their stories, including Tamara Fish, Co-Founder of Khazbar and Former President of the Jewish Multiracial Network, Rev. Charles O. Galbreath, Senior Pastor of Clarendon Road Church, and others. The link to watch together is zoom.us/j/6136133702. We will have opportunities for brief personal reflection following the screening.
     
  • The RJCP is facilitating a series of book clubs which can be within each institution or community wide, beginning with Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and offering other book options going forward. We are proud to be participating - more information to sign up for a book club will follow.
  • Virtual Bronx Covid-19 Memorial: The Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is in the process of creating a virtual memorial for Bronxites lost to COVID. If you would like to share the memory of a Bronxite you knew who passed away from COVID please send a picture and a small paragraph. Please send this tribute to Alexis Walters at awalters@bronxbp.nyc.gov.
  • Local Food Package Packing and Delivery: Riverdale Y is in need of volunteers: Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Y is currently packing and delivering more than 600 cooked meals and non-perishable food staples to seniors (including Holocaust survivors) residing in Riverdale. Regular volunteers are needed on:
    • Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30PM - 1:30PM to assemble food packages
    • Monday and Thursday mornings from 10:00AM - 12:30PM pack perishable goods
    • Every weekday between 12:00PM and 2:00PM to deliver the items door to door

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact Adrienne Goldfelder at  adrienne.goldfeder@gmail.com.

  • George Floyd Memorial FundThis page includes a link to a fund to support George Floyd's family as well as an address where cards and personal letters of condolence, solidarity and strength can be sent.
  • KCI Community Food: KCI Community Food provides fresh Kosher food delivery to anyone in the community. The pandemic has affected many people, and UJA and the Met Council have helped the community get these food resources to help. Please call (646) 647-1380 or email kcifoodpantry@gmail.com. All requests are confidential, and all food is delivered to your door.  Volunteers are needed at the pantry - please fill out the volunteer form here.
  • Support Local Businesses: With unrest on our streets, we are particularly attuned to the welfare of our local businesses that have been challenged by this pandemic.  Let's continue to support them and express our solidarity with local merchants.  Please continue to patronize our kosher establishments as much as possible, especially now.
    To learn more about how to support your local businesses, click on the links below.
    Kingsbridge Business Improvement District
    Bronx Chamber of Commerce
  • JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center: Support one of our local community institutions caring for the welfare of our elders.  Click here to become an emergency volunteer with JASA Van Cortlandt Senior Center.
  • Kingsbridge United: #kingsbridgeunited is a grassroots local organization providing fresh produce and local restaurant food (supporting vendors who are particularly struggling) to those in great need in the Kingsbridge neighborhood as well as creating and distributing English-Spanish resource postcards with essential coronavirus relief information especially needed by those without internet access or other direct channels to this information.  You can support their work by Venmo to @jessicawoolford - every little bit makes a big difference.
  • The Laptop Project, based in Teaneck, refurbishes used/broken laptops, tablets and smartphones and gives them to people in need. There is a desperate need for devices at this time. If you have  a smartphone, tablet or laptop (does not have to be in working order, as the Laptop Project can rebuild devices), please contact info@thelaptopproject.org.  Please cc MJ Kanner at  mjspeech@yahoo.com  and she can help coordinate.  If you know someone who needs a device please ask The Laptop Project to add the person to the list.  Learn more at  https://thelaptopproject.org.
  • CovidWatcher  - Help NYC Understand COVID-19's Impact: Columbia University  has rolled out a  new research tool called  CovidWatcher  which will track COVID-19’s impact on New York City neighborhoods in real time, filling in critical gaps in knowledge of the virus to better understand the needs across New York. Your data leads to more insights, updated daily. The link is https://covidwatcher.dbmi.columbia.edu/. It should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is intended for everyone to fill out, regardless of symptoms or concerns about exposure.  
  • Donate Blood - Riverdale Y Blood Drive, May 27: New York Blood Center has declared a Blood Emergency and your help is needed as we are experiencing an increase in demand for blood. To help meet demand, we are asking you to please attend this blood drive coming to your area: The Riverdale YM-YWHA Gym, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:00 - 5:00pm - 5625 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471
    • Due to the current public health crisis and social distancing rules, donors MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT (walk-ins will not be permitted at this time). Click here or call 1.800.933.2566 to schedule an appointment.
    • Don't forget to bring your donor ID card or know your donor ID number. Eat well and drink plenty of fluids before donating.  We look forward to seeing you. To learn more about the importance of donating during this time and to answer your questions regarding COVID-19, please visit www.nybc.org/coronavirus.
    • Do not donate if you have: a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing), had close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 in the last 14 days, been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 until 14 days after your illness has resolved. NOTE: close contact is defined by CDC as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for a prolonged period of time.
  • Fighting Covid-19 in the Developing World - AJWS: In 19 of the neediest countries around the world, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is working with its nearly 500 on-the-ground partner social change organizations to protect the most vulnerable people on earth from COVID-19. Learn more about their work here.
  • New York Cares - Virtual Volunteering: New York Cares partners with New York City to provide volunteer opportunities for all New Yorkers.  During coronavirus, it is developing and providing virtual volunteering opportunities from virtual SAT tutoring, to phone banking to homebound seniors to conduct wellness checks, to virtual citizenship preparation and more.  For more information and to register as a volunteer, click here.
  • Combat Bullying - Knit, Crochet, or Help Support Hat Not Hate! As we spend time at home, we can put our craft skills to work to make a difference.  Knit or crochet blue hats or support the work of Hat Not Hate, an anti-bullying organization.  In October, National Bullying Prevention Month, the hats are distributed to schools across the country for students to wear, empowering them to stand up to bullying.  The goal for this year is 100,000 hats!  For more information, click here.
  • Volunteer Packers at the Riverdale Y: As we expand our communitywide meal pickup and delivery programs, the Riverdale Y is packing shelf-stable breakfast and dinner foods for delivery for seniors who need.  A few more volunteer packers are needed for Wednesday and Friday afternoons.  Please reach out to ranlee40@aol.com.
  • The Mask Project: The Mask Project is supporting out-of-work immigrant mothers to make filtered cloth masks for vulnerable populations in the community, focusing primarily on the Navajo Nation, seniors, refugees, and asylees who don't have access to this desperately needed piece of protection.  The Mask Project is a project of Arizona Jews for Justice.  Through the kindness of your donations, the group of immigrant mothers will able to safely make 750 masks per worker per week.  Learn more here.  If you would like to support this campaign, please donate here. And if you donate and you need a mask, please send us your address to arizonajews4justice@gmail.com and we will mail a mask to you.
  • Helping Those Who Help Us - National Domestic Workers Alliance: The NDWA, especially in this time, has kept our focus on the way coronavirus has impacted our domestic workers - those who take care of our children, our homes, and aid our loved ones in need of assistance with their daily living.  NDWA's resources include fact sheets about the profound insecurity so many are experiencing now, a care fund to help support them, and ways to be the best employers we can to those workers - for when they are able to be in our homes and when they aren't.  Check out their critical resources here.
  • Help Get Food to Those Who Need - World Central Kitchen: Traditional safety nets like school feeding programs, city services, and food banks are struggling to meet basic needs. Seniors, who are isolated for their safety, are unable to access meal services. Meanwhile, the country’s hospital workers are more stretched than ever before.  WCK is working across America to safely distribute individually packaged, fresh meals in communities that need support. WCK is now active in dozens of cities, including the Bronx, providing 250,000 fresh meals every day. WCK is also now activating restaurants to help meet this demand by providing jobs for their staff and meals for those in need. #ChefsForAmerica is making a key connection between people who need meals and restaurant workers and drivers who need to earn a living. You can support WCK's work here.
  • Join and Support the Skilled Laborers Brigade (SLB): Before the COVID-19 crisis, all 500+ SLB members were paid professional tradesmen in the fashion and entertainment industries including tailors, cutters, pattern makers, seamstresses, stitchers, graphic artists, designers, and more. Most members belong to trade unions. They are looking for from-home help to quickly turn materials into finished PPE. Professional tailors, seamstresses, cutters, die cutters pattern makers, milliners, props fabricators, fabric merchandisers, designers, production assistants, coordinators, drapers, manufacturers, graphic artists, stitchers, dyers, website builders, furniture upholsterers, marketing professionals, painters, fundraisers, puppet builders, weavers, metal workers, drafters, and 3D printers can all help. Volunteer your time, or donate at www.skilledlaborersbrigade.com or at info@skilledlaborersbrigade.com.
  • Helping New Bronx Covid-Positive Parents: Montefiore doctors have seen a great need for basic baby supplies, especially for those born to Covid-positive mothers.  They have created care packages with the most-needed supplies.  An Amazon wishlist has been created for these essential items here. You can support this effort by going to the wishlist and purchasing these necessary items that can make a huge difference for Bronx families.
  • Show Appreciation to a Montefiore Hospital Frontliner - Project Adopt-a-Frontliner
    Project Adopt-a-Frontliner aims to bring personalized messages of gratitude to frontline health care workers at Montefiore Medical Center. Once you email Adira Hulkower to let her know that you are interested in participating, she will provide you with the name of a doctor or nurse, and then cards and videos can be sent through her at adopt.a.resident@gmail.com.
  • Support Bronx Community Relief: Join The Bronx community members, advocates and individuals who have come together to form The Bronx Community Relief Effort to provide immediate, mid-term, and long-term resources to vulnerable Bronx residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Bronx Community Relief helps our neighbors in eight areas of need: (1) Food Insecurity, (2) Small Business Relief, (3) Microgrants to People in Crisis, (4) Getting PPE to First Responders, (5) Helping Local Non-profits, (6) Connectivity and Technology Gaps, (7) Equity and Justice, and (8) Housing Stability.  For more information on The Bronx Community Relief Effort and to donate, please visit TheBronx.org.
  • Raise the Morale of our Health Care Providers: Calling all Bayit children please write letters and pictures that you have drawn addressed to health care providers. The administration of the health care providers are looking boos the morale of their staff by creating a wall of letters from children.
    If you are able and willing, please send to:
    Tina DiMartino
    New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital
    5141 Braodway, Room 1RW-059
    New York, NY 10034
  • Shopping Buddies: As we continue to adhere to social distancing, we become aware of more members of our community who need assistance with groceries and essential supplies.  We want to discourage “extra” errand running, and are looking to match up shopping buddies with others in their building or neighborhood.  When you plan an online order (preferred) or a shopping excursion, you would check in with your shopping buddy, and see what they need.  We need more volunteers.  If you can help, or want to learn more, please email shiragordon25@gmail.com.
Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780