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The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia takes our community leadership role seriously and we have made it our priority to immediately address the emerging needs of our community as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, we created the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to meet the critical needs of those who experience food insecurity and other vulnerable populations, and have been immensely gratified by the abundant generosity of our donors.  

Within days of launching the campaign, the dollars raised are already being put back into the community, where they are needed most. Yesterday the Jewish Federation Emergency Response Committee approved the first round of what will be many emergency grants to help alleviate urgent community needs as they evolve during this pandemic. This first round of crisis support allocations are being made to the following community partners:

  • KleinLife - Meal Delivery program: $34,600

Volunteer groups, most of which are synagogue-based, that ordinarily prepare meals for the meals on wheels program are no longer able to do so while the pandemic persists. As a result, KleinLife immediately needs to purchase 1,500 prepared kosher meals per week from Betty the Caterer, its kosher meal supplier. Those meals will be delivered to 550 older adults by KleinLife staff and volunteers.

  • Mitzvah Food Program: $20,700

All five food regional pantries are experiencing increasing food needs: a 10% increase in traffic at four sites, and a 30% increase at one site. At the same time, the pantries have lost volunteers due to sickness, distancing or new caregiving obligations. Pantries also have higher cleaning costs, as well as the new cost of providing additional bags and supplies since, as a safety precaution, clients can no longer bring in their own reusable bags. This grant will help cover the cost of more food, additional staff hours, new bags and supplies, and security.

  • Jewish Family & Children’s Services - Critical Needs Grants: $25,000

JFCS offers a financial assistance grant, averaging $500, which provides people with funds for basic needs such as food, rent and medical/health needs. To accommodate the uptick in need, this will enable them to offer grants to 50 additional people.

  • Philly Friendship Circle - Critical Needs Discretionary Fund: $1,500

This allocation will help the families of children with disabilities in crisis to help pay for basic necessities, such as rent, food, utilities and support staff.


We will continue to assess emerging needs upon request with our partner agencies and the broader community, allocating these funds in real time through our Emergency Response Committee. We are also staying on top of the needs of our partners in Israel.

Meanwhile, we are counting on you to contribute to our effort to help community members in need. To donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund click here. For more Jewish Federation resources on COVID-19, click here.

Additional Emergency Response grants have been made. Read more here