With cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) appearing across the globe, many communities are feeling uneasy or even fearful. Below, you will find information and resources to support you and your community during this uncertain time. This list of resources will be updated regularly. Please contact our communications specialist, Diana Denza, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to submit a resource to the list.
The 2020 Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Highlights of the Paycheck Protection Program
Synagogues and other nonprofits across the United States will be eligible for government-guaranteed loans administered though the Small Business Administration. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, such loans are available through local banks, as authorized by the March 27, 2020 legislation. While the detailed application procedures and qualification requirements are yet to be promulgated, click here for a summary of the process from NAASE.
In these extraordinary times, we know that many of you are exploring ways to pray as a community while engaging in social distancing. Fill out this form to gain access to pdf files of key services from Siddur Lev Shalem, Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat, and Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays. We have also made available a prayer for when there is no minyan for saying kaddish.
To assist those who are praying at home or via remote minyanim, we are temporarily discounting select publications for individual purchasers. Click here to learn more.
Upcoming RA Webinars: (for clergy only)
Jacob Blumenthal will host virtual coffee talks with colleagues at the following dates and times. Please only register if you are a member of the Rabbinical Assembly. These talks are NOT open to the public.
We encourage you to join us as we to take a break, check in, share thoughts, and connect with colleagues!
Empowering Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis: An Online Webinar by NATAL and the RA
Please only register if you are a member of the Rabbinical Assembly. This webinar is not open to the public.
Wednesday, April 1 at 2:00 PM ET
Join NATAL: Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center and our RA for a webinar and discussion on the role of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how community leaders can maintain resilience, cohesiveness and a sense of belonging in a time of forced social isolation. Led by NATAL's experts in the field of emergency response and resilience, the webinar will help assess and re-define crisis coping mechanisms in the shadow of the pandemic.
Other Upcoming Webinars:
Kavod v’Nichum Presents Coronavirus Concerns & Questions, a weekly discussion for Chevrah Kadisha leaders and members. We will discuss scientific studies, epidemiological and medical opinions, CDC and WHO statements, best practices, protective equipment, member training, cleaning surfaces and much more. One hour on Monday evenings, 7:00 PM East; 4:00 PM West from March 16 – April 27, 2020. Register here.
Recorded Webinars: (for clergy only)
- Watch Now: Online Minyanim During the COVID-19 Crisis (JTS) (click here for sources and links)
- Watch Now: Spiritual Practice in a Time of Pandemic
- Watch Now: Public Health Webinar on Coronavirus for Rabbis
- Watch Now: Caring for our Communities and Ourselves in a Time of Coronavirus
- Online Jewish Education: Staying Connected During the Coronavirus Crisis
- How to Create an Online Class by Melissa Venable, PhD, Adjunct Online Instructor at the University of South Florida and Saint Leo University, May 22, 2018. On April 16, 2018, Melissa Venable presented an hour-long webinar on how to create an online class. .
- Idea share: Use this Google Doc to log your innovations for services, study, pastoral, and social programming. Feel free to add any ideas you have, or to browse this document and benefit from the creativity of your colleagues.
- Communications share: Communities may be struggling with how best to communicate updates with their constituents. Please send your successfully executed emails to Diana Denza so that we can compile some sample communications for colleagues to use as templates, which will be shared here.
Please click here to read a letter from Rabbi Elliot Dorff, CJLS Chair and Rabbi Pamela Barmash, CJLS Co-Chair, providing guidance for communities affected by COVID-19. Thanks to Rabbis Joshua Heller, Daniel Nevins, and Avram Reisner for contributing to earlier drafts and the CJLS as a whole for giving input. Please note that this is not an official responsum of the CJLS.
Livestream options for services: Does your community livestream services or study opportunities? Feel free to add details to this communal open Google doc created by our colleague Karen Reiss Medwed. This is an opportunity to help those who cannot congregate join community. Please feel free to share widely.
The Cantors Assembly is putting all available livestreamed services and classes for all denominations in a user-friendly list in one central place. If you have specific information about livestreamed offerings for your shul or community, including exact days and times (halachic or fixed), please enter it into this form and pass it on.
- How to Stream Services (Or Anything Else): A Guide for Jewish Communities
- Ten Tips for Facilitating Virtual Conversations
- Prayer for When There is No Minyan to Say Kaddish
- A Prayer in the Time of Plague by Martin S. Cohen
- A Jewish prayer for healing in the coronavirus epidemic by our colleague Guy Austrian.
- A Prayer of Hope During this Pandemic by our colleague Naomi Levy
Un rezo de Esperanza durante esta Pandemia por la Rabina Naomi Levy (Traducción al español: Rabino Marcelo Bater)
- Prayer for Cleansing One's Hands by our colleague Lisa Gelber
- Our colleague, Matt Rosenberg, wrote this resource on public health, plagues, and coronavirus.
- Traveler's Prayer in a Time of Pandemic
- Beth Abraham Prayer During the Coronavirus
- Pour Out Your Mercy: A Techinah in Times of Corona by Rabbi Gustavo Surazski (also available in Spanish and Hebrew)
- A Coronavirus Prayer by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel
Pastoral & Self-Care: (you must be signed in to view these resources)
- Pastoral Care articles by our colleagues Naomi Kalish and Stephen Roberts.
- RA Care Line
- Rabbinic Self Care: A Kavannah
- Helpful Links
- Caring for Your Mental Health Despite the Corona Virus (Public Resource)
- Coronavirus and the Clergy-Penitent Privilege: Guidance for Rabbis (CCAR)
Coping with Trauma for Religious Professionals:
- When Terrible Things Happen - What You May Experience (PFA)
- Trauma Resource - Model of Resiliency
- Psychological First Aid for Community Religious Professionals
Perspectives on Infection Control in the Taharah Room: We must be conscious of infection control issues when we do taharah. Here are 20+ articles covering a 30-year timespan. They show the range of analysis, recommendations and the evolution of thinking on this topic.
For teachers and students: Prizmah put together a helpful resource page focused on schools and resources for teachers and students.
For families with children:
- Bridging with the Sacred: Reflections of an MD Chaplain by Bruce D. Feldstein, MD
- The CDC offers in-depth information on how coronavirus spreads, its symptoms, prevention and treatment, testing, and situation summaries.
- JFNA has put together this page to help you stay informed and provide you with the resources you'll need to make important decisions in your community.
- Here is a list of U.S. state health departments and links to local health departments in each state.
Solidarity with Chinese Americans:
- 75 national and local organizational signatories – including the Rabbinical Assembly – signed a letter in solidarity with Chinese Americans, which has been extremely well received in this country and in China. Here is a response from the United Chinese Americans, the largest grassroots Chinese civic organization.
- Jewish Public Affairs has created a rabbi sign on letter, allowing rabbis from around the world to add their signatures by March 5, 2020. Rabbis can then share the issued letter among their congregations, post it on social media, and share it with Chinese churches and organizations in their areas.
- As coronavirus fears surface, protect yourself from misinformation with this information from the Anti-Defamation League.