Resources for Navigating Your Community through Coronavirus

Posted on: Friday March 13, 2020
coronavirus


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 ddenza@rabbinicalassembly.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.

 


E-Siddurim

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.

 

Publications Sale:

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 Webinars: Please note that these upcoming webinars are for RA member rabbis only. 

Caring for Others and Ourselves During COVID-19: Processing with Naomi Kalish

These sessions will include education about pastoral care on different topics related to COVID-19, as well as opportunities for processing.
 
 
Mussar Work as We Lead in Times of Crisis
4 Thursdays: April 23rd, 30th, May 7th, 14th at 3:30 PM ET (Please try to attend all sessions.)
Presenter: Rabbi Amy Eilberg
How can we use this time of corona for our own spiritual growth and deepening? In this weekly class, we will study and practice Mussar teachings on such middot as anavah, bitachon, savlanut, and hach'na'ah - all central to living and leading in these times. Participants will be encouraged, when possible, to incorporate some Mussar practice and reflection into their week. In the classes we will study Mussar text, share our reflections, and support each other's practice and yearning for growth.
 
 
The Ethics of Synagogue And Organizational Finances: Making Value Based Decisions at a Difficult Moment (co-sponsored by our RA)
Wednesday, April 29 at 12:00 PM
Moderator: Hara Person, Chief Executive of CCAR
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, synagogues and organizations are facing significant financial challenges. How are decisions made and communicated about issues like salary reductions and laying off of staff? How can we guide our communities to make strategic, values based decisions and not act out of fear? This webinar will discuss these and other critical issues we are facing.


 

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)

 

Zoom Video Conferencing Discounts for Synagogues and Schools

During this difficult time, staying connected to clergy, staff, fellow congregants & students is of utmost importance. ZOOM is offering special discounts for synagogues and schools during the coronavirus crisis. Learn more.

 

Colleague-to-Colleague Resources

  • 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

 

Halakhic Resources:

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. 

Kashrut Subcommittee Passover Recommendations for Passover 5780 in Light of COVID-19

 

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.

 

Prayers:

 

Pastoral & Self-Care: (you must be signed in to view these resources)

 

Coping with Trauma for 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:  In an effort to support families with young children who are quarantined or selecting to do less socializing through playdates or community classes, UJA-Federation of NY, PJ Library, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and The Jewish Education Project have come together to aggregate a collection of high-quality Jewish activities and content that families can engage in together at home.

 

For community members experiencing food insecurity: 

 

For Chaplains:

       

      General Resources:

      • 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.