01 July 2020
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, JSSA, and a network of DMV Jewish human service organizations have launched a support line to help Jewish community members access resources.
July 1, 2020 (Washington, DC) – In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its pervasive effects on our community, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, in partnership with JSSA and a network of human service organizations, has launched a support line designed to streamline access to available resources. With one phone call to 703-J-CARING ( 703-522-7464) , residents of the District, Maryland, and Northern Virginia will reach a trained professional ready to assist in warmly connecting the caller with the appropriate resources. The support line, staffed by trained and experienced JSSA Case Managers, is accessible by phone Monday-Friday, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and all calls are confidential. Additional online support will be available in the near future.
The pandemic and subsequent economic crisis has caused a wave of increased needs across the community, from job loss and child care needs, to health and wellness, to emergency services and more. In the months since social distancing measures were put in place, local food pantries have reported an increase of over two million dollars in food assistance, while interest-free loan requests in the community have skyrocketed 600%. And as reported prior to the pandemic, 18% of households in the Greater Washington area include a family member with some sort of health limitation or disability. As the pandemic wears on, access to resources remains crucial for the community.
“The Jewish Federation is deeply committed to meeting the needs of our community. We knew that in this critical moment, it was vital to come together and find a mechanism to connect those in need with the comprehensive services and resources our community organizations are able to provide.” says Gil Preuss , CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
“JSSA is excited to be a part of this wonderful Federation project that really underscores what it means to be a community that cares for one another,” says JSSA CEO, Todd Schenk. “The service system can be complicated, fragmented, and intimidating. When people take the brave step of asking for help, it should be as easy as possible to get what’s needed. Often, however, people do not know where to turn first. This Jewish Community Support Line creates a central place where people can get help connecting to the services that will address their needs.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has helped clarify what needs transformation in Jewish Greater Washington, which is why Federation feels a special and urgent responsibility not only to identify the gaps but to help bring our community together to fill them.” Preuss noted. “In the case of 703-J-CARING, that means collaborating closely with our partners to ensure our community can serve its most vulnerable members to the best of its ability. No one should have to forgo the help they need because it feels too complex or daunting to find.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington envisions an open, connected, and vibrant Jewish community that cares for each other, fosters Jewish learning and journeys, embraces Jewish peoplehood and Israel, and acts as a force for good in the world. As a mission-driven non-profit organization, we work to inspire, build, and sustain vibrant Jewish life in a changing world by mobilizing our community in common purpose, intentional innovation, and effective action.
JSSA is the health and social wellness agency that supports our neighbors through life’s consequential moments. Serving Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District, our work is built on our commitment to healing our corner of the world. We believe that to be high quality, care must be rooted in caring. Our team of experts is trained to listen with respect and ask questions to understand the whole you, so we can connect your needs and concerns with the right people who can help. JSSA.org