The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has announced eight grants totaling $851,000, the first allocations from its COVID-19 emergency fund.
As of April 3 the fund had raised $2.5 million from more than 250 donors.
The largest grant, $273,000, was made to Jewish HomeLife, which operates elder care facilities and provides home services. The grant will help defray the agency’s March to May expenses for staffing, equipment and other needs.
The Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta received $174,000 “to expand capacity (through staffing and loan dollars) to meet increased loan demand for members of the Jewish community.”
The Marcus Jewish Community Center received two allocations in response to job cuts totaling more than half of its staff: $102,000 to fund three months of health insurance for furloughed workers and $32,000 to do the same for laid off workers.
Jewish Family & Career Services received three allocations: $100,000 to meet increased financial needs in the Jewish community, $70,000 to support mental health services, and $50,000 to fund the purchase of food and meet administrative costs in its food pantry operation.
An allocation of $50,000 was designated to bolster the discretionary funds available to rabbis to aid members of their synagogues.
Eric Robbins, president and CEO of the Federation, told the AJT: “We are so appreciative of the way our entire community has come together in an unprecedented way to address collective needs at this moment. We are humbled and honored to be able to lead a collective response at this difficult time.”
Terri Bonoff, CEO of JF&CS, said: “JF&CS is enormously grateful for the funds allocated, allowing us to meet the growing needs in our community. … This virus strikes randomly and leaves carnage in its path. We are in this together. We will use these funds to make sure people in our community have the food and resources to get through this time and can access critical mental health support.”
Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal of Ahavath Achim Synagogue and president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, said: “It is incredibly generous and forward thinking of the Federation to supply such funds and help rabbis continue to guide and support people throughout our communities. All of us receive outreach from people in need, not just congregants. It is our honor to support people wherever they are on their spiritual journey and this fund goes a long way to help assist us in doing this. “