Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
By now you have read the major announcement by 5 main orthodox organizations who have joined together – Agudath Israel of America, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, the Lakewood Vaad, the National Council of Young Israel, the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America. What tremendous achdus !!! The hope is that the message is conveyed to our communities and taken seriously by those who still are not sure how devastating the Coronavirus COVID-19 can be. One thing is for sure, of how Klal Yisrael has used this challenge to bring achdus, chizuk, Torah learning, renewed strength in our tefilos and unbelievable opportunities of doing wonderful gemilus chasadim in many different ways.
Yes, we could be terrified and panicky day after day. However, with Btachim and Emunah in the Aibershta continuing to be strong and steadfast and the wonderful support system found in so many of our communities , we shall persevere.
In my last article, I included the importance of outreach to those who are homebound due to the Coronavirus, Rabbi Shalom Axelrod of the Young Israel of Woodmere and surrounding shuls sent out a worthy and meaningful survey. With permission from Rabbi Axelrod, I am including the survey for our readers as a suggested means of finding out the needs of those who are homebound
From Rav Shalom Axelrod
Many shuls in our area are organizing volunteers to be available to help people. In the event that you are going to send out a survey to assess the needs of your shul community. Below is a list of questions the YIW sent out for members to fill in. We sent it out just a few hours ago and over 300 hundred families have responded. I am not a tech person but in each of our shuls there are individuals who can assist. We used SurveyMonkey. It can be tailored to the types of chesed you will be able to provide.
Please answer the following questions.
1. How many people live in your household?
2. Are you or any member of your household currently under quarantine?
yes, currently under quarantine
no, not under quarantine
3. If yes, are you under self or mandated quarantine?
4. Have any members of your household been confirmed to have COVID-19?
5. Do you or anyone in your household have a serious chronic medical condition like immune problems, heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease?
6. Are you or is anyone in your household over the age of 65?
7. If over the age of 65, do you have anyone (friend, relative) assisting you?
8. Have your children expressed any signs of distress due to being quarantined or because of worries related to the virus?
9. Are you in need of assistance due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
If yes, please select from the following areas of potential support.
Medication Pick up
Phone call – Checking in
Information (communal resources)
10. Are you currently in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19crisis?
11. If Yes, please select from the following
Basic Expenses, Shabbos Supplies, Pesach Supplies
Thank you for filling out the survey. Your answers will be confidential.
A volunteer for the YIW Chesed committee will be in touch with you if you answered any questions requiring follow up. If you have an urgent need requiring immediate assistance, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I received from NEFESH International resources that could be beneficial for our members.
Dear NEFESH Community,
There are many resources available to help navigate the coronavirus. Below are links to a number of them which you may find useful. In addition, NEFESH is offering free webinars to those who are quarantined, in order to help pass the time in a productive manner. Please email Alice, at secretary@NEFESH.org to receive a coupon code.
We wish a refuah shelaima to all those who are ill, refuas Hanefesh and refuas Haguf.
A yasher koach to Karyn Feinberg for compiling these resources.
Dr. Aaron Glatt and Dr. Norman Blumenthal (Ohel)
A conscientious approach to coronavirus (Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox (Chai LIfeline)
A parent resource on talking to children (NASP-National Association of School Psychologists)
How to Talk to Children about Coronavirus (Childmind Institute)
The Jewish Education Project resources
Handout in comic form for children
Cute video for middle school aged students
Brief Steps for School Crises Teams (NASP) https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/responding-to-covid-19brief-action-steps-for-school-crisis-response-teams
Barry Holzer, MD President, Nefesh International
NEFESH International listserv is sponsored by The Meadowglade Mental Health and Eating Disorder Treatment Center. To see the great work MEADOWGLADE does every day, see https://themeadowglade.com/
I received two NEW ads from TTI and YEIP which can be found at the end of this article.
IMPORTANT Please be mispallel for Keila Lutza bas Tziporah and all cholim of Klal Yisrael.
Respectfully and sincerely. Yehuda Blank