The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is committed to providing essential resources during the international crisis caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. We are coordinating with all Jewish-affiliated organizations, schools, synagogues and agencies in the region to assess and address emerging needs. For resources and to donate to our emergency fund, please click below.

From March 27, 2019

Dear Friends,
Unprecedented events call for unprecedented action. Today, as we battle the effects of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, our Jewish Federation has taken action, working alongside our Jewish agencies, non-profit organizations and synagogues to speak with one voice to help those in need.
Ten days ago we launched the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, and to date we have raised more than $700,000 to meet the most critical needs. It is important for everyone in the community to know that one hundred percent of the donated dollars will benefit the most vulnerable in our community. This is one of the best ways to perform tzedakah if you are able to do so right now. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all come together. I am inspired by the outpouring of compassion throughout Greater Philly!

Please consider supporting the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund with a gift of any size. For more information, please click here. With your partnership, our Jewish community will maintain its strength, health and vibrancy.

We are extremely grateful to our volunteers who are on the front line of this work; please click here for more information about opportunities on how you can help. A few to consider include:

  • Sign up here to deliver pre-packed bags of food and emergency supplies through the Mitzvah Food Program
  • Email John Eskate at to deliver pre-cooked meals through KleinLife’s Home Delivered Meals Program
  • Sign up here to call and check in with a local senior as part of the “Phone-a-Friend” program
While the needs of our community will continue to evolve, we have already invested $81,500 in initial grants where they are needed most:
  • $34,600 to Kleinlife’s Meal Delivery Program for older adults, providing 8,100 kosher prepared meals during March and April
  • $20,700 to the Mitzvah Food Program for those who have recently become food insecure, to offset the cost of food and supplies for an increasing client base
  • $25,000 to Jewish Family & Children’s Services to provide grants of $500 to 50 households for basic needs such as rent, mortgage or utility payments
  • $1,500 to Philly Friendship Circle to help families of children with disabilities to pay for basic necessities including support staff
The Jewish Federation serves as a central resource and community convener. With the help of volunteers, this week:
  • More than 1,700 meals were delivered through Kleinlife’s Meals on Wheels
  • Nearly 90 people volunteered to deliver necessities to the vulnerable and homebound through the Mitzvah Food Program
  • 136 grocery bags were packed and distributed by Mitzvah Food Program’s Mainline pantry, totaling nearly 2,500 pounds of nonperishable and fresh produce
  • 680 households received a total of 24,000 pounds of food from Mitzvah Food Program’s five pantry locations
  • More than 300 members of the community joined webinars to hear crucial updates, share ideas, and gain insight and inspiration from faith leaders
  • Nearly 80 people signed up for the Phone-a-Friend program, and will begin contacting homebound older adults next week
Thank you for partnering with us as together we Carry the Light on behalf of all who are most vulnerable during this unprecedented time.
Shabbat Shalom,
Susanna Lachs Adler
Board Chair
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

From March 19, 2020

During these uncertain times, I wanted to reach out and update you on the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s emergency preparedness and plans to address our communities’ most critical needs. Please be assured we are at the forefront of assessing the needs as they develop during this crisis.

This is an unprecedented time that demands an extraordinary response. We are committed to providing essential resources throughout this time of need, and are coordinating with all Jewish-affiliated organizations, schools, synagogues and agencies in the region to assess and address emerging needs.Most importantly, we want to make sure you are aware of the resources available for all of us as we navigate the current conditions. Visit this page of our website for ongoing updates including tools for families and children; volunteer opportunities; resources for students and young adults; offerings from local synagogues; and resources for older adults, those now finding themselves food insecure or displaced from work.

If you are able, we ask you to join us in our life-saving work by making a gift to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund so we can continue this critical work. A mailbox for contributions has been posted on our Jewish Federation website: Please know that 100% of proceeds raised through this fund will go directly towards the COVID-19 response efforts. The Jewish Federation will not take a fee to facilitate the distribution of dollars raised.

We are at the beginning of what will certainly be a long road for our community. At this moment, we know the financial needs facing us will be significant. We are still working collaboratively with our community partners to identify hard costs, with the knowledge that these will change and increase over time.

While we are all aware of the uncertainty that COVID-19 is having on the financial markets, the dire needs of the community and those most at risk remain paramount. With your generosity, we will be able to ensure the safety and strength of our Jewish communities and those most directly affected by the risks presented.

A gift of any size will have an immediate impact and will support many at-risk populations, including:

  • Seniors and other members of our communities who are home-bound due to their high risk of contracting the virus
  • Our food insecure populations already being served by our agencies and by us
  • Those who now find themselves food insecure due to a loss of wages and or jobs, or loss of income as small business owners
  • People with developmental or physical disabilities whose regular care may be interrupted
  • Those who are served by community programs that run on the power of volunteers who are no longer able to carry out this important work.
Working together, with your generosity, we will address and meet the most critical needs as they arise. Thank you for helping us Carry the Light.
If you have a question about making a gift to the emergency fund, please contact Donor Services at 215.832.0521 or 215.832.0865. If you have questions about volunteering or need to be connected to services, please contact 215.832.0852. These numbers are landlines at our offices which are being forwarded to our amazing staff who are working remotely.
Stay safe and healthy,
Susanna Lachs Adler
Board Chair
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

From March 12, 2020

In times of uncertainty, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has always been a safe haven for people to turn to for help, guidance and comfort. Now we are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that our critical work continues with vigor. The elderly, infirm, hungry and most vulnerable individuals in our region need our help. And we are here for them.

We have begun evaluating community needs and we are making contingency plans to maintain delivery of critical services. Beginning tomorrow and continuing weekly as needed, the Jewish Federation will hold conference calls with leaders of local agencies, synagogues and day schools to obtain needs assessments, discover opportunities for collaboration, and share updates. We are also working with partner agencies who provide services to the most vulnerable individuals. We are resolute in our goal to ensure all needs are met.

Following the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, local officials and our own Emergency Response Committee, all Jewish Federation events scheduled from now through the end of Passover are postponed.  Updated information will be communicated via email and on our website —

Likewise,  we are taking every precaution to keep ourselves and our staff safe so we can continue to effectively and efficiently serve our community. On Monday, March 16th, Jewish Federation professionals will conduct a work-remotely test day to ensure that all of our virtual systems are in place. In the event of mandatory self-quarantines, we want to make certain we are prepared.

While keeping our community safe during the COVID-19 outbreak is our top priority, we are planning future events and programs that will build upon our welcoming, vibrant Jewish community and engage people of all ages in extraordinary Jewish experiences. Your generous support is imperative, and we ask for your continued participation in maintaining the work of our organization.

We offer prayers of healing to those affected worldwide. Please keep yourselves and your families safe by following CDC precautions to stay healthy during this outbreak. Additional information can be found at World Health Organization. And please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns.

Sending you all wishes of sustained good health.


Susanna Lachs Adler
Board Chair
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia