Please note the following: We have suspended all in person community events, and have shifted to virtual learning and gathering.
Please help us continue to support and serve our community during this challenging time: DONATE to our COVID-19 Sustainability Fund.
- Virtual Schedule
- Letter from Rabbi Sharon Brous
- Love & Support
- Resources & Ways to Help
These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us, and there is a lot that is unknown. But one thing we know: human beings need human contact, which is why we have now transitioned all of our programs to virtual.
Please visit ikar-la.org/calendar for all the details of our virtual events.
I know that we’re all struggling to adjust to the new information we’re receiving every hour about the risk of this virus and its implications on our lives and our community. Things are moving very quickly and we are committed to staying nimble and addressing our community’s safety as quickly and effectively as we can.
We do not know of any people who have tested positive for COVID-19 having been present at any IKAR events. However, we learned this morning that someone who was at our Megillah reading on Purim has a relative who has just tested positive for the virus. We know as the virus continues to spread, there will be more people connected to our community who will be personally affected. We are dedicated to caring for the sick and their families, to keeping our community as healthy and safe as possible, and to assuring a sense of strong connectedness to one another and our Jewish tradition and values as we move through this time.
We have suspended all in-person gatherings in accordance with the recommendations of public health and medical experts. We are writing to reinforce the recommendation that everyone stay close to home, that we limit physical contact as much as possible, and that we take the greatest care in protecting our most vulnerable community members and neighbors.
Instead, we have shifted to a virtual schedule, allowing us many points of virtual contact that will reinforce how deeply connected we all are to one another. And we will continue to share in the coming days more opportunities for virtual connection and community.
I know that this is a time of great upheaval. This virus is disruptive not only to our routines but also to our sense of physical and mental health. I hope that we continue to reach into the depths of our spiritual resources during this time, and remember to turn toward one another with love and tenderness.
With blessings for a sweet and restorative shabbat–
R’ Sharon Brous
If you or anyone you know is struggling, please let our clergy know, and look below for a number of ways to get and give support:
Virtual Healing Circles
Join clergy, healers and mental health professionals for virtual support groups providing self-care tips, healing practices, and a chance to connect with others via Zoom. To find and join a group, visit ikar-la.org/calendar.
Drop & Dash Deliveries
We want to be sure folks who are most vulnerable or need extra assistance have the food, medicine, and supplies they need during this period of sheltering in place. Our community can help, so please don’t be shy. If it would be helpful for someone in the community to make a delivery to your home, please complete this form. And if you can make a delivery, please sign up here.
Important note for volunteers: Folks may sign up to make deliveries only if they are themselves not at high risk, and if they are extremely careful about hygiene while handling food and making deliveries– washing hands frequently, using sanitizer, etc. We insist on this for your own health, and for everyone’s. If you are even slightly under the weather, over 65, or have any underlying health condition, please do not volunteer to help with deliveries. (We’ll find something else meaningful for you to do in the coming days!)
When you make a delivery, please do not stay to chat, but drop off the items, set them on the doorstep and leave. We know this is hard—we all want to chat and connect, but for everyone’s health, we must follow the orders of the public health officials.
A note for those receiving deliveries: When you receive a delivery, leave items outside until you can wipe them down or wash them with hot water and soap. Remember that the virus can live on cardboard and plastic for three days.
If there was ever a time to give and to accept help, this is it — and this is power of being part of a loving community. Please sign up.
IKAR Phone Buddies
Sometimes just hearing someone’s voice can be comforting. If you’re willing to make regular phone calls to members or would appreciate receiving regular calls, we can make the connection. Please let us know by completing this form.
Prayers for Healing
There are many among us, both near and far, who are fighting illness — community members, family members, and loved ones. We are collecting the names of those in need of healing so that we can include them in our prayers. If there is someone in your life in need of healing of body or spirit please share their name and your relationship with them here and you can find the names of those who need extra healing here. You may indicate whether you wish to share the names with IKAR clergy only, or with the whole community. We wish a speedy and complete recovery to all who are struggling with illness.
Connect with other IKARites over Whatsapp about your passions, skills, and ways you are staying busy during this time. To join the Whatsapp group, you need to have the app downloaded on your phone. (Download WhatsApp from the Google Play Store on Android or the App Store on iPhone and create an account, if necessary.) Click on the link of the group you are interested in joining and select join group. This can be done on your phone or the desktop version of Whatsapp.
Once you join the group, introduce yourself, share your favorite meme of the day, and get to know IKARites better!
Below are volunteer opportunities to support those beyond IKAR, and a variety of resources if you or others need help:
How You Can Help:
Donate to a food shelter or food bank
Vulnerable seniors are at greatest risk amid COVID-19. Let’s help keep them safe and cared for. We want to be sure folks who are most vulnerable or need extra assistance have the food, medicine, and supplies they need during this period of sheltering in place. If it would be helpful for someone in the community to make a delivery to your home, please complete this form. And if you can make a delivery, please sign up here.
During this time organizations are running low on food items, help them stay well stocked for those in need.
Volunteer at a food bank
Food banks are in great need of volunteers to help pack and sort food. They are taking precautions to prioritize volunteer safety. Visit California Association of Food Banks at www.CAfoodbanks.org.
Support a Nonprofit
Nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable communities – like senors and low-income families – need your help. Find a fund to donate to nonprofits in your community on the Philanthropy California COVID-19 Response Page: https://www.philanthropyca.org/covid-19-response.
Check on older neighbors with a call, text, or talk through the door.
Create a hygiene kit
Create hygiene kits and drop off at a shelter for people experiencing homelessness to help them stay healthy.
Donated blood has decreased dramatically. Healthy, eligible donors are urged to come out and give to ensure there’s lifesaving blood on the shelves for those who need it most. Visit the American Red Cross: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.
The Jewish Federation’s Community Call line is open 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday and 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Fridays. Those needing access to social services or financial assistance can call (323) 761-8305. See the Federation Website for resources for community members in need, volunteer and learning opportunities. Community Call Line The Max Factor Family Foundation Financial Assistance Network has increased its pool of funding. This assistance will help Jews whose income has been reduced, hours have been eliminated, or businesses are suffering. If you or someone you know needs access to social services including financial assistance, please call The Jewish Federation’s Community Call Line at (323) 761-8305.
To cover expenses related to COVID-19, help with free, no-interest loans is one click away. Additionally, a new loan fund has been established to help Jews in need. GET HELP.
Food for Those in Need
Jewish Family Service (JFS) SOVA Community Food & Resource Program is now providing prepackaged bags of food to help minimize the risk to both clients and volunteers. The JFS senior nutrition program is now providing all food via delivery. To receive these services, please call JFS Central Access at (877) 275-4537.
Do you know a teen who could use peer support to vent, share, or just talk? Tell them about Teen Talk! Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles created the Teen Talk mobile app to provide social and emotional support to teens. Now more than ever, we see Teen Talk as a critical lifeline for teens in Los Angeles and around the world. Read more about the Teen Talk app.
Need some extra cash to help pay for groceries and other essentials?
Through a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, we can help with some discretionary funding. Please let our rabbis know if you need some support. Email us here.
LGBTQ+ COVID-19 HELP CENTER:
The Equality California COVID-19 Help Center has launched a help center, phone line and email to help anyone who needs to get tested, file for unemployment or a loan, find a foodbank, or talk to a mental health professional.
Application request for financial assistance.
Resource guide from LA Forward.
Mutual aid networks that may be useful.
And the mayor’s office is recommending: lajobportal.com
Bet Tzedek is helping tenants manage the crisis.
MAZON: Jewish Response to Hunger Charitable Food Resource Guide during COVID-19
Sharsheret, for women living with breast or ovarian