How JFS is Responding to COVID-19

Dear Friends,

In this moment of uncertainty, I want to update you, our extended JFS family, on our most recent information related to coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and well-being of our staff, clients and community are our top priority. We have all the right people in place to work through this difficult patch of whitewater while still caring for those who are most at risk and most vulnerable in our community. Our work is more important than ever.

Our leadership team is meeting daily to evaluate new information and review guidance from King County Public Health and the CDC. We are seeking to understand the risks related to our clients, review each JFS event for postponement or cancellation and implement precautionary measures.

For the most up-to-date information, you can visit the King County guidelines or call the Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127, press #.

While the situation evolves, here are the immediate precautions we have put in place:

  • The Community of Caring Luncheon, scheduled for April 3, 2020, has been cancelled.  This event is our largest annual fundraiser and one of the primary ways we raise funds to serve the most vulnerable in our community. At a time like this, many people have asked how they can offer support. One important way you can help is by making your gift to JFS now.
  • All scheduled group volunteer events, including our upcoming Sha’arei Tikvah Purim party, have been cancelled through April 3, 2020. Please reference our website calendar for the most up-to-date information.
  • In the interest of our staff’s well-being, we are giving all JFS employees, whose on-site work is not critical, the option to work from home.
  • We are currently developing alternative strategies to help us continue serving our clients.

I’ve always believed life is more like whitewater rafting than synchronized swimming—and that certainly is the case we find ourselves in today. What the Jewish community has learned over the centuries is how to adapt to a changing world while still staying rooted in our tradition, being flexible in our thinking and remaining firm in our resolve. These ideas are founded in the understanding that we as individuals are part of a larger community – a greater “we.”

And it is our community that has given us our enduring strength over the millennia and today. In this time of uncertainty, I am grateful to everyone who has reached out and offered to help JFS continue to fulfill our mission in service of those who depend on us.

Rabbi Will Berkovitz
Chief Executive Officer

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