The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s board of directors has authorized a task force of volunteers to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency funds to the Federation’s beneficiary agencies and overseas partners to help allay costs and losses associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency funds will be pulled from several sources, “including the Jewish Federation’s emergency funds, money from the 2019-2020 Community Campaign previously designated for Federation-sponsored community programs that have now been canceled, mini-grant pools and supplemental gifts,” according to a press release issued March 27.
“We must address the immediate needs and send help now,” said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the Federation’s board of directors. “People can’t work. More families need food assistance. Caregivers need medical supplies. Our children still need to learn. This money won’t stop the virus, but it will help provide a little relief during our community’s greatest moment of need.”
The task force, made up of the Federation’s Planning and Funding Committee members, will work with Federation’s planning experts, agency representatives and a continually updated community needs assessment to determine where to distribute the emergency relief funds, subject to the Federation’s board’s approval.
“The Federation is working closely with government officials, private foundations and, of course, with our own experts and agency professionals in order to help our community members,” said Jeffrey Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Federation. “We are convening the relevant parties to do everything we can to address both the short-term and long-term impact of COVID-19.”
Distributions are expected to begin quickly to address the most urgent problems and will continue as the needs assessment develops. PJC