Making a difference: Ways to help

Cindy MindellCommunity News

Dear Friends,
Many of us are looking for ways to make a difference during our time sheltering in place due to COVID-19. If you would like to get involved, with or without leaving your home, here are some suggestions from David Weisberg, CEO of the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy. 
We can help get critical items such as protective gear and food to the dedicated front-line staff-members at Jewish Senior Services in Bridgeport (JSS) and Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County (JFS) by making donations through TzedakahShop here.
Federation has also set up COVID & COMMUNITY, a guide to free online events and ways to get and offer help. David also indicated some hands-on volunteer activities that you can do for JSS from home, such as:
  • Create care packages for JSS staff  
  • Sew face-masks for the staff (a great way to teach your kids to sew) — find instructions on the CDC website 
  • Children can write letters and poems or make drawings for residents of JSS and other eldercare facilities — click for instructions
  • Donate used iPads or other devices to help JSS residents connect with their families
Items can be dropped off at JSS (4200 Park Ave., Bridgeport) or at Liz Krebs’s home and she will be happy to deliver them to JSS on behalf of our congregation. Please email the office to ask for directions.
Great news: we will match your donation! Beth El’s Tikkun Olam fund has made contributions to JSS and JFS through TzedakahShop.com. When you make a donation to Tikkun Olam, we will match the amount you donated to purchase gift cards for the JSS staff. Donate (any amount) to Tikkun Olam (earmark funds for the JSS scrip initiative) and Tikkun Olam will match dollar for dollar. We will send Stop & Shop gift cards to JSS to be distributed to staff members for groceries and/or gas.
To date, our Tikkun Olam fund has contributed to other community COVID-19 related campaigns:  Operation Hope (in lieu of our annual Chametz Swap Food Drive), Connecticut Food Bank, and CDC Foundation Emergency Response Fund-Coronavirus. Should you prefer to donate to Beth El’s Tikkun Olam fund instead of elsewhere, we will be happy to disperse any collected funds to pandemic relief. Reminder: Checks (in an envelope, please) may be left in the plastic bin outside the rear synagogue entrance. You may also send payments or make donations at congbethel.shulcloud.com
If you have any additional ideas as to how Beth El Fairfield can act as a “community together while apart,” please do not hesitate to contact Amy Gershberg or Liz Krebs. Email Susan Mittag at smittag@bethelfairfield.org and she will forward your email to the appropriate person.
Hoping everyone is well and staying safe! Please do not hesitate to contact the main synagogue office if there is anything you need assistance with.
Liz Krebs, President