Jewish United Fund in Chicago launches $26 million coronavirus initiative


(JTA) — The Jewish United Fund in Chicago has made $26 million available to help area residents of all faiths deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The money for the COVID-19 Initiative comes from the Jewish organization’s annual campaign and endowment, as well as access to additional credit and support from other funders, JUF said in a statement.

The money will be used for:

  • Emergency financial aid, including cash grants for housing, food, medical care and other essentials for individuals and families. Some assistance will be provided through synagogues’ Rabbinic Discretionary Funds;
  • Increased food assistance, including expansion of pantries, grocery gift cards and meal programs;
  • Health and safety, including enhanced staffing, trauma counseling and personal protective equipment for Mount Sinai Hospital, residential programs and other caregivers serving seniors and people with disabilities; and
  • Community stability, including emergency operating support and professional expertise for local Jewish human service and educational agencies.

In addition, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia announced that it is releasing $7.3 million in unrestricted grants for over 30 Greater Philadelphia organizations, plus an additional $2.5 million for organizations in Israel to help them weather the coronavirus crisis.

The funds are separate from the federation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Over $1.3 million has been raised in that fund, with about half already distributed to over a dozen organizations in Philadelphia and in Israel.

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