Community Comes Together With Resources for Weathering the Pandemic

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The Jewish community has shown in its strength in unity despite the plight of closures due to COVID-19. Organizations are offering specific opportunities to help residents get through the financial and practical risks of this time.

Specifically for Passover, Chabad of Owings Mills will assist those who will be having a seder in quarantine.


“We are preparing ‘seder to go’ kits for families, delivered free of charge to those who need,” said Rabbi Nochum “K” Katsenelenbogen.

Chabad of Owings Mills’ Chabad Chessed Circle will deliver to local families about 300 boxes that include Haggadahs, a seder place mat, a Seder plate with all the six required items, a guide on how to have a seder, a bottle of grape juice, and handmade shmurah matzah. The boxes are ordered from Chabad headquarters and personalized with the fresh items by Chabad of Owings Mills.

This is an upgrade to their annual service of delivering shmurah matzah before Pesach to the community. “We always have a large com- munity seder of about 100 to 150 people, but this year obviously things are going to be different,” Katsenelenbogen said.

“Chabad in Owings Mills wants to make sure that every Jewish family in Owings Mills will be able to celebrate the Passover Seder no different than any other year.”

He pointed out that Chabad Chessed Circle has been busy helping people who need medications or deliveries. Those in need should contact them through the website or office.
Meanwhile, Repair the World is focusing on online volunteer opportunities, such as Catchafire, which matches people with opportunities to use their professional skills for charity.

The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore also has compiled an online list
of resources and volunteer opportunities.

“The Associated and our family of agencies is tending to the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Chair of the Board Debra S. Weinberg and President Marc B. Terrill in a press release. “We are ensuring that they have access to food, medicine, and necessities during periods of social distancing. We also know the toll that this will take on the mental health of many people, and we are prepared to help. Our agencies are also preparing virtual activities to inform and hopefully inspire you.”

Health Care Resources

1. LifeBridge Health’s Sinai Hospital has a drive-through testing site. Patients must call first at 410-601-2222.

2. For those without health insurance, National Jewish Health is a nonprofit company that can help. Applications and information on eligibility can be found on nationaljewish.org. Responses generally take 20 days.

Other Resources

1. JCS has initiated many efforts to provide its normal resources to the community in a new platform. Visit their website for zoom classes and videos.

2. Jewish Volunteer Connection is working to provide meals and products to homebound individuals, such as those who are quarantined.

3. Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools has online learning tools, sample school letters, and website suggestions for teachers. Other online education resources include AlephBeta.org, which offers bar and bat mitzvah video classes; Behrman House, which offers apps to support Hebrew learning; and TorahLive.com, which is offering quizzes.

4. KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad has information and resources for students abroad during this time.

5. JCC is livestreaming crafts and classes for kids and adults of all ages.

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