Federation CJA’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 20, 2020

In mere days, the impact of COVID-19 has escalated, and as events are rapidly evolving, we wanted to update you on all that Federation CJA is doing to help our community navigate this unprecedented crisis.

Our entire community, along with much of the world, has been impacted by the pandemic. Jewish day schools have cancelled in-person classes and shifted to online learning. Our agencies are closed. Many synagogues have cancelled in-person services. Here at Federation CJA, we have cancelled all events, our Shinshinim have returned to Israel, and our staff are working remotely.

Although we have been forced to make some changes to the way our organization operates, we continue to deliver the services our community needs.


We are here for our most vulnerable; our elderly, ill, and economically disadvantaged. Members of our community are, and will be facing unprecedented challenges and we are committed to supporting them wherever and whenever possible. 

Through a collaborative effort with our agencies and community partners, we have come together to respond to new challenges and serve and support the vulnerable in our Community. 

The work that has been accomplished in this short period of time is staggering. Our collective efforts have provided extensive relief across our Community. With the support of close to 200 volunteers who have tirelessly given of themselves, we have been able to mobilize in just a few short days and help in the following ways:

Delivering food.

Amidst the government's regulations for the elderly, those who have recently travelled, and individuals with compromised immune systems to remain at home, our volunteers have safely delivered hundreds of kosher meals to their doorsteps, ensuring no direct contact.

Supporting our community's vulnerable.

Our mission has always been to take care of the less fortunate amongst us, everyday, and especially in times of crisis.  With the uncertainty of what this pandemic will bring and how long the crisis will last, Federation CJA and the social service agencies and partners we are collaborating with, distributed, $500,000 worth of supermarket gift cards to ensure that vulnerable members of our community and their families can continue to have food and household goods during this crisis into the foreseeable future.

Mobilizing to help the isolated.

Dedicated volunteers have purchased and delivered groceries as well as basic household needs and pharmaceuticals for those who cannot or are not permitted to leave their homes.

Keeping our community connected.

So much of Jewish life revolves around gatherings. That sense of connection has been severely compromised. Our volunteers have taken the time to call and connect with thousands of community members over the age of 70 to ensure their well-being, and to confirm that they are getting the food, supplies and love that they need. The response has been tremendously heart-warming as recipients have expressed their appreciation in knowing that, albeit from a distance, they are being thought of and cared for. 

Federation CJA, its affiliated agencies and community partners will continue to work together to help, support and guide the Jewish Community. The physical and emotional needs of our community members are our top priority and a vital part of our overall mission. As this crisis evolves, we will ensure that our coordinated response not only meets our community's needs today, but that we maintain the utmost strength and unity as we navigate through this pandemic together. 

We stand united with the world during this global pandemic and pray for the safety and protection of people worldwide. 

If you need help, or know someone who does, please call our Help Line at 514-734-1411.

As we enter Shabbat, let us remind ourselves to continue to follow the Federal, Provincial and Municipal guidelines that have been established to protect us all. Please click here to read an important message from the Montreal Board of Rabbis. We all have a collective responsibility for one another in these times, and as we already know, a number of community members have tested positive for COVID-19. Let us rise up to the most sacred of Jewish values that when "we save a life, we save a world". Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom, stay safe and healthy.

Gail Adelson-Marcovitz

Gail Adelson-Marcovitz
Federation CJA

Yair Szlak

Yair Szlak
Chief Executive Officer
Federation CJA

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