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L.A. Jewish Crisis Resource Guide

[additional-authors]
March 24, 2020
Photo from Pixabay.

This guide will constantly be updated. Keep checking back for additional information and email ryant@jewishjournal.com if you’d like your organization, event or resource to be added to this guide.

WHERE YOU CAN GO FOR HELP

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION
The Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups for caregivers as well as a 24-7, around-the-clock hotline at (800) 272-3900. The California Southland chapter is reachable during normal working hours at (323) 309-8821. alz.org.

AMUDIM ANONYMOUS SUPPORT LINE
For those experiencing stress and anxiety, crisis response organization Amudim is partnering with multiple organizations and private practice clinicians including L.A.-based therapists via an anonymous support line available to the public at (888) 726-8346.  5 a.m.-8 p.m. Those who prefer to communicate in writing can do so via email at support@amudim.org. amudim.org.

BACK ENGAGED NOW
Back Engaged Now, a Jewish suicide prevention program, is providing support by offering people access to the following resources: Secular psychotherapy at the Southern California Counseling Center at (323) 937-1344; low-cost and free Jewish counseling at the Valley Beth Shalom Counseling Center at (818) 784-1414; and the JQ Helpline for the LGBTQ community at (855) 574-4577. For more information, email Jonah Sanderson at jonahsanderson2@aol.com.

BET TZEDEK 
Pro bono legal aid agency Bet Tzedek has published a number of COVID-19 resources on its website, including an outline of employees’ rights during the crisis. bettzedek.org/our-services/resources.

I CAN HELP
Focused on but not exclusively serving the modern Orthodox Pico-Robertson community, the I Can Help task force matches those in need with those able to volunteer. The website includes a donation link to an emergency Passover and Pandemic Crisis Tzedakah Fund, which distributes funds under the direction of Rabbi Yonah Bookstein. To request assistance or for additional information, email kavodforeldersla@gmail.com or visit icanhelp.site.

JEWISH FEDERATION OF LOS ANGELES WARM-LINE
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has launched a community warm-line, referring people in need of social services to the appropriate agencies. Call (323) 761-8305 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Fridays. For more information, visit jewishla.org.

JEWISH FREE LOAN ASSOCIATION
For those who have lost wages because they cannot go to work, have accumulated childcare costs because of the schools being closed or have lost funds due to canceled travel plans, the Jewish Free Loan Association is offering emergency loans up to $3,000 to residents of L.A. and Ventura Counties who are U.S. citizens. Must have at least one person who can sign on your loan and guarantee repayment. Must be 18-or-over to apply. People of any faith are eligible. For more information, visit jfla.org.

JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE LA
Jewish Family Service Los Angeles is delivering meals to homebound seniors and people with disabilities and maintaining and stocking its SOVA pantries, which are distributing pre-packed bags of groceries. Phone the JFSLA Community Response Line at (877) 275-4537. For more information, visit jfsla.org.

JEWISH NONPROFIT LOAN OPPORTUNITIES
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package intended to combat the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, includes an allocation of $350 billion for small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

Jewish organizations with fewer than 500 employees – including federations, JCCs, JFS agencies, nursing homes, day schools, camps, Hillels and synagogues – are eligible to apply for a loan, which will be forgiven if the organization keeps its employees on the payroll.

For more information about the unprecedented stimulus package and how it’s relevant for Jewish nonprofits, read Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) simple and full analyses of the CARES Act at jewishtogether.org.

RENTAL EVICTION INFO
While Los Angeles tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent, landlords are prohibited from evicting their tenants for non-payment of rent if their inability to pay is due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 epidemic. The current emergency declaration protections, which were issued in March, continue through the expiration of the emergency. Tenants who are unable to pay their rent will have to work out a repayment plan with their landlord once the emergency expires. Protections apply to all residential and commercial rentals in Los Angeles. Read more here. Eviction complaints can be made at (866) 557-7368 or hcidla.lacity.org/File-a-Complaint.

SHOPPING HELPERS L.A.
Sisters Kayla Newman, 19, and Leeat Hatzav, 20 have created WhatsApp groups to connect elderly people and the immune compromised with young and healthy people who can provide them with shopping assistance. Serving Pico, La Brea and the Valley. For more information, call (323) 628-7017, email shoppinghelpersla@gmail.com or visit myshla.com.

SINGLE JEWISH MOMS CONNECT
Single Jewish Moms Connect, a project of Chabad’s Bais Chana Women International, serves women who are divorced, widowed and single-by-choice. Because of the coronavirus, the New York-based organization is hosting twice-weekly Zoom meetings, connecting women to community resources and launching a volunteer program to provide homework help and other support to children of single mothers via video conferencing. For more information, visit singlejewishmoms.org.

PASSOVER RESOURCES

Social distancing seders, selling your chametz online – congregations are getting creative as they prepare to celebrate Passover this year. The following list of resources has been compiled to help you honor the holiday of Pesach while adhering to ‘safer at home’ orders.

CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT PESACH GUIDE
The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement details the dietary restrictions for the holiday. Rabbi Elliot Dorff authors the introduction.

DIGITAL CONTENT FOR THE VIRTUAL SEDER
The Union for Reform Judaism has compiled digital resources to enliven this year’s unusual seders, including discounted Haggadot in print and as e-books; song playlists for your Passover seder; and thought-provoking questions to ask one another.

HAGGADOT.COM
Make your own haggadah. Choose from thousands of options of blessings, artwork, translations, songs, activities and more, and mix and match to create a unique hagaddah experience for your seder. Also, join Haggadot.com for its inaugural virtual seder on April 12 at 11 a.m. PST, 2 p.m. EST, featuring Haggadot.com Founder Eileen Levinson and Journal contributor Esther Kustanowitz.

IKAR VIRTUAL SEDERS
IKAR members host small seders from their homes on the first night of Passover and invite other members of IKAR to join them virtually. On the second night, everyone is invited to join the progressive congregation on Zoom for a community seder. Sign up on the website.

NUROOTS: COLLECTIVE ESCAPE
NuRoots, the young adults home of the L.A. Federation, curates virtual Passover experiences through its annual Collective Escape initiative.

PASSOVER LISTINGS
For those who have booked Passover retreat programs, have experienced cancellations and are looking for resources to guide them through this unpredictable time, Passoverlistings.com, a Yelp-like resource for Pesach retreats, has a blog on the topic as well as a Facebook group for people to share information.

PASSOVER PREP PODCAST
Sinai Temple Rabbi Erez Sherman appears on Up to the Minute Podcast COVID-19 and discusses how he and his wife, Sinai Rabbi Nicole Guzik, will use Zoom to hold a social distancing seder this year. Sherman recorded the approximately 13-minute conversation on March 31.

PREPARING FOR PESACH TOOLKIT
The Orthodox Union offers daily videos to help you prepare for Passover during these turbulent times. Kasher your kitchen, unpack the Hagaddah and get answers to your most pressing holiday questions.

VBS PASSOVER 2020
Valley Beth Shalom’s Passover 2020 hub’s features live-streamed Passover prep events, virtual seders, a portal for selling your chametz online and an array of resources to ready you for the holiday.

PASSOVER RECIPES

SEPHARDIC PASSOVER
In their Jewish Journal article, “A Sephardic Passover,” “Sephardic Spice Girls” Rachel Emquies Sheff and Sharon Gomperts publish recipes on lamb shanks, ratatouille, fava bean soup and chocolate bark.

VIRTUAL JERUSALEM RECIPES
If you are unsure what foods to prepare for these unusual Passover seders, Virtual Jerusalem has suggestions. Make dishes including chocolate macaroon tarts, sweet and sour French roast and potato crust meat pizza. Times range from 30-minutes to four hours.

YEMENITE DISHES
Cookbook author Judy Zeidler explains how to make Yemenite charoset and Yemenite fish and tomato sauce.

KOSHER FOOD 

BIBI’S BAKERY AND CAFÉ
Bibi’s Bakery and Café is open for pickup and delivery only.  Customers can order through the website or on the phone. Owner Dan Messinger is updating the menu with traditional walk-in items. Normal operating hours may change but are: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. 8928 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 246-1788.

KOSHER BAKERY FOR PASSOVER
Eilat Bakery, a kosher fixture in the Pico community, produces 100-percent gluten-free, dairy free goods for Passover. Cholov Israel used for dairy products. Opens at 6 a.m. Sunday-Friday. 9060 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 205-8700, (424) 243-6030.

PAT’S RESTAURANT AND CATERING
Pat’s is offering Passover take-out as well as take-out and delivery through Pesach. Items include gefilte fish with carrots; matzah balls; roast brisket and braised short ribs. Orders need to be received by April 3 at noon. Call (310) 205-8705 or email patsrestaurantla@gmail.com. Update, March 31: Due to high demand, Pat’s is no longer accepting Passover orders.

PICO KOSHER DELI
For the first time ever, Pico Kosher Deli and MGM Caterers are merging to offer a take-out Pesach menu. Servicing the entire state of California and under the supervision of the RCC, the order cutoff date is March 31. Come visit the new store at 8947 W. Pico Blvd., which will be open from 2-6 p.m. April 6 and 7 for order pickup. (424) 309-7676.

WAYS YOU CAN VOLUNTEER

AMERICAN RED CROSS
There is an ongoing critical need for blood donations due to the coronavirus pandemic. To schedule an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org.

L.A.  EMERGENCY COVID-19 CRISIS FUND
Help support families, healthcare workers, un-housed neighbors and others with a contribution to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the life of Angelenos. mayorsfundla.org/covid19.

ONGOING ONLINE ACTIVITIES 

Minyans, Shabbat services, book clubs, topical discussions, mediation and yoga are just a few of the virtual Jewish programs offered at the following places.

AJC ADVOCACY ANYWHERE
Stay informed on global political issues during this challenging period. American Jewish Committee delivers online content and programs on Israel, campus advocacy and more.

AMERICAN JEWISH UNIVERSITY B’YACHAD TOGETHER
An online portal at American Jewish University with and experiential learning opportunities delivered via Zoom.

BETH JACOB VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY 
The modern Orthodox synagogue holds diverse online programming, including shiurim (lessons) and Torah-related discussions, and is running a buddy system to connect those in need of help with those who can volunteer their time.

FIDF ENGAGE
Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has launched FIDF Engage in response to COVID-19. The hub of digital events includes falafel cooking classes, Krav Maga self-defense workouts and other ways to virtually connect with IDF soldiers, many of whom are on the frontline of Israel’s response to the coronavirus.

JEW IT AT HOME
More than a dozen synagogues and Jewish organizations are curating online events and resources, including Shabbat services, daily meditation and yoga and book clubs, appropriate for kids, adults and families. jewitathome.com.

LOS ANGELES MUSEUM OF THE HOLOCAUST
The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is offering a number of virtual educational resources, including live-streamed events, recorded survivor testimonies and a digital archive. lamoth.org.

SINAI STREAMED
Sinai Temple has shifted its programming to an online platform dubbed “Sinai Streamed.” Visit the website. sinaitemple.org.

STEPHEN WISE TEMPLE
Stephen Wise Temple provides live-streamed services and events online.

SKIRBALL AT HOME
Laura Mart and Cate Thurston, co-curators of Skirball Cultural Center’s “I’ll Have What She’s Having: The Jewish Deli,” lead a virtual tour of the celebrated Jewish delicatessen as part of the #SkirballAtHome series.

Skirball co-curators Laura Mart and Cate Thurston enjoy a pastrami sandwich, the Original #19, at Langer’s Deli. Courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

VALLEY BETH SHALOM AT HOME
Valley Beth Shalom is offering a variety of online programs, from morning minyans to Torah study online.

VIRTUAL SHABBAT COMMUNITY
Hollywood Temple Beth El celebrates Shabbat in song and study, every Saturday morning, from 10:30 a.m.-noon, through April. Click on the Zoom link to join in.

WILSHIRE BOULEVARD TEMPLE @ HOME
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple community is now an online community where people can pray, play, learn and connect with one another. Visit the website.

ADDITIONAL EVENTS AND RESOURCES

SAVE THE DATE: ISRAEL’S 72ND BIRTHDAY VIRTUAL GLOBAL CELEBRATION
On April 29, celebrate Israel with music, celebrity performances, interactive activities and more. Organized by Jewish Federations of North America. 

ONLINE SHABBAT MATERIAL
Builders of Jewish Education is curating digital content to help celebrate Shabbat at home. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Humanistic and interfaith families can view the wealth of material online.

FACEBOOK GROUPS
Several Facebook groups are responding to the outbreak of COVID-19. In the Jewish community, these groups include Parnassah Task Force L.A. and Jewish Crisis Response Task Force, which are providing advice, networking, temporary job or business referrals and information on volunteer opportunities. Learn more about these groups from their public pages on Facebook. Hat tip to Marcus Freed, who has also been compiling Jewish emergency resources in Los Angeles and alerted us to these Facebook groups.

TED CONNECTS 
A free, live daily conversation series features experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time. Each day means a new live-stream at noon ET. Recent speakers include Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

MEDITATION

Mindfulness Rabbi Jill Zimmerman leads “Your Spiritual Toolkit in this Time of Crisis,” a three-session guided meditation course, on March 30 and April 6 and 13. $45 per person. Details provided upon payment. Classes live and recorded.

Author, teacher and speaker Gilla Nissan leads meditation classes via Zoom. Sun. 10 a.m.-noon, Tues. 7-9 p.m., Wed. 4 p.m., Thurs. 9:45-11:30 a.m. By donation. Zoom meeting ID: 548 712 0394

Ari Noonan contributed to this piece.

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