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Uniting in the Coronavirus Fight: 8 Major Jewish Groups Team Up to Respond to Pandemic

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March 25, 2020
A Star of David is visible among the ornamentation at the Brodyer Synagogue at the ordination of new Rabbis Shlomo Afanasev and Moshe Baumel on August 30, 2010 in Leipzig, Germany. Though both Afanasev and Baumel were born in the former Soviet Union, they grew up in Germany and are among a growing number of German-raised rabbis graduating from the Ronald Lauder-supported Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Eight major Jewish organizations have formed an emergency coalition to respond jointly to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Jewish Federations of North America, an umbrella group of communal fundraising and programming organizations, will lead a coalition that also includes umbrella groups for Jewish day schools, camps, community centers, campus Hillels and human service agencies.

The coalition will share resources, identify the scope of the disease’s impact on the Jewish community, lobby for private and public funding for struggling organizations, and help laid-off Jewish professionals.

Jewish organizational leaders have predicted that the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus could lead to significant layoffs and fundraising challenges for Jewish nonprofits.

“Working together and collectively we can achieve more than any one of us can do alone,” Mark Wilf, JFNA’s chairman, said in a statement. Wilf is a former board member of 70 Faces Media, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s parent company.

Aside from JFNA, the coalition includes the Jewish youth group BBYO, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Hillel International, the JCC Association of North America, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools and Moishe House,  a network of homes that serve as community centers for Jewish young adults.

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