Dear Kibbutznik Family,
We are facing an unprecedented time. The loss of loved ones, severe financial crises, the sacrifices of our essential workers, and struggles we all face as all point to a hard road ahead to recovery. Amidst these challenges, we are reminded of what we hold dear: the connection to one another. Community is central to our work and more than ever, we are committed to being here for you.
We thank you for your patience, as we tackle these difficult times. It is with heavy hearts that we would like to inform you that the upcoming Kibbutznik Spring Family Retreat has been canceled.
If you were registered, please reach out to [email protected] with questions.
For those of you in a position to help JCH keep its doors open and community-supported – we ask you to take action that can make a real difference and donate what you can.
Today, we collectively find ourselves in a new reality. Similar to the rest of NYC, we have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent crisis that has evolved due to the global pandemic. Today, we operate differently:
· We are providing services to the deeply impacted and vulnerable community of south Brooklyn. Our professional team and case managers are providing vital resources and support to community members, including phone and wellness checks, unemployment guidance, entitlement support and certification, job placement, three-way legal consultations with NYLAG, Domestic Violence support, and others.
· We have supported the most vulnerable families and individuals with food packages and direct cash support. Over 500 meals are distributed weekly to home-bound (and now trapped) Holocaust Survivors and seniors.
· We continue to run distance learning for youth, as well as adult literacy ESoL courses, and workforce training classes online for hundreds of clients daily.
· Our staff has been volunteering to provide virtual home care supports for new mothers and those families especially at risk for social isolation and mental health challenges.
· We have reached out via phone and electronic surveys to nearly 7000 clients in our database to understand pressing needs. Here is a snapshot of the results:
o Over 30% in our community worry about food security,
o Over 50% of households have lost partial income; over 25% have lost 100% of their income
o Senior Adults feel socially isolated; many of the Holocaust Survivors are experiencing secondary trauma
o Over 20% of adult households do NOT have access to a computer or internet
o Single Parent households are disproportionally affected by income loss.
o Teens mental health challenges are on the rise.
· Our management group and Board of Directors are working daily with City and State agencies to understand the financial implications of this unprecedented situation on the future of our agency. Marks JCH has moved from growth to survival mode in this last quarter. We are currently developing contingency plans and may need to make future additional infrastructure changes in maintaining financial feasibility.
We are focusing on three mission-driven values:
Providing you with meaningful experiences – just two weeks ago Kibbutznik hosted a Passover Seder for over 100 people; we continue to run virtual Tot Shabbat Classes and events that connect you and your children to the global Jewish community.
Taking care of our community – When this crisis hit, people turned to our staff for emotional and physical support. We are researching emergency childcare of essential workers; we provide daily assessments and mental health referrals; we secured additional funding for the support that we can pass onto our most vulnerable families at 100%. After learning that food security was a major concern we are beginning a free produce distribution to families starting next week.
Ensuring our future – Having lost over $1 million in revenue, we are striving to survive the impact. We closed non-essential programs and furloughed 120 people whom we hope to bring back when we can safely reopen. We’ve made tough decisions in order to make it through this crisis. Because of all of the people in the Marks JCH community, we remain confident that we will be stronger on the other side.
We understand that some of you, as well, are facing hardship, and want you to know that we are “open” to talk and support you.
Thank you in advance for your continued support and care.