Since the surge of COVID-19 cases in Connecticut and the decision to close the JCC as a preventative measure, over 8,000 check-in call were made by the Jewish Federation staff and volunteers.
“We are a caring community and this is holy work,” said Judy Alperin, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
“We are reaching out to let people know that we are there for them. To listen to them and offer our support with anything they need—running errands, providing tech support by phone, being there for them or referring them to other resources in the community,” said Chief Development Officer Amy Holtz, who headed up the effort. Below are just a few examples to demonstrate the impact of these calls.
“I reached a woman who is totally alone. She is over 65, lives in New Haven and is a cardiac patient. She was very nervous about becoming ill and having to go to the hospital with no one in the world to help her. I told her that her community is here and that we are all family. She started to cry which, in turn, made me cry. I told her that I would personally be calling her and that when this all was over that we would meet so that I could give her a hug. I’m sure this will be the beginning of a long and lovely relationship.” ~ Robyn Teplitzky
“I just had a discussion with a woman who lost her husband and had to cancel his unveiling. On another call this morning I accidentally connected with a Jewish woman who didn't know where to turn for resources and couldn't believe the timing of my call. I only connected with her because I misdialed a number by one digit. People have been incredibly thankful to hear from someone offering support; it’s amazing what a simple call can do.” ~ Kayla Bisbee
“The woman I called said it was like an angel calling…we chatted for an hour. I told her about all kinds of things she can do online with her kids/grandkids for Passover. She wanted to express how much she is enjoying the online classes…She was so thankful” ~ Stacey Battat
“Hello, neighbors. Elliot Markman was very persistent in trying to reach me…I live alone and wasn't feeling well at the time and found his words to be very comforting, reassuring and so unexpected. I am not Jewish and go to the JCC very often through the Silver Sneakers program. That only makes the call all the more remarkable. Thank you all for your efforts!” ~ Community member
“How wonderful of you to call me today. My husband and I are doing ok but our family does not live close by. It is good to know that the Federation is checking on us. We have donated every year and knowing that you are all working so hard to take care of us and our community makes me proud to support the Federation. Please thank all of your fellow workers for what they are doing” ~ Community member