Federation urges contacting legislators

Federation urges contacting legislators

THE JEWISH FEDERATION of Greater MetroWest NJ is collaborating with other philanthropies to advocate for the long-term needs of Jewish institutions and other nonprofits that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic.

Community members can assist by contacting national and state legislators with appeals to enact measures that will ensure the long-term health of such agencies. Among these organizations are those affiliated with the federation, including Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD), JESPY House, Jewish Family Services, and Daughters of Israel senior community. As of Tuesday, the state’s Division of Developmental Disabilities informed JSDD and JESPY that funding for their day programs, which are now mandated to be closed, will last only two weeks.

As the crisis continues, federation is striving to meet the vastly higher need for assistance for the elderly, for people in financial distress, and for those who are physically isolated. The organization is also helping ensure that those in need of mental health counseling can access licensed counselors and is providing support to agencies that serve Holocaust survivors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable members of the community.

Federation leaders urge all community members to email messages to their legislators urging that policy measures that are being enacted to secure the well-being of the economy will include help for nonprofits.

It is suggested that legislators be reminded that nonprofits, like for-profit small businesses, need immediate emergency relief and will also need considerable help to recover economically in the long-term. Legislators should be encouraged to:

  • Provide financial support to enable continuous coverage of home care workers in homes of older Jewish adults who require extra assistance to stay safe.
  • Make sure that nonprofits are included in tax and other relief targeted to small businesses. Relief should be provided through individual payroll or income tax.
  • Provide funds needed to pay for the increased costs and demand for services arising because the economy and safety net were not built for a pandemic. Nonprofits must cancel fund-raising events and, with continued instability in the financial markets, they anticipate a major decline in revenue.
  • Enact an extension of the April 1 deadline — to at least May 1 — for Jewish institutions applying for Nonprofit Security Grant Program funding to improve security in their buildings.

For a sample letter and more information visit jfedgmw.org/help.

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