Jewish Care’s Rosh Hashanah Appeal

01 Sep 2020

This Rosh Hashanah, Jewish Care is appealing to the community to help make sure the organisation can continue to care for everyone in the community who is relying on their services. The cost of getting the community through the Coronavirus pandemic sees the organisation facing the greatest challenge in its history. The charity needs to raise an extra £5 million on top of the £16 million they need to raise every year just to keep their services going.

Since lockdown, 1200 meals are delivered each week to community members who depend on Jewish Care for Meals on Wheels services. This is often the only hot meal they eat, delivered by a volunteer who may be the only friendly face they see. There are 40% more enquiries to the Jewish Care Helpline than usual, and 1400 clients and their families are relying on the Social Work teams to help them get through this challenging time. The increased spend to secure vital personal protective equipment alone has been £400,000 with huge amounts of extra investment to enable us to continue to keep members, staff and volunteers safe.

The appeal focusses on people like Violet who lives on her own and before Covid, was a regular member at one of Jewish Care’s Community Centres where she enjoyed socialising and making friends. However, Violet, like many other people who were advised to stay at home, soon began to feel isolated and lonely. With the support from a telephone befriender, who volunteers her time to call and check in on Violet, she now feels less alone and is taking part in a regular discussion group run by the community centre over the phone and also accessible online. Violet says, “It lifts my soul when I speak to everyone and gives me a boost to get through the week.”

Rabbi Bayfield’s father was a resident in a Jewish Care home for five years until he sadly passed away during lockdown. Rabbi Bayfield says, “Back in the middle of March, my mother was getting worried about dad. I got a phone call telling me that he’d been taken to hospital. It was hugely painful for me because I couldn’t be with him and reassure him over those last two weeks of his life. But Jewish Care was there every step of the way. I cannot imagine how I and my family could have coped over the last five years without them, and we can’t thank Jewish Care enough for the support they showed during the pandemic.”

Funds raised from the Rosh Hashanah appeal will help to fund personal protective equipment and sanitiser, infrared thermometers for care homes and independent living schemes, trained advisors to answer calls to the Helpline and Meals on Wheels for vulnerable, housebound members of the community.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care’s Chief Executive, says:

“By putting other people’s needs before our own, we were able to keep our residents safe and help the ever-increasing number of members of our community who needed us. I’m incredibly proud of our whole organisation and I’m humbled by the way our staff and volunteers kept going.

“But Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and we have to make sure that we can continue to protect, keep safe and support vulnerable members of the Jewish community who need us. Our ability to do that is threatened by the cancellation of our fundraising events, the cost of the pandemic and the sheer amount of extra work undertaken to help all the people who needed us during lockdown and who continue to rely on our support today.

“Just as our community relies on Jewish Care in its hour of need, we are relying on the community to be as generous as they can this Rosh Hashanah to make the year ahead sweeter for those who rely on us.”