Emergency Partnership Procuring Desperately Needed Supplies for Jewish Institutions

Jewish Funders Network has teamed up with the Jewish Federations of North America, the Association of Jewish Aging Services, and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies to bulk purchase desperately needed protective equipment on behalf of Jewish healthcare providers across North America. This emergency partnership is focusing on the most vulnerable members of society — nursing and rehabilitation home residents, isolated elderly and persons with disabilities – and is currently procuring supplies for over 100 organizations across North America.

“Due to the ongoing pandemic, the cost of needed protective gear has dramatically increased, and our agencies are facing extreme delays in receiving the necessary protective equipment as the number of deaths continues to climb” said Reuben Rotman, CEO of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies.

Jewish Federations of North America Treasurer Harold Gernsbacher, former principal of Chain Link Services, Inc., personally provided the financial guarantee and fronted the entire order for the coalition of agencies.

The project is seeking funders for the following immediate needs:

  • Helping agencies cover the difference in cost between what is "standard cost" (before COVID-19) and the price of the goods today. They are looking for donors to help us pay approximately $900,000 to ensure the agencies do not have to carry this enormous unexpected financial burden.
  • Supporting the total funding needs facing specific high-impact state, cities or communities.
  • Providing funding to help us ensure safe and secure shipping from production to distribution for all of the equipment. They need to raise $150,000 for all of air freight costs.
  • Additionally, they are looking for a donor to contribute $50,000 to secure a more express shipping option that would enable them to have the goods arrive as soon as possible.

We are also creating a “Second Wave Fund” for anticipated future waves of the pandemic (over the coming months) to distribute additional supplies, including face shields, testing kits, ventilators/ventilator parts, sanitizer, and environmentally friendly surface spray cleaners.So far, we have ordered more than 1 million pairs of gloves, almost 200,000 protective gowns, 125,000 KN95 masks, and 125,000 N95 masks.

 “This rapid response initiative only worked because we came together as one, creating a coordinated distribution network and leveraging our collective purchasing power to procure critically needed supplies,” said Alex Jakubowski. one of the response plan team members and the executive director of Kahal Abroad an organization that, together with Jewish fraternity network Alpha Epsilon Pi, powers the North American Volunteer Network. “This effort is a great example of how small Jewish communities throughout the country joined forces with larger communities to face this unprecedented crisis together."

Each partner is playing a unique role in this effort. JFN is serving as an aggregator of charitable donations for this purpose and will distribute funds as necessary; Jewish Federations of North America leveraged support and donor networks to determine a suitable distribution network through Chain Link Services, as well as providing crucial legal and regulatory support. The Last Mile Network is driven by Alpha Epsilon Pi and KAHAL, which together have thousands of fraternity brothers and alumni across North America who are ready to be activated to help support distribution from air and trucking points in major cities to the local agencies.

To donate, please contact: [email protected]. One hundred percent of support goes directly to reimbursement costs of PPE materials and transportation. For further information contact: [email protected].