October 20, 2020

Federation Helping Families of COVID-19 Victims Overseas

Whippany, NJ, October 20, 2020 — Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ has been at the forefront of helping those in need during the coronavirus crisis. To date, its Emergency Response Team has allocated more than $2.7 million locally through the Annual Campaign. But Federation has not just come to the aid of its local community. Since the pandemic, Greater MetroWest has allocated more than $220,000 in emergency support for COVID-19 relief to its overseas partners.

David Saginaw, president of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, said “There are more than 30 agencies that we allocate funds to. So one philanthropic gift to Federation can touch tens of thousands of people all over the globe.”

As an example of the commitment to support communities not just in Greater MetroWest, but in Israel and around the world, Federation recently approved a grant for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a leading Jewish humanitarian organization working in 70 countries. The one-time emergency grant of $5,300 went to support the families of two homecare workers in Russia and Belarus who died from the coronavirus.

The homecare workers were frontline staff helping elderly patients amidst the pandemic, and their work had been funded by Greater MetroWest. For this reason, the grant not only serves to help the victims’ families, but it also expresses Federation’s gratitude for those who assist Greater MetroWest in helping people in need. To protect the privacy of the deceased and their families, only the first names of the victims are included below:

• Valentina, from Kemerovo, Russia
Valentina worked as a homecare worker for more than 10 years. She is remembered by
one of her clients as “making our world kinder and more merciful. She didn’t just provide
help, but she did it with all her heart.” Valentina leaves behind two daughters and a

• Nina, from Baranovichi, Belarus
Nina worked as a homecare worker for 10 years. When asked about Nina, one of her clients
said, “She was kindhearted, responsible, and hardworking. The way that she talked to me,
always knowing just what to say… Nina brought light to my life, and I’ll never forget her.”
Nina is survived by her husband, daughter and parents.

Executive Vice President/CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, Dov Ben-Shimon, said, “In the middle of this pandemic, even now, we’re still connected together. We’re responsible for each other. We believe in a shared destiny and a sense of mutual commitment.”

The Federation grant to support the healthcare workers’ families did not go unnoticed. In response to the gift, Michal Frank, Regional Director for JDC’s former Soviet Union operation, remarked, “At the heart of the pandemic are caregivers who take on the sacred responsibility of saving the lives of those in need. Their legacy, especially for those they leave behind, should be honored and we’re very grateful to Greater MetroWest for helping us make that, and so much more, possible. Our work together gives new meaning to Nina and Valentina’s memory and our shared commitment to those poor, elderly Jews they cared for.”

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ cares for people in need, builds Jewish life, and save the world, one person at a time, every day.

Media Contact: Adam Stone, [email protected]

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