The support of Sinai Synagogue is needed now more than ever, as LJWB continues to provide vital support to the Community, in the face of the corona virus crisis.

LJWB delivers an extensive range of community support and registered care services helping to reduce social isolation, improve mental health and wellbeing challenges, poverty, and support with daily living; aiming to deliver our vision of positively changing lives.

Beneficiaries in our services, age from our youngest at just a few days old to families experiencing parenting issues, adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues to the more experienced members of our community facing illness, old age and living with long-term debilitating health conditions, social isolation and remoteness of family.

LJWB responded rapidly to the challenges brought about by the corona virus outbreak. We knew that the community would need our support more than ever, so we:

  • Moved our activity programme online including chairobics, quizzes, arts and crafting
  • Created secure portals to allow for the continuation of our specialist support groups including women’s, carers, counselling, grief and loss etc.
  • Contacted all of our service users to establish their one to one support needs and also how they would like to be contacted and the frequency of contact. This now includes daily contact via telephone, Zoom, WhatsApp and other social media
  • Developed online videos to provide help and support when required at any time of day or night

We also established new services to support community members who were required to self-isolate, had no other means of help or support or required additional help. Within three days of lockdown we had established:

  • A dedicated Covid-19 helpline for current and new service users to ring if they required help
  • A shopping service using current and new volunteers
  • Changed our catering services from a café to providing hot and frozen meals, delivered to vulnerable community members of all ages
  • Developed specific services to support online faith activities including seder in a box and Friday loaves of love (challah) and activity packs

As lockdown progressed, we listened to our service users and the challenges they are facing including loss of confidence, increased self-medicating, anxiety, fear, increased violence and abuse, sleep disorders, loss of routine and reduced coping mechanisms. As a result of listening to our community, we are now providing more services including:

  • A new telephone buddy scheme
  • Activity packs, friendship gifts and penpals service
  • Face to face support (PPE /Social distancing permitting)
  • Emergency finances for those unable to access their money
  • Loan of IT equipment and IT assistance to get online safely and increase participation with our activities and those of our community partners
  • Additional drop-in support services, on-line counselling, and support groups, Sunday chat, SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) online parents’ support groups and 1:1 support sessions for children with special education needs and disabilities

LJWB’s response to the corona virus crisis can be highlighted with the following statistics:

  • Recruited an additional 60 volunteers
  • Delivered over 1200 hours of volunteer support
  • Developed a new telephone buddy service – in the past four weeks we have made over 320 calls to people who are lonely and isolated
  • Made 1900 calls to current service users (including those who attend the centre)
  • Supported 638 clients
  • Delivered 47 hours of online group support
  • Delivered 2250 hot and cold kosher meals
  • Delivered an online programme of activities for adults and children
  • Worked with Digital Leeds and have given out seven iPads to help Community members stay connected

Nobody knows the long terms effects of Covid-19 but we do know as a society there will be people severely affected either directly from the virus or indirectly due to loss of all types; relationships, work, lifestyle, isolation and mental wellbeing.

We are currently developing new ways to tackle issues that will result as we come out of lockdown, including confidence in going out, increased anxiety, supporting people to connect to their loss and providing practical ways to help people help themselves including online training to help people improve their wellbeing. We know the sooner we can provide the help the better the outcomes.

However, we can only continue to provide this support, thanks the wonderful generosity received from organisations and individuals within the Community.

Your support of LJWB in this year's appeal will be used to help us to maintain and implement the activities and support listed above so that, even in the aftermath of the corona virus crisis, LJWB will continue to positively change lives.

High Holy Days Appeal

2020/5781

Sinai Synagogue Supporting Leeds Jewish Welfare Board (LJWB) and Reform Judaism’s Communities that Care Initiative

High Holy Days Appeal

2020/5781

Sinai Synagogue Supporting Leeds Jewish Welfare Board (LJWB) and Reform Judaism’s Communities that Care Initiative