COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Is JFCS open during the Governor’s Stay at Home order?

Yes, while our building is closed for most activity, JFCS remains committed to our mission. We are providing the same professional services we always do – in new ways – to help NOW.

• Just call JFCS at 952-546-0616 and someone will promptly get back to you.

What JFCS services are still being provided and how?

We continue to provide the same services. Staff are working from home and providing services remotely, such as mental health teletherapy and telephone reassurance visits with seniors and caregivers. Other staff are using approved physical distancing to provide critical services such as driving seniors to medical appointments, delivering Kosher Meals on Wheels, and providing grocery delivery for people in need of support. All of these efforts are consistent with public health priorities to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

What are JFCS’ greatest needs right now? How can I donate to help?

Many more people than normal will turn to JFCS during this crisis, recognizing that JFCS is the hub of the community when it comes to providing help with boundless compassion. We remain committed to our mission and being Here for All. Always. As the needs of individuals and families grow, so will our efforts to distribute Emergency Financial Assistance and we anticipate a significant rise in demand for Mental Health Support, Career Services Assistance, Food Security, Senior Services and General Operating Support.

Whether you are a dedicated donor, or are considering a new gift, the JFCS Annual Give Campaign for unrestricted funds needs your support now more than ever. Thank you!

Donate to the Give 2020 Campaign here
Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Fund here
• Or contact Dana Rubin, JFCS Development Director, at or 952-542-4803

I am a current client/program participant. How can I find out the status of my program?

If you are a current client, volunteer or program participant and are in need of support, please contact your JFCS provider directly, or call 952-546-0616.

I was laid off from my job due to the coronavirus. Now what should I do?

JFCS provides dislocated worker services for those who lost their job due to no fault of their own. If you’ve been laid off, or were given a layoff notice by your employer, apply for unemployment and contact JFCS via email at, leave a voicemail at 952-417-2111 or fill out an interest form here.

If you don’t qualify as a dislocated worker, still reach out – we have a sliding fee program for résumé and job search help.

 Fill out an interest form here or call 952-417-2111

I am worried about not being able to pay my rent or afford food for my family and myself? What should I do?

JFCS is able to respond to financial needs by providing assistance in a variety of ways. Through scholarships, grants and no-interest loans, we provide support through challenging times. Additionally, with an initial gift from the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, JFCS has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Fund. This fund will assist Jewish families and individuals, or those who work at Jewish institutions that demonstrate an unanticipated financial need directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic or economic downturn.

• For Financial Aid information, call 952-546-0616

Find information on food resources here, or call 952-546-0616

I don’t know how to get groceries for myself or a loved one. Can JFCS help?

We can help review all of your options for food, grocery and medication needs including:

  • Resources for hot meals
  • Delivered meals/Kosher Meals on Wheels
  • Kids’ meals
  • SNAP benefits (food stamps)
  • Groceries and medication

We can also provide connections to food shelves and assist you in completing federal and state paperwork for support.

• For more information call 952-546-0616

I want to volunteer my time to help. What can I do and is it safe?

Each day we assess our needs for the valuable help that volunteers provide, while considering the ways volunteers can safely engage. At this time, our clients are being served by our staff and current volunteers. However, we anticipate that we will need additional help as the situation evolves.

If you would like to be available to volunteer as the need arises, please reach out to Dana Shapiro, JFCS Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, at 952-417-2112 or and she will be in touch as more information is available.

I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the current situation. What can I do?

The current crisis and extreme physical distancing measures have many feeling anxious and isolated. JFCS counselors are expertly trained and can provide remote therapy, including teletherapy, for people of all backgrounds and ages. We accept most insurance, including Medicare.

• For counseling information call 952-546-0616 or request a counseling appointment

Find mental health tips for this period of physical distancing here

I could use help keeping my kids happy and entertained. Does JFCS have any suggestions?

PJ Library is offering resources to digital family activities, storytimes and craft sing-alongs as well as virtual field trips. We are also doing daily posts each morning with a schedule of digital activities from the national PJ Library program for you and your family to participate in!

Follow PJ Library Minneapolis here

JFCS Family Life Education Manager Leah Persky has some tips for parents of school-age children in this unprecedented time.

Read Leah’s column here, or contact Leah at for more information