A new initiative will assist Jews of Color in the U.S. who are most in need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and economic fallout. The Jews of Color Initiative COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Individuals offers an efficient, inclusive application process to support people experiencing financial hardships at this time.
“Systemic racism is amplifying the impact of COVID-19 on Jews of Color and all People of Color in the U.S,” says Ilana Kaufman, Executive Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. “We need to get funds into the hands of the most vulnerable, many of whom struggle daily to pay bills and put food on the table. And we are committed to both inviting applications and disbursing funds in ways that are transparent and reflect a welcoming environment for Jews of Color.”
The application is open at jewsofcolorinitiative.org/resources. Key components of the Emergency Relief Fund:
· Minimal documentation related to finances is required as part of the application; the Relief Fund trusts the information the applicant provides.
· The Fund is not a first-come, first-served race to resources. The Jews of Color Initiative is reviewing applications in batches, making every effort to align needs with funds.
· Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as funds are available. When funds are available, qualified applications will be funded.
· Funding will be in the range of $250-$2500 and is for individuals facing hardship and an inability to obtain basic necessities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. All funding must be used for rent or mortgage payment; transportation to work or medical appointments; utilities; groceries; medical bills; or burial expenses.
· Eligible applicants are People of Color in the Jewish community living in the U.S., including People of Color who self-identify as Jewish, People of Color who work or have worked for a Jewish communal organization, and People of Color affiliated with organizations in the Jewish community.
“Existing funding support systems are not necessarily operating in equitable ways,” adds Kaufman. “Awarding funds through a competitive, ‘first-come, first-served’ process, for example, isn’t equitable when applicants’ lives and daily routines are drastically different from each other. Many people, particularly those who are vulnerable, aren’t in position to drop everything midday to fill out an application. So, it’s our responsibility to provide an accessible, light-lift application process that reflects the urgency and equity that this moment demands.”