Helping the Most Vulnerable in Westchester During This Difficult Time

Published Friday, March 20, 2020

To our WJCS community,

During these very difficult times, I, on behalf of everyone at WJCS, want to express our concern and hope for your health and safety. To say that these are very challenging times is an understatement. At WJCS, we are steadfast in our determination to serve the needs of our clients and protect our employees in what are unprecedented circumstances. We've been heartened by all the people who have reached out to us to check how we are doing and I'm proud to say that the WJCS staff is responding amazingly well. All WJCS employees have a strong desire to serve the community and have adapted in order to meet the new realities that are a result of the coronavirus.

Here are some of the ways WJCS is responding to maintain as many of our services as possible:

  • Our 13 group homes, serving 95 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, remain open and staffed 24 hours a day, having the additional responsibility of providing programs during the day since the regular day programs for our residents, not operated by WJCS, have been cancelled. Unfortunately, we are challenged by short supplies of masks, thermometers, and thermometer covers. 
  • In our mental health clinics, we have moved as many clients as possible to telephone and video sessions. Most clinicians are working from home and hosting phone and video sessions and a skeletal staff at clinics is accepting intakes. 
  • Participants in our children, youth, and family programs like Parent Child+, Center Lane, Wiener Academy, WJCS Infant Toddler Center, and more are receiving 30-minute phone check-ins to ensure they avoid a sense of isolation. Bags filled with educational activities, games, and books are being delivered to those in our programs to keep the children entertained and educated and to maintain connection with the families. 
  • Participants in POINT, a supportive community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are living on their own, are staying connected to each other and to WJCS staff via phone and Face Time. 
  • While Jewish Program host sites (synagogues, day schools, and nursery schools) are closed, teleconference support groups are being conducted via Zoom for parents, seniors, and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's. A meditation class by Zoom had over 25 attendees. The WJCS Jewish Programs staff is checking in daily via phone with all elderly. Kosher food is being delivered to those who are homebound.
  • We are developing presentations and support groups for young parents and other clients that we will conduct virtually.

Finally, many of you have asked if there is anything you can do, and there is. Donating to WJCS is probably the most important thing you can do to help ensure that we can keep serving our clients, supporting our staff, and making sure that we all stay connected to keep Westchester residents strong and safe. Your contributions are needed now, more than ever (CLICK HERE TO DONATE). And, of course, please follow all precautionary health measures, take care of yourself and your family, and stay well. Thanks, as always, for your support of WJCS.

All the best,  

Seth Diamond  







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