On Sept. 8, Congregation Shirat Hayam will open its preschool for the fall session. The Swampscott synagogue will have the supplies to do so safely, thanks to a grant from the CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund.
Shirat Hayam was one of several area Jewish early childhood centers and day schools to receive an allocation from the Emergency Fund to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for reopening under state-mandated COVID-19 guidelines.
The synagogue used the money to purchase hand sanitizer, disinfectant, masks, gloves and other supplies for “COVID-19 kits” for each teacher, said Janis Knight, the synagogue’s director of education.
The grant made it feel like “we were being thrown a lifeline,” Knight said. “We had the sense that we weren’t just doing this all by ourselves. We know we are all in this together.”
In total, CJP has distributed more than $47,000 in PPE funding, divided between 36 Jewish early childhood centers and 14 Jewish day schools, said Kimberlee Schumacher, CJP’s vice president of partnerships and services.
“It was a priority to CJP to ensure that our Jewish early childhood centers and day schools have the PPE and supplies they need to reopen safely and in accordance with state guidelines,” Schumacher said. “Thanks to the support of the community, we were able to allocate grants from the CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund to our education partners for these supplies. CJP is dedicated to helping our schools keep staff, children and families healthy.”
For Shira Deener, head of school at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School, the funding from CJP will allow the students a safe return to school come fall.
“We know that learning face-to-face—panim el panim—requires an enormous list of unexpected expenditures,” Deener said. “We are so grateful for the generosity CJP has extended to our school in helping us purchase the necessary PPE to help support our community’s safety and health. Boxes of PPE await our children’s arrival, and we thank CJP for their assistance in making this happen.”