Chesed in Times of Crisis

Chesed in Times of Crisis


Yeshivah of Flatbush is known around the world for graduating doers. People who see a situation and say “how can I help?” We heard amazing stories of alumni shouting “Hineni”: I Am Here. This issue profiles five alumni change-makers.
We know there are thousands of you who have been on the front lines and helping your communities - please email us your stories at We want to hear from you! 

Joseph Allerhand (ES ‘67, HS ‘71) is the Co-President of The Metropolitan Council of Jewish Poverty. Met Council is best known for hosting America’s largest kosher food program which supports 40 food pantries providing over 7 million meals annually.

“Before Passover, we conducted over 149 distributions citywide serving 201,000 families.” In response to COVID-19, Met Council started a new program to deliver food to the homes of low-income Holocaust survivors, with Uber, they are serving over 1,000 seniors weekly.  

Joseph works closely with CEO, David Greenfield, the board and staff to ensure that Met Council can continue smooth operations during this tumultuous time. Joseph was quick to point out the hardworking and dedicated staff, “they are on the front lines every day dealing with the fallout from the crisis.”

The crisis management department has pivoted with the needs of New Yorkers. They have seen an uptick citywide in requests for assistance after a job loss, to pay rent, utilities, food, or applying for health insurance. 

Met Council’s Emergency Crisis Fund supports those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Jack Aini (ES ‘85, HS ‘89) is a community leader and President of Sephardic Bikur Holim (SBH). A lawyer by trade, Jack has said there is a silver lining...“this pandemic has shown us unbelievable acts of hesed and kindness, demonstrated by so many in our community.” 

Jack predicted “the biggest challenge on the horizon is the loss of employment and income. With so many businesses having been adversely impacted and the related financial effect on individuals, we expect high demand for financial assistance in the near future.” He prepares for that by encouraging others to get involved. “This pandemic will force SBH, like so many other organizations, to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the changing world."

To support SBH’s efforts assisting those in our community dealing with a COVID-19 related emergency please click HERE


Neima (Rachel) Chasky (ES '95, HS '99) is the Director of Development and Communications at Hebrew Free Loan Society. They have been supporting New Yorkers in need with interest free personal and small business loans since 1892. 

HFLS raised $4 million dollars for the Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program. This fund, launched in March, "offers interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to all low and moderate-income residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. These loans can be used for medical expenses, child care costs, or make up lost wages."

Neima thinks the greatest need is yet to come, "before the pandemic, nearly half of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck. The economic destabilization brought on by COVID-19 has created an intense need for support for those who are most vulnerable."

To support, Hebrew Free Loan Society's mission to assist New Yorkers, click HERE

Elan Kornblum (ES ‘91, HS ‘95) has been raising the bar on the kosher dining experience  as the founder of the website, Great Kosher Restaurants. When he heard about the effect of COVID-19 on Jewish hospital staff he reached out to the Facebook group he manages “Great Kosher Restaurant Foodies'' (GKRF) and people jumped in to serve. GKRF teamed up with Fountain of Kindness, an organization providing meals to medical professionals and those in need across the New York area. Restaurants, organizations, and individuals have provided over 700 meals. When asked why, he said, “Because this is about foodies giving back. Food brings us together."

If you would like to support meals for front line workers, click HERE. If you are in need (or know someone in need) of a meal, click HERE


To find out more about sponsoring programs at YOF, please contact Hila Stern, Director of Development at or 718.377.4040 x110




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