New Zealand Jewish Community Assistance


As New Zealand strives to cope with the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, a new Jewish association has been set up to provide care and support for those suffering various forms of hardship during these difficult times. The New Zealand Jewish Council is a supporter of New Zealand Jewish Community Assistance (NZJCA) as is working with it to facilitate its expansion of services across the country.

Please follow this link for more information.

Past community messages from New Zealand Community Assistance

2 April 2020

Since our rapid launch last week we thought we would give you some more insight into the NZJCA and its purpose. And, an update of what we are doing.

Who are we?
Currently, we are 5 people working in isolation from our bubbles. Garth Cohen, Rachel Korpus, Becky Stiassny, Chris Shiller & Avi Shenkin. Garth bought us together and guides us, Rachel synthesises all information & directives from inside & outside the project group, Becky manages all administration, Avi creates & manages the website & back end of the project and Chris provides support and mentoring on direction and project outcomes. 
We are a cross-community initiative working with existing established community groups.
What is our purpose?
In our haste last week to launch this may have not been clear. We are a Jewish project group created in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis in New Zealand. Our primary goals are simple. 

  1. Provide another layer of support for the Auckland Jewish community by helping people get groceries, pharmacy supplies if they are unable to leave their home.

  2. Provide an alternative pathway to find support for people needing pastoral care from the community groups we are working with. To be very clear, we do not provide pastoral care. We are an avenue for people who are not sure how to access this type of support as they may not be connected to an existing community or, are not sure where to start.

Why was this group established?
This project group was established in order to provide a broader level of support, including any overflow to current benevolent groups if the crisis worsens. If many members of our community become overwhelmed we are now prepared to help them. 
How did we do this?
All leaders of the Auckland Jewish Community were consulted in the week prior to launch to gain support & interest for this project. No one declined affiliation. Everyone agreed there may be a bigger need if the crisis deepens and we need to be prepared. We asked for financial pledges from community groups to ensure the project work can occur. We will only draw down on these pledges if needed. We then started to work to create the NZJCA.
When will the project end?
We do not know. No one knows this. The key point is that this is a working project group that will more than likely be disbanded once the need is no longer there. We will consult all community leaders again to ensure the need has dissipated significantly enough that existing benevolent groups can handle the demand.
The money question…
Currently, all donations are being held in the AHC account. This is only because logistically it was the easiest way with all banks being closed and the project group are in their bubbles. We are 100% transparent with all transactions & expenses that the project will do. Donating through an organisation that has charitable status allows you to receive a donation receipt. There will be no profit made off this crisis. If you wish to donate to another group in the community that provides benevolence then you should as they do incredible work. If you are not sure who they are, we can let you know.
We are using the services of Siena Goldwater, a qualified accountant currently doing audit work at Deloitte’s to receive and distribute payments.

The coming weeks
We are prepared. We have gloves, masks & sanitiser for our 41 volunteers who are ready now. We have prepared guidelines for our volunteers to follow when making deliveries. We have made contact with as many groups as we can to get the message out that we are here to support. We have responded to queries from Jewish communities outside of Auckland and provided all information so they can duplicate the project group if they wish to do so. The broader work of this project group might change if the crisis deepens and more people need extended help beyond the day to day needs. So far we have 41 volunteers ready to go and funds available to do this important work. 
Want to be part of this special project? Volunteer today! Email:
NZJCA Website
We have launched a web site that provides details for people needing assistance or to volunteer that includes details from all the regions that have been able to set a community support group. Please have a look at
Senior Outreach Service
The NZJCA – Auckland would like to make particular mention of the fantastic work Senior Outreach Service is currently doing, lead by Maxine De Jong and assisted by Chris Shiller who are managing the needs of Seniors and others who presently have no means of getting essential supplies. As well as getting supplies, they have established Phone Tree’s to regularly contact Seniors using a group of volunteers. 
So far the need has been small. The NZJCA are ready if the need is great.

Contact details:
09 869 3335
108 Greys Avenue, Auckland 1060


27 March 2020