Jewish Emergency Network (JEN)

On any given day, members of our Howard County Jewish community face financial crises. Some are elderly individuals and couples living on very low fixed incomes who have unforeseen medical expenses. Others are parents with young children who have suffered employment setbacks and cannot afford to buy food, pay rent, and meet other costs of living. Often, those in need do not know where to turn for help.

JEN was created in February 2008 by the Jewish Federation of Howard County. In the majority of cases, requests have been for food and for help in paying overdue rent and utility bills. JEN has also helped households pay for essential car repairs and medical expenses not covered by insurance.


JEN's mission is to help members of the Howard County Jewish community help one another in times of financial crisis.

How JEN Works 

Requests for assistance are submitted to the JEN Committee by the Federation's Jewish Community Social Worker and clergy who are members of the Howard County Board of Rabbis. These requests are vetted, and the JEN Committee then distributes them to the JEN donor network via email. Upon receiving a request, each member of the donor network decides whether they would like to donate and the amount to be contributed to the current emergency. There is no obligation for any member of the network to contribute at any time. Giving and receiving take place anonymously—the names of recipients and donors are kept completely confidential. Donations are used to make direct payments to businesses providing goods and services to recipients, rather than payment to the recipients themselves (i.e. landlords, BGE, pharmacies, etc.).   


Read Frequently Asked Questions here.

What you can do:

Please consider joining our donor network list. Send an email to:

As a member of the network, you will receive an email, averaging one per month, describing the nature of an emergency need in our community. You may then choose whether or not to respond.


You may also consider making a general tax deductible donation to JEN by sending a check to:  

Jewish Emergency Network
c/o Jewish Federation of Howard County
Century Plaza 1000; Suite 400
10630 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044