New Coronacation Program Helps Teens & Parents Adjust to our New Reality

For many parents, having teenagers who are self-isolating at home during the coronavirus pandemic poses unique challenges. While younger children may be thrilled at the prospect of having their parents’ undivided attention, teens are likely to feel differently. The nonstop news cycle about coronavirus—along with 24/7 access to social media—is causing an extra layer of anxiety for kids and parents alike.

The JFCS counseling department developed Coronacation: from Chaos to Calm in order to help teens and their parents adjust to our new shared reality. Facilitated by JFCS clinical director Carlos Bermeo, along with child and family therapist Lisa Rosenberg, the interactive online program offers tips on managing stress and anxiety, dealing with disappointment about event cancellations, coping with social isolation, and more. Perhaps the most valuable part of the program is the opportunity for participants to share their own responses to the situation. To date, the program has been scheduled or held in conjunction with seven local organizations, including BBYO, Congregation Beth El, Congregation Beth Tikvah, M’Kor Shalom, Nafshenu, Congregation Sons of Israel, and Temple Beth Sholom.

Coronacation has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from communal leaders. “The staff at the Samost JFCS provided an incredible program for our congregation’s ninth and tenth grade students during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rabbi Nogah Marshall, educational director at Congregation Beth El in Voorhees. “The presenters provided an informative and interactive presentation that addressed issues both students and their families are experiencing. With follow up worksheets and information, our families were provided with tools and resources to help them during this most difficult time.”

Coronacation is being offered at no charge to local congregations. If you would like to book a presentation for your organization, please contact Meredith Cohen, JFCS Director of Outreach and Compliance, at