Media Release

675 Third Avenue, Suite 1905 | New York, NY 10034 | | 212-687-0188


  • Organization also providing interest-free Coronavirus Financial Impact Loans
  • Organization also managing a $20 million loan fund provided by UJA-Federation of New York for non-profit employees

Press Contact: Rachel Chasky,, 917-584-3420
Melissa Czarnik,, 414-732-0406

New York City – March 22, 2020 – The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS), which provides 0%-interest loans to lower-income New Yorkers, is
suspending loan repayments from current borrowers for the next two months. 

The delayed loan repayments will leave $1.3 million dollars in the accounts of vulnerable New Yorkers facing mounting financial struggles as the economy reels from the impact of quarantines and business closings due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (We share some of our borrowers’ stories below.)

“By suspending repayment for two months, our borrowers will be better able to marshal their resources during this period of uncertainty. This will help people manage expenses, pay for food and medical expenses, and  keep small businesses going.” said Rabbi David Rosenn, the Society’s Executive Director.

The Society has also launched a multi-million dollar interest-free Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan program to provide a financial bridge to lower-income New Yorkers in the months ahead. HFLS anticipates making between 500-1,000 new loans of up to $5,000 through this new program. 

Finally, to help ensure that NYC-area nonprofits can provide critical human services despite financial challenges, HFLS will be managing a $20 million loan fund provided by UJA-Federation of New York for affiliated nonprofit human services organizations. As agencies are forced to suspend, expand, or change services they provide, it is unclear how quickly the government will be able to provide clarity about or payment on their contracts. The loan fund, approved by UJA on Friday, will help provide agencies with the cash flow to continue to run indispensable health and human services programs and pay their employees, even when government payments have been delayed. 

Financial support for the Hebrew Free Loan Society’s coronavirus response is supported in part by contributions from individual donors and from BlackRock, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the UJA-Federation of New York.

About the Hebrew Free Loan Society
The Hebrew Free Loan Society fosters financial stability and opportunity among lower income New Yorkers by providing access to safe and affordable credit in the form of interest-free loans. The Hebrew Free Loan Society has been in existence since 1892. Learn more about HFLS by visiting our website or visit our pages on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin


Hebrew Free Loan Society Borrower Stories
*To speak with one of the borrowers listed below, please contact HFLS. 

Due to social distancing requirements, our revenue gradually came down in the past few weeks by 90% of the norm.  Between the lack of business and new government requirements we were forced to temporarily shut down effective March 16th. Delaying our loan repayment to Hebrew Free Loan Society will help us very much. Liquidity is very important right now, because we don’t know when things will pick up again, and in the meantime we have to pay rent, insurance, gas, electric, etc…” 

– Andrei Danetiu, Small Business Loan Borrower
Owner, Lidia’s Play Cafe (Ridgewood, Queens)

“I haven’t had any barbershop appointments coming through and I haven’t been making any income, this will continue so long as this virus continues. With revenue down, I’m trying to figure out my next move.”

– Levi Aronow, Small Business Loan Borrower
Owner, The Railroad Barber (Crown Heights, Brooklyn)

“I will have money to pay rent and my medications because of the HFLS loan repayment postponement. My husband was just laid off and we can’t survive on my paycheck alone. My additional jobs were also suspended until further notice, and so any additional money I would have earned is gone too.”

– Dasha, General Needs Loan Borrower

“This loan repayment delay will be extremely helpful. I really appreciate it. HFLS is amazing and caring. I wish my employer had this same level of understanding and empathy. “ 

– Eli, Housing Loan Borrower

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