July 23, 2020
We will never forget the spring of COVID-19. We lost loved ones, we closed our schools and businesses and millions of people became unemployed.
But we have also seen remarkable resilience and leadership. Healthcare workers inspired us with their dedication, while our Rabbis consoled mourners in Zoom shivas.
History will clearly record that the organizations of Jewish life responded to the global pandemic with speed and generosity. However, this crisis is not over, and our community remains at risk.
When it comes to reopening, our Friedman Jewish Community Center, our Illumination Early Learning Center and our JCC Day Camp understands the relative risks and needs of our members.
The Paycheck Protection Program helped us stay solvent when we were forced to close our doors this spring. Similar efforts are now needed as we work to send our children back to school and restore the essential elements of Jewish life.
The demands placed on organizations that provide food and shelter, mental and physical healthcare, and vocational support will grow tremendously. We must prepare ourselves for a much longer emergency phase.
Much of what we are doing online we will happily return to an in-person setting as soon as it is safe to do so. But we have also learned that we can bring quality content to more people than ever before. We can also include people in our meetings and discussions who cannot be physically present, and we can gather in powerful ways.
COVID-19 is a new challenge, and it continues to unfold in unexpected ways. But it is the values we have carried with us for generations that enable us to respond effectively: the power of collective action, the necessity of collaboration, and the responsibility to care for the entire community. That’s why we know that if we continue to act positively, we can move from a season of pain to a time of rebuilding and renewal.
Chief Executive Officer