I had a completely different article that I was going to write for this magazine. It was going to be about how we are entering into summer and sharing our plans for all of the great programming we have in store. However, in times of pandemic, quarantine, and social distancing, my letter now serves as a reminder of who we are, the Federation, and what we do for the community: serve our community no matter the crisis in good times and bad ones.
When the Jewish Federation formed 115 years ago, it raised funds to support Jews as they immigrated to America, aid the local community, and Jews around the world.
Today, our mission is much of the same. We are the central philanthropic, planning, community engagement, and unifying partner for our local Jewish community. Our promise is to bring the community together no matter what, and the Federation is here for you.
Our agencies are struggling financially due to recent closures to protect ourselves from COVID-19, but while at the same time, we are concerned about the people who need us the most. This includes the people in our community who are isolated, those who struggle financially, suffer from severe mental health conditions or addiction, and/or don’t have the means to take care of themselves.
Our tagline, “Stronger Together,” is never more relevant than it has been in the past several weeks. We have incredible volunteers in the community who stepped up to help in any way that they could. They reached out and connected to people in the community to help raise funds and food for Popsie’s Pantry.They helped us make thousands of calls to community members and for some, helped us connect our case management team to those who needed to be connected to additional resources. We have continued to engage with one another in ways we haven’t before.
We know there has been a lot of change in our community and too much loss due to the coronavirus. We have adapted our programming to connect others virtually through Shabbat candle lightings, cooking classes, group lunch dates, children’s programs, and more.
When this crisis is over, we will continue to rebuild and persevere. We will push forward, for we are resilient, and we will come out as a stronger community together.
We focus this magazine on you - the people of this community by celebrating the impact that individuals have on our community and why they choose to attend programs, network with fellow Jews, and support the Federation because of what we do for our community. I hope you enjoy these stories. Please be safe and healthy.