by Dr. Jeffrey Hoos, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven President
When we are facing difficult times, we have a tendency to contract or expand by either going into ourselves or reaching out. Maybe we can do both. These last few months have been hard as we are all trying to make sense of being more isolated. Somehow we can manage that. Some of us have tried new things, such as baking bread for me (turned out terrible). But I (we) tried. Some of us, such as my daughter, are finally celebrating a birthday and being healthy after 18 days of suffering from the COVID-19 virus. My son-in-law and wife were amazing, taking care of and isolating her. What we did as a family was contract into our world and expand our roles. We became more aware of our surroundings and contracted in our homes. While in our houses, we had to expand our roles to help each other get through.
The events of the past few weeks have put more on us. What more do we have to deal with, comprehend and act upon? How much more can we “take”? We can take plenty more. We, as a community, can “take” a lot, and we can do this together.
To the people who have made funds available to the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation COVID-19 Response/Maimonides Fund, thank you. To the people who are supporting the agencies through your pledges and payment to the Jewish Federation, thank you. We as a community contracted because of the virus. And we as a community expanded our reach to help people in need. This is how we are doing it and how we are going to do it in the future.
As President of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, I cannot thank our professional staff enough. They have stepped up and should make us all very proud. Thank you to Judy Alperin, Scott Cohen, Lisa Stanger, Amy Holtz and their hard-working teams as well as our committee leaders who have been expanding our reach. Our agencies have contracted to keep everyone safe and expand their services. Where would we be without our Tier One agencies; the JCC of Greater New Haven, The Towers at Tower Lane, Jewish Family Service, Ezra Academy, Southern Connecticut Hebrew Day School and Camp Laurelwood and the many other Jewish service agencies, programs and camps and especially synagogues have maintained important connections and supports for so many.
We are coming back, and we are coming back strong and committed to our community. We are all working together to help each other expand our services.
Sincerely written, Dr. Jeffrey Hoos