It’s almost Thanksgiving and I am filled with gratitude for the dedication, creativity, ingenuity, and selflessness of the incredible professionals serving our Jewish community. Thank you to the clergy of our congregations and the professional staff of Jewish Family Service, The Towers, our day schools, the JCC, Jewish Foundation, and Jewish Federation who are working so diligently.
Our community has come together in ways that have reaffirmed what is best about us and about our commitment to one another.
Now we have reached a new phase in the pandemic as we experience a growing wave of cases and rising concern. Our community is here to help.
At our community building and in JCC programs, we were spared positive cases until recently when members of our maintenance team fell ill and there have been two positive cases among students, one in the Beverly Levy Early Learning Center and one the All Day at the J online learning support program. We have acted to respond to these situations. There have been no cases of transmission at the JCC or in a JCC program that we are aware of. We are determined to exceed all recommendations to protect the health and safety of the community and are equally determined to continue operations in service to you. This is only possible with the help and support of many community leaders who have invested countless hours to assist us and at this time of thanks, the gratitude for them is immense.
As the situation with regard to the pandemic is fluid, we are committed to providing programming both virtual and in-person; remaining open as long as we are permitted to do so or are able to staff the facility.
The Beckerman/Lender Jewish Community Building will be closed for the holiday of Thanksgiving and the Friday and Saturday following to provide our staff team a much-needed respite with their families. We hope that each of you will enjoy the holiday even if your celebrations look and feel a little different this year as we have much to be thankful for. At the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven we are guided by the principles—Kol Israel Arevim Zeh La'zeh—that all Jews are responsible for one another and that if you save one life it is as if you have saved an entire world. This mission is critical and why the Jewish Foundation and Jewish Federation created the COVID-19 Maimonides Response Fund at the onset of the pandemic so we could care for the most vulnerable and meet the most basic of human needs to save as many lives as possible. Already we have distributed $300,000 of help through our synagogues, Jewish Family Service, and The Towers and now we are in the midst of raising more funds as we are in receipt of more than $300,000 in new requests for help. Thankfully, national philanthropists have made matching resources available through the end of December and every new dollar raised is eligible for a 50% match. I hope you’ll join in helping others, especially at this time of Thanksgiving.
I hope that you are in good health and continue to be healthy. Should you need us—we are here. We were here before, we are here now, and we will continue to stand together in support of our Jewish community.
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven