Seeing the Light

From the desk of Judy Alperin

Chief Executive Officer 

When my children were young, Eric Carle, who recently passed away, was a favorite author. They loved so many of his brightly illustrated stories but one of their favorites was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. I’ve been thinking about that beautiful book recently and (spoiler alert) especially the ending when the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly.

For the past year and a half, we have been the caterpillar as we stuck close to home, hunkering down to weather the worldwide pandemic. But now, we are ready to emerge from our cocoons to fly together again. As I write this column, our community is coming back; to worship, socialize, exercise, play and remember the magic of being with one another. Apologies to any vaccinated friends that I may hug a bit too long. I’ve missed you all so much!

On Sunday, July 25 at 5:00 p.m., the Jewish Federation is excited to host a very special picnic with special co-sponsors from across the Greater New Haven Jewish community. This celebration is in honor of you; the ones who made it all possible to navigate the stormy waters, who selflessly helped their neighbors, congregants, strangers, and friends, who donated their time and their treasure to assist those in need, who sewed masks or volunteered to pack and distribute masks, who helped others understand technology, who brought food to the hungry, who battled the virus and lived, who will make sure that Jewish life in Greater New Haven will continue to thrive.

Please join us. Plan to pack your picnic supper. We will supply the drinks and dessert. Come in sensible shoes and ready to enjoy fun and games at our community campus. Do not forget to wear your favorite t-shirt or hat that connects to the agencies, organizations and congregations you care about. We have a wonderfully diverse Jewish community and we hope to see it proudly on display at the picnic!

As the 2020-21 program year draws to a close and we prepare to look back at the Jewish Federation, Foundation, and JCC Annual Meeting on Sept. 13, we cannot help but marvel at all that has transpired. Yes, our world has been turned upside down, we have suffered tremendous losses—the loss of loved ones, professional losses, and organizational membership losses from which we will need to mourn and heal. But the discoveries and accomplishments are also plentiful. We found our way through the challenges to help one another, to focus on our families, to find the beauty in nature, to remember that which is dearest to us. Let us not forget as we begin anew where we turned for comfort and support during our time of need and let’s recommit ourselves to ensuring the bright future ahead for each of those agencies and congregations that make the Greater New Haven Jewish community so dynamic and special.

May we only know good health and prosperity in the days to come.

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