Shabbat Greetings from Julie Nusbaum 3.20.20

This is not going to be your usual Shabbat message.
 
As your Federation President, I wanted to reach out and personally connect with each of you, the members of our community, as we face the uncertainty of the days ahead.
 
In just a short time, life as we know it has altered significantly, in ways which we are just beginning to comprehend. We are learning that the world is fragile and unpredictable, and that can be scary. 
 
The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is working to mitigate some of the fear and anxiety of this complex new reality. Our team is collaborating with many institutions in the community to build and expand our social service delivery network, reach out to those who need help, and yes, plan for the future. 
 
To that end, this week, we launched the Community Relief and Recovery Fund to help our institutions manage through the COVID-19 crisis, address social service needs, and provide emergency assistance to community members in need. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity we have seen in just a few short days, and we hope that the response will continue to grow. Thank you. 
 
In addition, we want to make sure that people know about a newly-established community resource: The Jewish Family Service (JFS) helpline, designed to be a support mechanism for information, resources navigation and volunteer enrollment. Call 585.461.0114 or email helpline@jfsrochester.org.
 
The pandemic and its fallout will likely test us in a variety of ways. Yet already, we have seen people coming together, collaborating creatively, and engaging with one another. We are using all of the resources at our disposal to plan, support and grow a strong Jewish future. With our collective work, we can become stronger together. 
 
When my husband and I moved our family here over 25 years ago, I was worried about coming to a new place so far from my family and support system. We joined the Louis S. Wolk JCC, which was simply known as JCC at the time, and sent our children to its nursery school, participated in Federation activities for young adults and families, joined a synagogue, and educated our children at Hillel Community Day School. We were lucky to have close family here, but we also found a broader community that nourished and supported us. 
 
Today, I was thinking back on that uncertain time and realized something I learned back then: our community is incredibly generous and cohesive. We are bound together by our shared values and our belief in tikkun olam, repairing the world.
 
I am, by nature, a planner and right now, it may be hard for me to think forward in the way that I am accustomed. But, here is my plan: I plan to be here for the community through this crisis. I plan to help shepherd our community to a place of strength. I plan to reach out to my friends, my family, and to you to maintain social connections, even in this challenging environment. I plan to care for my family to the best of my ability. I plan to remember that generations before me sacrificed greatly so that their progeny could have a better, safer life. I plan to think of those who are vulnerable and do my best to support their needs. 
 
And most of all, I plan to help ensure that our Rochester Jewish community has a strong Jewish future for generations to come.
 
Thank you and my best wishes for a Shabbat Shalom.
 
Julie Nusbaum
President, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

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