As we head into Shabbat, in our life-preserving lockdown, it’s hard not to feel the monotony of the weeks and days that have passed. It’s a bit incomprehensible to feel how much the world has changed around us, while our setting has remained static. Many have said it feels like we are living an episode of the Twilight Zone.
My days, our Federation days, are spent worrying about and planning for the health and well-being of our community members. First and foremost we continue to stay true to our mission of caring for the most vulnerable among us while we build and create vibrant Jewish life. As we work through this time, it is so hard not to feel a great sense of loss on so many levels. We are in mourning in many ways.
We have lost dear community members from COVID-19 and from the natural progression of life. Since we have been in lockdown, three of our precious Holocaust survivors have left us: Sara Kutner, Hersch Bornstein and our oldest survivor at 101, Lily Haber. These losses impact all of us deeply. We cherish all of their memories and the blessing they left with us.
For those who have lost jobs and are scared about their financial future or how they are going to feed their families, this crisis is devastating.
Our children’s lives have been turned upside down on both the educational and social fronts. The closure of summer camps is heartbreaking for many of our children, and their parents, even though we know it is absolutely necessary.
Not being able to hug our dear loved ones is painful.
Those who are living alone are acutely aware of the silence, fear and loneliness that isolation can bring. And those who are home with families may long for a place or a moment of silence and calm. It is all complicated because each of us is experiencing this crisis together, but also with our own unique experiences.
Today, a poem was shared with me that illuminated the challenges of the storm we are weathering. I found it very poignant. Click here to read it.
Every step of the way through this crisis, and beyond, we will continue to support our Jewish community and ensure that we meet our challenges safely and with the best interest of our community members at heart. I know that we will rise up with the strength, fortitude and commitment necessary to tackle what comes our way.
Like other times in our history, this unique moment is testing all of us. As I see how our community has already come together in this crisis, rest assured we remain steadfast and determined to emerge with a renewed purpose and zeal to confront and meet our greatest challenges facing us, TOGETHER.
I wish you a Shabbat Shalom and a Mother’s Day that honors the memories of those moms we have lost and celebrates all the moms who care for us every day.
Shabbat Shalom -