Do Not Separate Yourself from Community

Tags: Federation, Shabbat & Holidays, Family, Israel, CIAC, Access

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Dear Friends,

It’s been a strange and, at times, unnerving week. It seemed with every day came new information and another restriction on everyday life. With these restrictions have come sacrifices, especially with regards to the way in which we interact with each other.

As you know, one of the core strengths of our Cleveland Jewish community is its commitment to caring and providing for others. As we head into this Shabbat, I have one request:

אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר (Al tifros min hatzibur) Do not separate yourself from community.

I realize this may sound inconsistent with the critical need right now for social distancing, but there is a difference. Social distancing is what we must do at the moment to help keep ourselves physically healthy. Maintaining our connection to community is what we must do to help keep ourselves mentally healthy. In other words, while we keep our distance, we must ensure that no one becomes isolated.

To that end, we – Federation and many of our beneficiary agencies – have been developing unique online programming to bring us together, keep us informed, and provide us with entertainment.

For example:

• On Sunday, March 22nd at 4 pm, renowned Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel will do a special live performance via The Jewish Agency’s Facebook page.

• Also on Sunday, March 22nd at 7 pm, we have arranged for Dr. Shelly Senders to conduct a webinar on celebrating Passover while dealing with the coronavirus. You can find this webinar here: https://zoom.us/j/655129462. You can also join by phone 312-626-6799 and enter the meeting ID 655-129-462.

• On Thursday, March 26 at 8 pm, our Young Leadership Division is hosting a virtual “hangout” for community members ages 22 to 45.

We have other programs in the works, including a seminar on how to work effectively from home, a virtual book club, and more. Our beneficiary agencies are also putting together wonderful programming – from day camp activities from the Mandel JCC to story times with PJ Library, to name a few.

Please watch for updates of these and many other programs on our social media channels or on our website: jewishcleveland.org. We hope you will join us for one or more of these events because the only way that we will move past today’s challenges is by being present – working, helping, and being together. In the meantime, if you are looking for volunteer opportunities, you can contact us at volunteer@jcfcleve.org.

Please do not separate yourself from community. Stay in touch. Reach out. I look forward to hearing from you.

Shabbat Shalom,

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

p.s.: If you or someone you know is struggling with this increasingly difficult time, please contact Access Jewish Cleveland at 216-292-INFO (4636) or accessjewishcleveland.org. We have arranged for a therapist from the Jewish Family Services Association to be on call from 9 am until 5 pm (Monday through Friday).

Learn More: Federation, Shabbat & Holidays, Family, Israel, CIAC, Access