Walking New Steps Together

Tags: Federation, Family, Holidays, Shabbat & Holidays

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Dear Friends,

There is a tradition on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) that you are supposed to walk four new cubits (or six feet) in a space that you have never walked before. What a fitting metaphor for our experience today.

We certainly have walked in new spaces together lately.

Teachers are finding inventive ways to teach – for example, one determined teacher in Jewish Cleveland is working with a child with special needs by using markers on opposite sides of a glass door! Our community’s dedicated teachers are also finding different ways to stay connected to their students. This past week, there were Yom Ha’atzmaut car parades of Fuchs Mizrachi School teachers and a socially distanced teacher drive-by in the Gross Schechter Day School parking lot.

As we take these steps, we continue to encourage people to let us know if they need assistance. Every story, while unique, represents many individuals’ experiences. We have heard from and are helping many older adults who are in need of food assistance. One individual was encouraged by neighbors to call for help. He had lost his job and, due to serious health challenges, is not able to safely work outside of his apartment. Because of your support, Jewish Cleveland is blessed with a multitude of different services and professionals that are helping him and others through this challenging time.

And we will be walking more new steps together soon as the Governor plans to reopen Ohio. To prepare for this, we have arranged a special webinar with Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic, on Monday, May 4 at 7:00 pm on “Best Practices for Getting Back Out into Public Safely.” I hope you will join me for what should be a timely and insightful conversation.

I am profoundly thankful for the care and creativity with which professionals and volunteers are attending to the needs of thousands here, in Israel, and around the world. If you are able to assist, next Tuesday is a special “Giving Tuesday” to support the fight against the COVID-19 crisis. To contribute to our Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund, please click here.

A highlight of Yom Ha’atzmaut this year was a virtual concert from our sister community in Beit Shean/Valley of Springs, Israel. Lior Balavie sang "Yachad,” which has the poignant lyric: “Together, heart to heart we’ll open up and see the light in the sky. Together, we will open up with hope.” Together indeed – and, for now, six feet apart.

Stay home, stay healthy, and stay in touch.

Shabbat Shalom,

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

P.S. To make caring calls to our older community members so they don’t feel so isolated at this time, click here. If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact Access Jewish Cleveland at 216-292-4636 or online. We are here for you.

Learn More: Federation, Family, Holidays, Shabbat & Holidays