After the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg and JCC closed its building to staff and community members in the early days of the pandemic, there were many questions to be answered.
How could this organization – whose mission is to ensure that the Jewish community of Greater Harrisburg flourishes – continue to serve its community when it could not welcome it with its usual open arms?
“We needed to rapidly pivot, be open-minded and creative,” said Jenn Ross, President/CEO of the Federation. “Our team of dedicated and talented staff was equipped to innovate solutions on the fly.”
Within days of closing, the team had assembled a slate of daily virtual programming, JCC@Home, to reach community members of all ages, and an online portal for the community to see upcoming offerings at a glacne. From educational programming for students of the Brenner Family Early Learning Center, cultural programming to connect the community with heritage, virtual fitness to encourage activity from home, and senior adult check-in calls to keep the most vulnerable engaged, the team aimed to fill the needs of the lives it serves.
Now, the work of the Federation’s staff is being recognized as an Honoree by Central Penn Business Journal’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards and will be recognized alongside Catholic Harvest Food Pantry, Cultural Alliance of York County, and Leg Up Farm in the Management Operations category.
“Honorees were selected based on impact, innovation, and service to Central PA,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, Senior Group Publisher of BridgeTower Media. “Federation stood out from the rest and will be celebrated as one of this year’s honorees during the online event on Monday, May 20th.” Final winners and runners-up will be announced during the event, which runs from 8:30 – 10am.
Tickets for the program, which will include video storytelling and interactive social media participation, are available to the public for $25 ($30 after May 10) and can be purchased at cpbj.com/event/nonprofit-innovation-awards.