CEO Letter 3.27.2020

by Jenn Ross

I wish I could focus my attention on this edition’s theme of Jewish food since it is a pleasure to write about, and since much of our culture and community is built around a dining room table.  However, a more critical topic has been impacting the world and much will likely have transpired since this edition has gone to the printer.


Details about the newest threat, COVID-19, have likely flooded your inbox, social media feeds, news outlets, and water cooler discussions.  As with other challenges at the Federation, we rely on our existing policies and procedures to ensure your safety.  Through the multitude of resources we have access to on the national, state, and local levels, we evolve and improve our response as we develop expertise in these new circumstances.


Thank you for your help keeping your fellow members and guests and our staff safe.  Two takeaways I hope continue after this threat subsides is that people recognize the importance of separating themselves from others when they are ill and the value of good handwashing and overall hygiene every day.  We have the responsibility to safeguard others around us and this pandemic has demonstrated how quickly and easily diseases can be transmitted or, with some basic effort, be better contained.


I read an uplifting article in JTA on March 6 written by Rabbi Reuven Fink entitled “I’m a rabbi with the coronavirus whose congregation is quarantined. It’s bringing out the best in us.”  Although a health crisis has the potential to isolate people, Rabbi Fink wrote about how people found creative ways to build community safely.  If the situation continues to become more challenging, let’s find ways to help each other feel more secure. We will make it through this together.


I hope this column finds you healthy with your biggest challenge getting your household ready for Passover, Easter, or another joyous occasion.  If you have any concerns or thoughts, reach out to me at or 717-236-9555 x3104.