By Jenn Ross
Our time apart has been hard, but it has been necessary for the safety and well-being of everyone in our community. Some people are still remaining in isolation because it is too dangerous for them to risk exposure. As we know, this public health crisis is far from over. We are simply learning to live as safely as possible with the virus.
I want to extend a deep debt of gratitude to the members of our Medical Advisory Team - Doctors Michael Katzman, Sarah Kawasaki, Bryan Reid, and Brandon Smith - who gave selflessly of their time and knowledge to help us improve our safety protocols and answer our countless questions. I appreciate that they are still here to support us in case of new questions or challenges, and/or as new information about COVID-19 is learned.
It has been invaluable being part of Jewish Community Centers of North America and Jewish Federations of North America, because both associations have provided extensive expertise, and throughout the process we have been able to learn from our peer JCCs, particularly those who opened earlier than we did. Throughout this process, we have taken things slowly and soundly to ensure we are as ready as possible for any activities that we are offering.
If some of our policies and procedures seem less welcoming than our typical modus operandi, it is because, unfortunately, we are dealing with a very unpleasant and unsafe new normal. Our JCC peers have taken similar measures, and we have actually adopted most of ours from other JCCs and experts, in order to safeguard you, and also to ensure the longevity of our own organization. We need to be clear that COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that can be contracted even in settings where precautions are in place. That being said, we will do everything in our powers to ensure we safeguard you against the virus and that social distancing and sanitization procedures are offered at the JCC. The most critical thing you can do is to follow our guidelines regarding wearing a mask and I am beseeching your cooperation with this.
We will continue to offer virtual programming to engage you safely from home and welcome input on other ways to keep you involved. I miss you and hope to see you soon in person or on Zoom or just by telephone. Stay healthy and safe. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-236-9555 x 3104.