By Jenn Ross
Happy New Year has a very different feel in 2021. While virtual programs like our Senior Club’s Noon Year’s Eve will welcome 2021, most of us will be refraining from the large celebratory events that typically ring in the new calendar year.
Fortunately, there is much hope for 2021. Vaccines should be available to everyone during the course of the year, after our most vulnerable and our front line heroes receive their doses. People have been working tirelessly through unprecedented conditions during peacetime. I hope and pray that they have much deserved and needed respite soon.
If you have been encountering financial strain, thanks to the Human Services Fund established by the Jewish Federations of North America and additional support from the Jewish Community Foundation of Central PA, an influx of funds are available to members of the Jewish community for basic human services need such as food, rent, utilities, medical care, and other essential needs. Please reach out to JFS, the Foundation, or myself for more information.
I anticipate that we will be able to gradually return to normalcy as the year progresses. Our current plan is that we will be opening Green Hills and holding JCC Day Camp there while incorporating appropriate safety measures into both operations. Prior to the temporary mitigation efforts that closed our indoor pool, swimming was a haven and delight for many and we look forward to welcoming people back to our indoor pool and to the outdoor delight at Green Hills.
It has been exciting envisioning the future. After being asked by an executive committee member what wish list items are needed for the future, particularly if we had access to new funding, team members and I generated an extensive list of impact programming, professional development, endowment support for ongoing youth programming, capital improvements, expanded staff capacity, fitness and recreation updates, and the ability to fund a demographic study. I’m interested in hearing your ideas of ways we can grow with the appropriate support. Thank you for all of the generous support that you have provided that has helped us weather this storm while continuing to build community.
I hope that 2021 is a more peaceful and hopeful year for you. We have all encountered loss in our own ways. I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to all of you, particularly if you have lost any loved ones last year. This was another tragic and challenging year for our community with many deep losses. Recently we were hit particularly hard with the loss of Senior Club volunteer, member, and friend Mel Krieger z”l, philanthropist and visionary Michael Brenner z”l, former board president and Al Hursh Leadership Award winner Herman Gordon z”l, and longtime beloved community members Harvey Danowitz z”l, Joan Isaacman z”l, and Fannie Krevsky z”l. These are just a few of our community’s and my personal heartbreaks. May all of our lost loved one’s memories be for a blessing.
Please let me know how I can support you and do more to serve the community in 2021. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 717-236-9555 x3104.