CEO Letter 5.22.20

by Jenn Ross

This column is dedicated to all of the teens in our community.  Being a teenager isn’t easy even under the best of circumstances and you are also being asked to adapt to this unprecedented time.  You have forgone many experiences such as March of the Living, Maccabi Games, sporting competitions, music concerts in which you or others are the performers, social events with friends and family, school (yes, I suspect some of you are lamenting this), graduation, Sababa graduation, prom, travel, college visits, and more.  I hope you have many future meaningful experiences to help offset this loss.

Thank you to those of you who are taking this time to help others.  In the last edition of Community Review and on our Facebook page, we have displayed numerous photos of supportive letters and pictures our J family 5th -12th graders produced to show their support for essential workers as part of J-Serve. The original program was to include a speaker from Comfort Cases, but when the world changed, our teen leaders Sami Cooper and Maddie Cohen were ready to adjust their plans and a new idea was formed. It isn’t too late to participate—simply do an act of kindness in your neighborhood (while following social distancing guidelines) and email Terri Travers at to make sure your good deed is counted!

Board Chair Abby Smith shared words of wisdom with our Sababa graduates that I wanted to share with all of our community’s teens:  “On the other side of this experience lies a STRONGER you. A more CONNECTED you. A more CARING you. A more RESILIENT you. A more AWARE you. A more GRATEFUL you.   And we're so lucky to have YOU as part of our Jewish community here in Harrisburg, and I hope you know that we're proud of you, and we'll always be here for you as you continue on in your Jewish journey, whatever that may look like. Here's to seeing the light at the end of this tunnel - wishing you all the best.”

Mazel tov to all graduating seniors.  I wish you the best of luck wherever your next journey leads you.

I can be reached at and look forward to hearing how you are doing.