By Jenn Ross
Shana Tova! This year as much as ever, we would like to wish you a happy, healthy, and safe new year.
The wellbeing of our JCC participants and our community has always been important to us. During the pandemic, we have dedicated extraordinary energies to ensure health and safety. I’m grateful for the ongoing expertise and guidance from our Medical Advisory Team, the dedication and hard work of our entire staff, support from our own lay leaders and colleagues, and leaders from our Jewish institutions.
I’m aware that this time has been challenging and frustrating to our families, members, and guests. On the recommendation of our Medical Advisory Team, we bucked the trend by continuing to require masking in all programming indoors apart from sports and fitness. It was a smart decision as we’ve seen a dramatic resurgence of the pandemic as a result of the Delta variant. Please respect our evolving policies as we learn more.
Thank you to everyone who has cooperated with our mask rules to ensure the safety of the unvaccinated children we serve. Thank you to people who have chosen to get vaccinated for your own safety and to help eliminate this pandemic from our community.
The need to secure our institutions and safeguard our participants is an ongoing effort and has been particularly critical as in-person programming has expanded. Earlier this year, we formed a Jewish community-wide safety task force. Our most recent meeting was incredibly productive, with Steve Eberle, the Northeast Regional Director of Secure Community Network (SCN) visiting our community on August 2 and 3.
Our committee met with Steve and numerous members of local and federal law enforcement, including Chief Martin of Susquehanna Township and one of his officers and members of the State Police and Department of Homeland Security. We covered topics including situational awareness, threat/vulnerability/risk assessments, security funding, and low-cost/no-cost security measures. They reinforced the importance of “see something, say something.” If you ever notice anything awry at the JCC, please notify our front desk. We take your safety and wellbeing seriously and follow up on these concerns.
I wish you a happy, safe, and healthy Rosh Hashanah. If I can be of any service, you can contact me at 717-236-9555 x3104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.