I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that this year brings good health and hap-piness to all of you. As I sit to write this column we are struggling with the increase in COVID cases and the concern about the Delta variant. We are witnessing a return to indoor masking and have just changed the policy at the JCC to require masks again. I am hopeful that when this arrives in your home we have turned the corner again and things begin looking up.
I can’t tell you how interesting this year has been. Despite the issues surrounding the pandemic, I was inspired throughout the year by how our community came together to help those in need. We helped our families with our all day at the J program so we could support at home learning for families who couldn’t stay home with their children, we rapidly created a COVID Maimonides Fund to support emergency needs, helping our community at the Towers, supporting programs at JFS and assisting community members in need through grants to synagogues and agencies. We had dozens of volunteers help distribute millions of masks throughout the state. Every week I heard of stories of great things our community was doing, whether it was here at the JCC, at our partner agencies and synagogues or just wonderful stories of individuals going out of their way to help others in need. That is what community is all about and what makes me proud to be a part of ours. In addition to all of these activities, we managed to move forward with a new strategic planning process and devel-op a roadmap for the future.
As we begin this new year, we will be focused on continuing to open our community and get everyone back together in a safe manner. At the same time, I think it is time that we ensure that our future is bright. As we closed the Annual Campaign we realized that we have over 900 donors who have given for more than 20 years. That is an incredible commitment to our community. We need everyone to realize the importance of a strong Jewish community here and the importance of supporting Jews around the world and in Israel. Your gift to the Annual Campaign does that. In addition, we will be renewing our efforts to build our savings for the future. My hope is that every donor consider opening a PACE fund this year. The Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment (PACE) is a wonderful way to start planning to ensure that long into the future you will continue to support our Jewish Community.
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Dr. Steven Fleischman,
President, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven