Ushering in 5781—Resilient Together

September 4, 2020

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It is still hard to believe how much our world has changed in the last six months. How many times have we heard ‘unprecedented,’ and the ‘new normal?’ How many times have we heard the word ‘resilience?’

I happen to believe that ‘resilience’ perfectly describes our community since March. Our agencies, schools, and synagogues responded quickly to ensure the safety and well-being of community members—from the precious infants at the Strelitz International Academy to our loved ones at Beth Sholom Village —as well as community members of all ages in between. Our day schools and religious schools immediately shifted to virtual learning and our synagogues shifted to virtual programs and Shabbat services. Jewish Family Service of Tidewater ensured that our most vulnerable community members had food, a roof over their heads, and basic necessities. United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC shifted to virtual fitness instruction and programming, as well as both local and global Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations and Yom Hashoah commemorations. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation provided affiliate organizations with emergency grants and, with UJFT, established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community, which has supported emergency needs throughout our community.

As September begins, our children and grandchildren are returning to school in many forms and we are approaching six months in our ‘new normal.’ This is testing our resiliency. But our community is responding as we embark on our 2021 Annual Community Campaign to provide a safety net for our community today and, in partnership with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, for tomorrow. We fully expect community needs to grow as we continue to weather this pandemic. Together, we will meet those needs as our Tidewater Jewish community has for generations.

The new year 5781 is approaching. We will be together in different ways this Rosh Hashanah. But what will not be different is that we will continue to take care of one another, kol yisroel areivim zeh bazeh, and perform acts of loving kindness, gemilut chasadim.

May we continue to be resilient and find strength in these shared values—together.

L’Shanah tovah tikatevu to all of you and your families. Now more than ever, I wish us all a safe, sweet, and healthy new year.

Betty Ann Levin
Executive Vice President/CEO
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC

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