The last sixteen months have been anything but normal. And while I hope people have been taking the COVID test, I still wonder about how many have passed the Test of COVID. No, it is not just a play on words...
While the COVID Test can determined whether a person is infected or not with COVID, the Test of COVID is more about how we have lived these past sixteen months. Have we been able to continue functioning as individuals? as a community?
Let us take stock: Over the last sixteen months we have been offering to the community programming, generated by us as well as by other organizations; we have engaged the community in a deep, involved, thinking process about the future direction for our community and in particular for our AJCC; we have been able to offer our Award winning Summer Camp in 2020 and 2021. We had concerts, programs and speakers; our Community Campaign is in very good shape; our Jewish Family Services stepped up to the plate to provide the necessary extra support for people in our community; we offered a virtual Augusta Jewish Film Festival; we volunteered on Good Deeds Day; we kept people connected through this email and more. As a CSRA Jewish community I would say we passed (even aced) the Test of COVID.
How about the larger American Jewish Community? - The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) offered support to every community in the US to apply for the Payroll Payment Protection (PPP) loans as well as converting those loans into grants. We have also continued our National advocacy for Federal funds to increase security in our institutions in the midst of a rise in Anti Semitism. The JCPA (Jewish Council of Public Affairs) has been advocating for legal protections and the prosecution of people promoting Anti Semitism. The JFNA has also offered financial incentives to communities to provide additional social service to people. We have been able to "visit" with distant communities in a virtual General Assembly and a virtual FRD Mission. I think we aced it here too.
Over the years the American Jewish Community, both Nationally as well in the more than 300 local Jewish communities, has been working tirelessly to provide support for Jews locally, Nationally, in Israel and around the world. Natural or man made disasters, threats, supporting Aliyah and advocating for a strong US-Israel relation have been staples of our action. COVID is "just" the most recent test, And all of it has been -and is- possible because of the support of our communities. If you have not yet made your pledge for the 2021 Community Campaign, call it in today. Call the office at (706) 228-3636 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Together, we will continue to ace the Test of COVID until it is over, and any future test that we will have to face - because it is what we do, it is who we are.
STAY SAFE - STAY HEALTHY - STAY CONNECTED