The JEA and Federation are committed...

With the COVID rate in Chatham County down to 5.4 cases/100K and a Positive test rate which has dropped dramatically in the last few weeks (currently at 2.6%) you would think that “normalcy” is just around the corner.  Yet, with varying mask mandates, continued vaccine hesitancy (Chatham County, while better than the State of GA, is still only at 54.9% for people who have had one or more doses), and continuing change of advice from government officials, making the “right decisions for our institutions is a perilous proposition.  After all, this is a very personal proposition and we are all just “plumb tuckered out” after the better part of two years.

Parents are exhausted…not only from the tension, the change in schedules, the continued trips back and forth to their pediatricians;

The medical community is exhausted.  They have been working with great dedication in unique circumstances.  Often with disregard to their own health-mental and physical;

Our synagogues are constantly wrestling with the “right way” to provide for their communities. (As if there were some universal answer that would make everyone happy);

Our teachers and staffs are tired.  The grocery workers are exhausted.  Stores are understaffed, and the supply chain is broken (at least for the foreseeable future);

“Zoom fatigue” (a newly minted medical diagnosis) is at epidemic proportions.

While the JEA has been operating at “close to normal” for almost a year and a half, the discussions about “What is the right thing to do?” have been a constant. 

Just a few short week’s ago, the JEA boldly had it’s Annual Gala with close to 150 people in attendance.  Yes, it was different as it was outdoors by the pool, which gave a large segment of the community the confidence to venture to a group program.

Two weeks ago, the Federation hosted it’s first Committee meeting in person when 23 people gathered in the Board Room for a Community Relations Committee organizing meeting.

This week the Federation held its Campaign Kickoff in person (and virtually (with some technology bugs)) in a hybrid format: a reception outdoors and the program indoors.

This week (Thursday at 12:30—call the JEA for your reservation) we will be hosting Food for Thought after a few stops, starts, and restarts when Dr. Jay Goldstein will recount his experiences on the front line of the Memorial ER during the “times of COVID.”  It’s sure to be fascinating to hear Jay’s unbiased experiences.

And in a week, the Federation and JEA Boards will be coming together for their annual Joint Board meeting.  It will be in-person at the Alliance.

We are all coming out of our COVID shells—little by little.  For some, it is the physical threat; for others, the psychological barrier of “reentry.”  They are both valid and both challenging to us all.

We will continue to have starts and stops over the coming months with uncertainty being the only thing certain.  Yet, you know that the one constant, the one thing you can depend on is that your community will be here for you.  The JEA and Federation are committed to providing the support the community needs, to address the needs of the individual, and to help lead us through this challenge (and whatever challenges come in the future).  It’s our job, it’s our obligation, it’s our honor.

Shabbat Shalom (and Go Dawgs)