When 2021 began I don’t think many of us thought or could have conceived of the idea that once the ball dropped in Times Square in 2022, we would find ourselves in the middle of another COVID-related surge. And yet, here we are. The good news is that at least this time, a significant majority of us have already received the initial 2-dose vaccine as well as the latest booster. The sad news is that this latest variant of COVID is proving to not only be highly-contagious, but also able to circumvent these vaccines as the number of breakthrough infections continues to mount.
It is for this reason that the Jewish Federation made the decision to make this Sunday’s Annual Meeting entirely virtual, instead of also having an in-person option. And, it is why organizations like the Jewish Federation are trying to figure out how to handle events being planned in the coming weeks and months. No one wants to be the source of an outbreak due to their event leading to a super-spreader incident. So, organizations tend to be more cautious, especially when the event can take place virtually.
I think we can all agree that an in-person event has a very different feel than the same event has in a virtual format. However, if it comes down to holding an event virtually versus canceling it, I will almost always decide to hold it virtually so that everyone can attend. As someone who values and works to bring our community together as much as possible, these decisions are often agonizing for me to make.
Experts tell us that these next few weeks will be very telling as infection rates continue to skyrocket and we come out of the holiday season and New Year's celebrations when people were spending time indoors with family and friends.
I encourage everyone to be extra cautious, immediately shift from wearing cloth masks to wearing 3-ply surgical masks, and when available please get your booster shots.
On a different note, I wanted to express my appreciation for everyone who supported the Jewish Federation in 2021. And to those who made donations as part of our $50k matching gift challenge…. Thank you. We met and surpassed our goal with a total of $54,224 plus an additional $13,500 towards specific Jewish Federation programs. With your help, 2022 is off to a great start and the Jewish Federation will continue to work to build community by strengthening and enhancing Jewish life through the programs and services we offer.
Happy New Year and I hope that the start of 2022 is a good one for you and your family!