We hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. Though we cannot physically be with you, please know we see you. We see your anxiety and isolation, and we see your creativity and generosity being expressed throughout our great city. We are doing our utmost to respond to you, and we will continue to do so as our extraordinary staff builds our virtual JCC community every day.
I am writing to let you know that our buildings will be closed through April 19 as we continue to monitor the state of our city, our schools, and the health of our community. We will update you on our plans accordingly.
We realize some of you have questions about ongoing and upcoming programs, and we so appreciate your patience with us as we've quickly shifted gears. You will be hearing from us with more information on that very soon. As you have likely guessed, this period of closure is financially challenging, and our staff is working around the clock to support your needs. Programs that have begun to meet online—Harlem Sprouts, Capoeira, Blooming Bebe, BeBox Kids, Ballet, and more—will continue to meet this week as they did last.
During this closed period, we will be sending you a few emails a week with opportunities to stay connected to us, to each other, and to those most vulnerable in our beloved Harlem community who need us now more than ever. Please also keep an eye on the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan's Virtual JCC page for upcoming and ongoing opportunities. We're grateful to those of you who have already let us know how much this means to you and to your families.
How have you been managing in this first full week of social distancing? I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "Day Zero," and how many of them we're each going to be facing in the weeks and months ahead. First day working from home. First day running a homeschool operation or daycare. First Shabbat at home. First with non-essential businesses closed. First time hosting or joining a virtual seder. The shifts in our lives are coming from every direction, and it can be dizzying. I've come to think of it like turbulence on a plane—I just have to lean into the jitters, do what I can to tame them, and release myself to the ride. A ride I'm not glad to be on with all of you, but if we've all gotta be on it, then, yes, one I'm so glad to be on with all of you.
And there will be some really, really special "Day Zeros" on the other side of this thing too. First day reopening our doors. First day seeing your smiling faces again. First day bringing in Shabbat together, in person. May we hold intention this week that those days ARE ahead of us. And in the meantime, may we seek joy, gratitude, and connection in our day-to-day, wherever we can. As you know, we are here to help you with that!
Making sure our community stays strong and supported is of utmost importance to us at this time. Please let us know if you need a caring connection or are able to offer help by filling out this form. We have a cohort of staff and volunteer leaders who are eager to be in touch with you in the days and weeks ahead.
Difficult times require tremendous efforts. As we continue to move our extraordinary community to a virtual platform, we need your support. Please consider making a donation to ensure that we can continue to serve our JCC family during the days ahead.
We are awe-inspired by the strength and resilience of this community, and forever grateful to our staff and leadership for quickly broadening what it means to be in community.
Stay home and stay healthy.
Meg + the JCC Harlem team