“We are not all in the same boat.
We are all in the same storm.”
Damian Barr, writer
This pretty well explains the situation. When I think about the pandemic I recognize the sheer enormity of the situation and how it has impacted our entire world. Reports seem to say things are getting better. I recognize that patience is the key. Together we will weather this storm.
Sheltering in place does have its advantages. My family is all together. I admit it is not easy at times (especially the battle over WiFi bandwidth), but we make it work. We eat every meal together at home, which feels healthier and less rushed. And it seems easier to make the time for things that are truly important.
One challenge for many, however, is fighting social isolation. This past Sunday, our community coordinated a "joy ride" car parade around and through the Cedar Sinai Park (CSP) campus. We did a double mitzvah -- we greeted the residents with music, homemade signs, and car horns, while at the same time thanked the incredible medical team providing such wonderful care. The appreciation and joy on the faces of the residents and medical personnel were priceless.
We received this from a community member:
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity today to participate in the car parade! What a great mitzvah day! In the car on the way home, my 8 year-old daughter said, “That felt good to make people happy. That was a true mitzvah!” My 13 year old said, “That was awesome! My mouth hurts from smiling so hard.”
You can't beat that! It is was fun, easy (thank you to the staff at CSP), important, and we will do it again in the near future.
Today is Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day commemorating those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, military personnel killed in active duty, and victims of terror attacks. The day reminds us of the sacrifices that have been made – and indeed continue to be made – to ensure the Jewish people have a state of our own.
The solemn mood in Israel will quickly change this evening to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
Joining these two days together conveys a simple message -- Israelis owe their independence and the very existence of the Jewish state to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. Let me emphasize how essential it is that we commemorate and celebrate (the mood in Israel is quite different this year with the inability of people to visit cemeteries today or celebrate with family and friends tonight and tomorrow) these important holidays. This is an opportunity for us, as one people, to acknowledge our achievements and our losses.
Tomorrow, please join a global celebration for Israel's 72nd birthday from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Our community will join together with Jewish communities around the world for an extraordinary virtual event celebrating Israel!
In this challenging time, our united Jewish peoplehood is one of our greatest strengths.
Afterwards, join us for the second program in our “Weekly Wednesday Update” series. We will hear from several local agency executives on how their organizations are responding to and being impacted by this pandemic. The Zoom call is at 2:00 p.m. -- Register here.
Enjoy the next few days as we celebrate "the Yoms" and learn more about what our community is doing in response to COVID-19.
Stay healthy and well.