Federation Updates on Coronovirus

 
Dear Friends,
 
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to spread, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires is working closely with the Dept of Public Health, Elder Services of Berkshire County and our local Jewish institutions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to protect the most vulnerable. 
 
Here is What We Are Doing:
 
  • Yesterday, the Rabbis and Leaders of our Jewish community met to discuss strategies and best practices for managing COVID-19 while maintaining vital community services, and providing additional support to vulnerable community members. Our goal was to anticipate community needs and risks in order to be as prepared as possible.
 
  • As of today, most congregations across the Berkshires have suspended services and gatherings. Many are working to provide online access to Shabbat services and Torah study. All of them are offering virtual pastoral care, and other options for support and connection.
  
  • Federation is also suspending all public programs and events through the end of March. A full list of canceled or postponed events appears at the bottom of this email.
 
  • We are shifting our delivery methods for social services and kosher hot meals, to ways that limit exposure for vulnerable community members.
 
  • The Federation office will also be closed to the public, Staff will continue to work and be available to the public by phone or email during regular business hours.
 
  • We are in the process of implementing a mechanism where individuals who are in self-quarantine, may not be feeling well, or are at high-risk can get additional care and connection. Additionally, we will be rolling out ways for our community to stay engaged and connected through this trying period. Stay tuned for more information.
 
  • We will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate all upcoming events with community health in mind.
 
 
What You Can Do:
 
 
  • Think about who in your family or social circle might benefit from a friendly call or Shabbat greeting. Take a moment to reach out and let them know that you are thinking about them.
 
 
In these challenging times, the Berkshire Jewish community continues to be guided by the teaching that kol yisrael arevim zeh la'zeh - all Israel is responsible for on another other (Talmud Shevuot 39a).
 
Together, we are seeking new and creative ways to care for each other and create opportunities for meaningful connection. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.  
 
Federation Event Cancellations as of March 13, 2020.
 
Monday, March 16, Intergenerational: The Process of Aging
Thursday, March 19, Equinox Explorations with Earth Scroll
Sunday, March 22, Say Hello to Spring Family Hike
Monday, March 23, Foster Children and Fostering Families
Thursday, March 26, 50 Years of a Spiritual Odyssey
Monday, March 30, Matza 2020