(Calgary) – On Friday March 27, 2020, Yannai Segal, President of Calgary Jewish Federation and CEO Adam Silver sent this community update.
We hope you have been keeping safe and feeling well, as our community (and the broader world) continues to grapple with the current reality of COVID-19, along with the health fears and financial impact it is bringing with it.
As shared in other correspondence with you, we continue to be inspired by the work and dedication of our community’s agencies, and we have been moved by the numerous phone calls and emails from community members offering to help in whatever ways are most needed.
Calgary Jewish Federation is focused on community and remains committed to ensuring we continue to have a vibrant, connected, and safe Jewish Calgary.
What we have done/are doing:
Convened our community’s synagogues, schools, JFSC, Calgary JCC, Chevra Kadisha, and Camp BB Riback by video conference to discuss challenges and solutions, as well as share best practices related to the current crisis. These virtual meetings will continue, enabling our community to quickly respond to changes in COVID-19 measures.
Reached out directly to leaders in our community’s agencies to discuss the specific impact on their operations and to services provided to their constituents.
Spoke with Calgary Police Service, noting the reduced hours of operation of our agencies, and requesting more frequent patrols and parking lot visits by their officers.
Continued planning with the core Federation team to ensure programs and other initiatives are offered through different virtual modalities, and to identify new gaps in service that might need to be filled. Please be sure to look for Inclusion, PJ Library®, Jewish Adult Calgary (JAC), Hillel, Holocaust Education programming and more. Our social media channels and website are good places to start.
Participated in a provincial town hall teleconference focused on COVID-19 and its impact on faith communities.
Participated in a federal teleconference organized by our advocacy partner The Centre for Jewish and Israel Affairs (CIJA), with The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. The featured topic was Assisting Non-Profits Provide Essential Services to Canadians During this Crisis.
Ongoing assessment (with partners) about pressing emergency needs due to COVID-19 and its impact on our community.
What we are working on:
Enhanced programming, learning, and community building online.
Consultation with our community’s agencies as they navigate internal challenges, as well as the needs of their constituents, during these difficult times.
Working with peer Federations, as well as charities/non-profits across the country to lobby for more and varied types of government support.
Continuing to place a focus on community security, liaising with agencies, and with Calgary Police Services.
Creating a virtual online hub and e-newsletter to share program offerings, contact information for help, and opportunities for volunteering or assisting with other needs.
Ensuring that when we are able to resume our typical lives, our community is once again ready to be the envy of many – that we emerge from this as strong as ever.
Wishing you strength, good health and a restful Shabbat.