18 March 2020
The headlines are reporting what we are all experiencing: Isolation. Uncertainty. Confusion.
All of this upends our traditional understanding of a core Jewish value—community—which has enriched us throughout our history. We left Egypt as a community, we experienced Sinai as a community, and through Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy (WP), we have formed another tight community. It is believed that the soul of an individual is drawn from the community.
Hillel teaches in Pirkei Avot, “do not separate yourself from community.” And yet, here we are, some of us distancing ourselves and others being quarantined with food and unlimited Netflix.
As we come to terms with the threat posed by COVID-19, we are each figuring out what we can do to prevent the spread of the infection. Most local Jewish events have been canceled or postponed until the fall. “Agencies and Jewish communal organizations who operate across DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia have met and outlined plans for teaming up and lending support to each other’s efforts,” said Gil Preuss, CEO of Federation.
With the situation changing daily, the shadow of uncertainty can feel daunting and overwhelming. If you’re confused about what to do, you’re not alone. Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we so appreciate the healthcare workers and community officials keeping us safe.
As Gil shared, “Though we will likely face challenging situations to come, I encourage us all to use this moment to strengthen our bonds and do what we can to show up for each other in the kindest, most creative ways possible.”
This newsletter is our way of reminding ourselves that we are a community, and that each of us has an obligation to ensure the well-being of one another. While we can’t physically come together, we hope you feel connected to the WP community. We draw strength from each other.
Robin Hettleman Weinberg