The first yahrzeit for my father is next week. I miss him terribly. His sense of humor, intellect and creative spirit are what fill my memories the most. Although he was taken much too young, I do feel a sense of relief that he is not in a nursing home during the current pandemic. It would have been terribly painful to not visit and care for him during the most difficult time of his life. My heart goes out to the people in that situation. There are no words of comfort anyone can offer. I am thinking too, of the caring and dedicated staff we had the honor to meet during dad’s illness. This pandemic has made a difficult and under-valued job unsafe and nearly impossible. I extend my best wishes and love to all the professionals caring for the sick and dying. I know that you are doing God’s work. May you all come through this crisis unharmed.
Work at the Jewish Federation continues. I had one community member question the reasoning of going forth with the Chesed Matching Challenge under the current economic hardships. To some, asking for money when the community and country are experiencing record unemployment and very uncertain times seems insensitive. I understand this reasoning, but I also know there are so many who are looking for a way to contribute. Looking for a way to say “no matter what, this crisis will not change my community and I am going to do what I can to make a difference.” We believe in the people of the Binghamton Jewish community, we value our local Jewish institutions, and we raise funds for them. That is what the Federation does. Our Jewish organizations and our Jewish neighbors need us now more than ever, and I cannot let the pandemic change our mission. There are donors who have generously stepped up. There are others that have apologized and said “I can’t right now.” I want you all to know, there is no judgement. Everyone counts and every dollar counts, no matter how big or small. Sometimes we give and sometimes we receive. This is the time to show we care. Maybe it is by calling an old friend, sending a text, joining a virtual service or making a donation. During this challenging time Binghamton is showing its true colors and I feel blessed to be part of this caring community.
I am wishing you all a happy and healthy Pesach. Stay safe. Reach out if you are in need or just to say hello. May we all soon be together again.