Last Tuesday night my family and I participated in our first virtual minyan with Temple Israel.  There were twenty-nine computers or phones logged in to participate.  I am surprised by how touched I felt by this event.  It was nice to see so many faces, most connecting locally, although there were some from Florida and even the Bahamas.  I left the minyan with my heart full, knowing that we may be apart, but we are still a community and are truly all in this difficult time together.  If you have not tried a virtual event, you should.  Virtual events are the new reality. Participating may cut down on feelings of isolation.  I am no expert with modern technology, but my experience has been that the virtual meeting spaces are generally user friendly.  If you want someone to talk you through it, give me a call at 607-724-2332. 

Speaking of virtual events, I just got the go ahead from the chairs of our film fest, Susan Hubal and Ben Kasper, to host a virtual film screening.  To participate, you would register and be given a link with a window of time to view the film. Then we would all come together at a designated time on a video chat with our film facilitator to discuss.  Is this ideal?  Of course not, but staying connected and stimulated is important. So I say let’s give it a try!  Keep an eye out to the Reporter and your email for specifics on registering for a virtual film screening sometime in April.

After careful consideration of the community’s needs, the annual campaign chair, Marilyn Bell, and I, have decided to move forward with the Chesed Matching Gift Challenge.  This matching gift challenge of up to $10,000 is more important now than ever.  We know that our Jewish organizations and community members will be hit hard by this crisis and we want to help.  Several community members have already stepped up and are willing to commit to this challenge.  We hope that you will join them in making a donation, whatever the size it will be doubled. The Challenge will run through the month of April. Watch The Reporter or your email for Chesed Challenge information, or go to to give.

Please know that I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers during this challenging time and looking forward to being together again soon.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any ideas for virtual programming or just want to say hi.  Wishing you all peace and comfort during this time of crisis.