MARCH 23, 2020 UPDATE:

The JCA’s Board and Executive Director have voted to extend the closure of the JCA and the Goldman Family Preschool through April 27th.

Our teams are creating online opportunities for engagement and connection that we hope to maintain throughout the closure. In addition to those focused within the Goldman Family Preschool, please also check out our new JCA Virtual Experience, and keep checking back for more.

 



Dear JCA Community,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the temporary closure of the JCA, including the Goldman Family Preschool, beginning March 16th, for two weeks, through March 30th. In light of the unique dynamics of this global pandemic, and in solidarity with the community, we are closing in order to support “social distancing” which we understand can help reduce the rate of transmission to ensure that all can access the medical care they need.

It feels so strange for us to maintain separation at a time when we all want to be together, but we need to support our public health professionals and first responders. Today, our commitment to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) requires that we adapt in this new way. We will continue to monitor the situation and assess the appropriate timeframe for reopening as soon as possible. Staff will work from home for now, and there is much to keep them busy, as we will seek to create virtual opportunities for meaningful connection, learning, and fun, as well as sharing ideas for activities that adults, families, and kids can enjoy at home. Please listen to the J’s Spotify playlist, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and here at mainejewish.org for updates and new efforts. Please also feel free to be in touch if you have an idea for something we could do or that you would like to virtually collaborate on.

In the event that closure of our building is extended, we know there will be many questions about how closure affects program related fees and enrollment expenses. We will share an update on those topics as soon as responsible and clear decisions have been made. We are hopeful that our members and donors will continue to support the JCA in any way possible during this period of time, so that we can ensure the JCA remains prepared to meet the needs of our community for years to come.

The KJFS food pantry will open on a modified, drive-through pick up basis for the day this Tuesday to distribute food and diapers; boxes have been made up already and we can ensure that social distancing is practiced throughout. We are planning to close KJFS to the public at the end of the pantry day on Tuesday; Diapers are being transferred right now to City of Portland storage for distribution via WIC (for now just to public health nurses and case workers – not the general public) and the family shelter, but we will continue to participate in the broader food and diaper distribution system currently in development.

We are fortunate to live in Maine, a place of great natural beauty and vibrant community, and our appreciation of our surroundings and one another grows during challenging times. We are faced with a situation that we cannot control or change, but we can stay true to the knowledge that inspires us to take care of ourselves and others. What we do today may seem small, but our integrity of purpose will bear fruit in the health and prosperity of the community that we love.

In Hebrew, we say L’hitraot – we will see you later, we will see you soon. We look forward to gathering virtually in the weeks to come, and to spending time together in person as soon as possible.

 

L’shalom,

Molly Curren Rowles

JCA Executive Director

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