JCA Closure and Timeline Update

When the JCA closed our doors, we knew that the process of reopening would be complex. Following city and state guidelines, and to support the safety of our community, the JCA facility will remain closed until May 18th. We will continue to carefully monitor changes and developments, and to communicate via our websitesocial media, and email as our plans for the spring and summer take shape.

We want to thank the many donors and friends whose commitment to the JCA inspires us every day. Like many other nonprofits in Maine, we recently received a “Payroll Protection Program” grant through the CARES Act, which will allow us to maintain our existing staffing structure through June.

Though the building is closed, our programs are not; staff are continuing their work virtually in so many ways, and whether it is through food, diapers, or referrals provided by KJFS; PJ Library online activities; community-wide virtual programs; or regular check-ins by phone or Zoom with teachers, friends, and neighbors, we will maintain our services to you through this challenging time.

Many people have questions about Center Day Camp and whether we can open this summer. Our staff are working diligently with state and local authorities, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, JCC Camps, the American Camp Association, and Maine Summer Camps (MSC). Everyone is dedicated to ensuring safety as our primary goal; at the same time, we know how important Camp experiences are for children. If there is any way for us to open camp, with or without modifications to schedule, structure, or size, we will do so. We anticipate being able to make a decision in late May or early June. In the event that we are not able to open, we are already developing high quality, unique and fun virtual camp experiences together with other JCC camps around the country.

Lots of us who are in Maine right now have learned to look forward to the daily briefings by Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah. In addition to his incredible depth of medical and scientific knowledge, he has steadfastly reminded us to navigate this crisis as human beings, attuned to our emotional needs and the importance of remaining connected even though we are physically apart.

While this distancing is painful, our community is a balm, and it has been wonderful to ‘see’ many of you at the statewide Shabbat, the Yom Ha’Shoah memorial and film discussion, and in classes and social gatherings. We hope you join us next week for the worldwide Yom Ha’atzmaut event, and at other new programs being offered virtually throughout May and June. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. J staff are here for you and will be happy to hear from you.

L’hitraot. We’ll see you soon.
Shabbat Shalom,

Molly Curren Rowles
Executive Director

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