My Two Shekels: Confronting COVID-19 and Cancer

This is such an awkward time. A frightening time. Our world is faced with an unprecedented public health crisis that places the lives and livelihoods of so many at risk. Jewish institutions wrestle with significant short-term challenges and are considering how this pandemic will impact them in the longer-term. I’m especially proud that Federation has banded together with Jewish Community Foundation and Leichtag Foundation to collectively raise funds to address needs emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic within our Jewish community. Jewish thought leader and President of Shalom Hartman Institute North America, Yehudah Kurtzer, writes how today’s challenge should compel our communities to embark on “collective mobilization” efforts now more than ever. Without collectivity, Kurtzer fears that we will see “huge duplication of creative efforts, probably a good bit of implicit competition among Jewish organizations today in their pivots for resources and attention, and a whole host of missed opportunities.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m proud that together, our three institutions recognized the power of the collective, and have positioned the fund to have even greater impact. Please be sure to read Brian Tauber’s column about the fund and consider giving.

With schools closed, I have had some amazing and precious family time with my effervescent 3 year old daughter, Eleanore, and loving wife, Laura. These moments  are perhaps more special as I also prepare to undergo a surgical procedure. As you read this, I will likely be in surgery- a surgery that will hopefully leave cancer behind me once and for all. The anxiety my family feels as we are isolated from our friends and loved ones, compounded by the natural fears arising from the anticipation of this surgery, make for an exceedingly intense period of time in our lives. Fortunately, I have felt so supported by my staff, board members, donors and friends.  I take comfort knowing I am in the capable hands of a UCSD surgical team, and that I will then will return home to recover surrounded by my loved ones and a caring and supportive community.

These are difficult times indeed. And, still, Federation is doing what it has done for over 80 years. We respond during times of crisis and emergency. We care for Jews in need. We are only able to do this because of you. For your support, compassion, and participation, I am grateful. 


Add Comment