Reflector News

Responding to a Pandemic – Collectively

An update from JCFR President Ellen Renee Adams and CEO Daniel Staffenberg

On March 11th, 2020, the first impacts of COVID-19 were felt in our community. The Weinstein JCC, Jewish Community Federation, Richmond Jewish Foundation and Rudlin Torah Academy closed their facilities, a day later Beth Sholom Senior Living closed their campus to outside visitors. Others soon followed.

While our physical workspaces closed, Federation and our partners remained open. Together, Federation and our partners were able to quickly mobilize, adapt and act because the network of services and systems you support are in place 365 days a year. Additionally, long standing relationships with local, state and federal officials allowed Federation to advocate and gain critical insight and information for our community.

Critical Services to the Vulnerable

Our lay and professional teams at Federation worked with our local and overseas partners to identify and triage needs, raise funds, strategize and share information and resources. Our goal was simple: to ensure that critical services to the vulnerable were maintained and our agencies remained strong.

As we look back on the last year, the challenges we faced were enormous. As we anticipate brighter days ahead, we are humbled and honored to share this detailed look into your Federation’s response to COVID-19. This is all made possible by your generous ongoing support and our network of agencies and partners.

To date, your Jewish Community Federation of Richmond has distributed $303,000 in Coronavirus Relief funds. These funds have been leveraged with other statewide and federal grants, and private philanthropy to infuse over $5.5 million into our community. These dollars made an immediate impact on every part of our Jewish world.

Community Coordination and Convening

Supporting Vulnerable Populations

Securing and Protecting the Community

General Support for Jewish Communal Organizations

Sustaining and Building Community

Structures in Place

Eighty- six years ago the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond was founded so that we would have the structures in place to respond to crises. Over the past year, we have leaned on and learned from each other, shared resources and expertise and found strength in shared values. The response to COVID-19 showed the power of our Federation system and the strength of an interconnected community. It is because of your generosity that we stand ready for what comes next.

As vaccination rates increase and we pray that the virus is in retreat, we begin to look ahead. Our plan is not just to get back to where we were, but to build on the lessons and learning of the past year and find a new path forward. One which builds on our foundations and creates an even more connected, more vibrant, and stronger Jewish community.

We wish you a restful and meaningful Shabbat,

Ellen Renee and Daniel

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