“From My Living Room to Yours” – March 20 COVID-19 Update

March 20, 2020

As we reach the end of a full week practicing physical distancing and other unprecedented measures, I want to wish you good physical and mental health, provide some opportunities to act and connect from your home, and share how the JCRC is adjusting our operations to continue serving you.

During this time of need, community collaboration is more critical than ever.

Through our participation in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Federations’ COVID-19 Task Force, we are in close communication with the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, Sholom, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, NECHAMA, TC Jewfolk, and other community partners to ensure that critical services continue and developing needs are met. Click here for a listing of services JFCS and JFS offer.

While we are saddened that we are unable to gather in-person for some of our most important events of the year, we are energized to deliver meaningful content to you, in your home.

Over the coming weeks, we will convene a series of educational and engaging Living Room Learning Zoom webinars, free and customized for our local community.

The first Living Room Learning webinar will feature Ambassador Dennis Ross. While we planned to have Amb. Ross join us here in Minnesota earlier this week, we are pleased to present an opportunity to hear from him virtually on Friday, April 3, at 12:30 PM.

We will share more information about the Living Room Learning series in the coming days, along with details about how we are reimagining Yom HaShoah with our partners at Adath Jeshurun Congregation.

Despite the looming uncertainty in our world, the JCRC is adapting its operations to remain a resource and leader in our community – in safety and security, education and engagement, policy advocacy and relationship building.

We continue to provide community security support and guidance in real time to community institutions and individuals who are victims of antisemitism and suspicious incidents.

As advocates, we are asking for you to lend your voice today in urging Congress to immediately:

• Approve $60 billion in economic stimulus and other supports for the nonprofit sector;
• Provide additional funding to support front-line healthcare workers and other caregivers to fortify our resilience and response to this virus; and
• Ensure children and families have access to food they need to survive during this time.

Additionally, we remain vigilant against the antisemitic conspiracy theories emerging from the dark corners of the web into the mainstream, which seek to blame Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, we are disturbed by the xenophobia against Chinese Americans specifically, and Asian Americans generally in the national discourse. The JCRC was proud to join a broad coalition of Jewish organizations decrying such rhetoric in a letter of support to our Chinese American friends and neighbors.

Likewise, in place of another one of our scheduled programs – Welcome the Stranger: Acting on a Jewish Imperative – we invite you to check out HIAS’s National Refugee Shabbat resources and opportunities to act.

As the situation in Minnesota and the Dakotas continues to evolve, know that the JCRC is working to safeguard Jewish institutions, create connection despite physical distance, and speak out against attempts to scapegoat any group for the crisis, which we will only survive by working together.

Shabbat Shalom,
Steve Hunegs
Executive Director