COVID-19 and Our Jewish Community

Dear friends,
As most of you know, the second case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed in Connecticut on Monday. Local school districts and athletic conferences have begun canceling large public events on the recommendation of the of the State Department of Public Health and the governor's office, and several universities, including Yale University and University of New Haven, are suspending in-person classes and closing residence halls. Our state government and many businesses are also forbidding or limiting domestic and international travel and attendance at events and conferences. Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford is working closely with local Jewish institutions and with the Secure Community Network to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our local Jewish community.
What We're Doing
Our Federation is canceling all public events through at least early April.  A full list of canceled, postponed, and/or online events appears at the bottom of this email. We will continue to re-examine our upcoming events with community health in mind.
Later today, we are convening local pulpit rabbis, agency executive directors, and heads of school to share strategies and best practices for managing COVID-19, maintaining vital community services, and providing additional support to vulnerable community members. Our goal is to anticipate community needs and risks in order to be as prepared as possible.
What You Can Do
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide comprehensive information on COVID-19. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and others:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds - especially after visiting a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If you don't have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover your entire hands and allow them to dry thoroughly.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands as noted above.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick. If you are a caretaker for someone who is sick, wear a facemask.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • At public events, keep a distance of 3 to 6 feet between yourself and other people. Read more about social distancing here.
  • Limit your domestic and international travel. You can find the CDC's COVID-19 travel recommendations here. The State of Israel has imposed a blanket 14-day self-quarantine requirement on all travelers arriving from abroad.
In these challenging times, it is good to remember the words of Talmud Shevuot 39a: kol yisrael arevim zeh la'zeh, "all Israel is responsible for each other." At Federation, we will continue to seek ways to unite our community against every common threat.
Carolyn Gitlin
Board Chair, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
David Waren
President and CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford

Federation Event Changes and Cancellations as of March 11, 2020

Sunday, March 15
Dignity Grows Hurricane Relief Packing Party Postponed; new date TBD
Monday, March 16
Federation Community Trustees meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal and Michael Masters Postponed; new date TBD
Thursday, March 19
MOMentum Israel Trip for Moms parlor meeting Canceled
Monday, March 23
"WOW! in a Box: The Name Game" Jewish educator training Postponed; new date TBD
Tuesday, March 24
  • "Reimagining the Rabbinate: Thinking Completely Outside the Box about the Future of Judaism," a lunch & learn for rabbis with Casper ter Kuile (Jewish Leadership Academy) Postponed; new date TBD
  • "New Generations, Ancient Wisdom: Leading Jewish Life in the 21st Century," a community forum with Casper ter Kuile Postponed; new date TBD
Wednesday, March 25
East of the River State Legislator Meet & Greet (Jewish Community Relations Council) Postponed; new date TBD
Wednesday, April 1
Federation Board of Directors meeting Online
Thursday, April 2
"Spill the Tea: Ready... Set... Charoset" with Jennifer Schwartzman Canceled
Tuesday, April 7
Howard J. Siegal Leadership Institute (Jewish Leadership Academy) Postponed; new date TBD
Questions? Contact Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford at 860.232.4483.