Blessings During a Challenging Year

Posted on Jun 24, 2021

My life, like yours, changed significantly during the last 15 months. Illness, hospitalizations, deaths, funerals, uncertainty, polarizing politics, violence in the streets, a rise in antisemitism have all been part of the daily news. Yet, when the world shut down, when we were locked in our homes, staying apart from others, something else happened. Amidst all the hardships, I became aware of blessings.

I am grateful that when I was separated from the touch of people, I was able to connect with people around the world. I had the ability to talk to my sister in Israel and my brother in Texas. I helped my grandchildren with their schoolwork and played games with them through the magic of videoconferencing. I was in frequent contact with my children. Our entire family joined together to share a Zoom Pesach seder – twice. I am grateful for all of my relationships.

Today I dedicate this message to the people who helped us sustain relationships during a global pandemic.

Thank you to all the Rabbis, cantors, student clergy interns, graduates of the five Conservative/Masorti institutions of higher learning that we support through Torah Fund. Through your ingenuity and spirit, we learned, prayed, shared joys and sorrows B’Yachad – together. We maintained our relationships with our communities.

Thank you to our Sisterhood Torah Fund chairs/vice presidents and presidents. You appealed to your members to contribute to Torah Fund with letters, emails, phone calls, creative virtual programming, drive-by pickups, and visits to members’ homes. Through your efforts, we maintained our relationships within our sisterhoods and through your encouragement, we did make our donations to Torah Fund.

Thank you to our Region Torah Fund Vice Presidents who maintained relationships with every sisterhood Torah Fund leader by phone, text, email, and videoconference. Thank you for your vision, imagination, understanding and your ideas that assured a successful Torah Fund campaign.

Thank you to the volunteers who followed Covid-19 protocols and drove to JTS to sort and pack Torah Fund pins to mail to all of us.

Thank you to the volunteers who made phone calls to Torah Fund donors.

Thank you to the Torah Fund Legacy Society Chairs and Ambassadors who connected with our donors to ensure future gifts to Torah Fund.

Thank you to the Torah Fund leadership, Debbi Kaner Goldich, International President of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, Janet Kirschner, Torah Fund Finance Vice-Chair, Madeleine Gimbel, Torah Fund Communications Vice-Chair, Randy Schwartz, Torah Fund Canadian Liaison, and Lauren Wishnew, Torah Fund Advisor for your advice and support of Torah Fund during this challenging year.

​Thank you to all the members of our Torah Fund Cabinet, who supported our mission and new initiatives and offered guidance along the way.

Thank you to our wonderful Torah Fund staff, Sherrill Moss-Solomon and Meg Morrison, who worked remotely and made all the necessary changes so that our records were in order, questions were answered, and donations were processed properly.

Thank you to Lisa Paule, Torah Fund Director.  During a pandemic, she challenged us to think about Torah Fund in a new manner. “Tradition and change” have been a hallmark of Conservative Judaism and it is the hallmark of Torah Fund. We have changed with a modern look, we reach out to our donors with regular eblasts, we communicate with our Sisterhood Torah Fund chairs/vice presidents and Region Torah Fund Vice Presidents with monthly emails and reports. While we are trying to get paper greeting cards to our sisterhoods, we have launched Torah Fund ecards that become more popular with time. Our traditions may have been altered slightly due to closures. We were able to mail pins and will continue to send them to our donors who have not yet received them. We will get those greeting cards out to our sisterhoods. We know you depend on them to raise funds for Torah Fund.

Thank you to the Chadashot Editorial Committee: editor, Jodi Beck; writers Gloria Adelson, Donna Burkat, Laurie B. Davis, Mimi Pollack, Judy Zola. The new look of Chadashot draws the readers. Your writing gives Chadashot meaning.

Thank you to each of you for your donations and support of Torah Fund. B’Yachad—Together we ensure Conservative/Masorti Jewish education.

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