The Federation offices have been closed now for 15 weeks – 105 days! – and yet the business of caring for our community has never stopped. As we approach the close of another fiscal year and welcome a new leadership team, it is a good time to take a moment to pause and reflect on how our valued leaders and staff have navigated the challenges of this crisis on behalf of our community. For an enterprise like ours, whose business is all about relationships and human interaction, the transition to a world of digital connections has not been an easy one. We are extremely proud of the volunteers and staff who have exhibited true leadership and extraordinary resilience. While we have accomplished much, however, we are humbled by the challenges we know lie ahead as we ply these uncharted waters.
Before this situation began, Federation’s social-service safety net was already caring for the most vulnerable people among us. With the dramatic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the livelihood of individuals and families, Federation expanded its funding to agencies involved in the most critical, frontline human services. This is exactly why Federation exists.
And, since March, the Federation Coronavirus Crisis Response Task Force has spent hours focusing on the financial and service-related demands that accompany this new reality. Our initial priority was to address the emergency financial needs of individuals and our partner agencies. That led to significant grants to Jewish Community Services, our three JCCs and others. In the days ahead, our goal is to identify emerging and unmet needs and develop innovative ways to confront longer term issues created by the decreased revenue and increased demand experienced by Federation’s system of agencies.
In our 82-year history, Federation has taken great pride in the continuity and commitment of our volunteer leaders. Every two years at our Annual Meeting, we elect and install a new Board Chair and Officers to govern and guide our organization. Beginning on July 1, Isaac K. “Ike” Fisher will become Chair of the Board and Ariel Bentata will begin his term as General Campaign Chair. These two positions are essential always, and evermore so during this unprecedented time. We will look to them to continue the important efforts underway to ensure our community and agencies emerge whole from this crisis.
Before closing, we want to call to your attention a couple of ways you can make a difference right now.
Firstly, if you haven’t already done so, please remember to participate in the 2020 US Census. Responding greatly supports our community by:
- Providing valuable information about our population’s demographics and current needs;
- Confirming our region receives the appropriate number of elected officials in Congress; and
- Ensuring Miami-Dade County is allocated its fair share of federal funding, enhancing the capacity of local social-service programs, especially now.
The Jewish people have always understood and valued the importance of being counted, dating back to biblical times. Please click here to do your part!
Another way to count during this crisis is by donating convalescent plasma to the Florida Jewish COVID-19 Plasma Initiative through OneBlood. If you have had the coronavirus and have fully recovered, this may be a way to literally save someone’s life. Please refer to the article to the left of this message for more information.
Remember, if you or someone you know is facing difficulties, please visit JewishMiami.org/covid19 or call the Jewish community’s confidential helpline at 305.576.6550 for guidance. Calls are answered 24/7 every day of the year.
As the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations increase sharply in South Florida, please continue to take the proper precautions to avoid this virus and remain healthy. We wish a refu’ah sh’leymah to all those people affected by COVID-19 and we pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones.
Chair of the Board
President & Chief