March 21, 2020
Dear JCC Friends and Family,
Organized in the 1940s, the JCC first occupied the second floor of Mr. Abe Persky's factory building on Franklin Street. In 1951, Jewish War Veterans donated a building on Elm Street which become a new home for the JCC. In 1965, community leaders once again saw a need to expand and purchased land on Salisbury Street.
Whether on Franklin or Elm or Salisbury Street, the community came together, named the services it needed, and the JCC met those needs not just by building walls but building COMMUNITY.
Now we find ourselves outside of the space we normally share. The Governor has put various safety measures in place to slow the spread of the virus. Thus, the date we will be allowed to reopen is presently unknowable. While this unpleasant reality will test us, the good news though is that while being apart, we can still be together.
We will use telephones to reach you when we cannot see you in the fitness, early childhood center or hallway to wave hello. Funds will dwindle as programs come to a halt and we will be stretched but we will utilize the strength of our community to transform connections that formerly relied on walls to ones that require only our hearts.
Adapting to our new realities, in the days ahead, a skeletal staff and dedicated volunteers will develop virtual resources and engagement opportunities bringing our connections beyond our walls.
Taking advantage of our strengths, we are launching Member 2 Member (M2M) - a project to facilitate the heart that has always been a hallmark of this community.
Friendships and connections working for us; being emotionally together even when we are physically apart; looking out for the safety of everyone in our community, aren't those ideals what our "J" friends are for?!?
Let us know what you think of this idea, M2M. We will be sharing additional information about it in the coming days so that you can sign up to be matched. Once matched, we want to hear about how you are communicating with your J match and how it is helping bridge this gap for you and your match at this unusual time.
Our goal, as I can imagine it was at the JCC's founding, is to build up individuals and our community. As individuals and as a community center, we teach and act our values of love, friendship and mutual support and engagement. In the days ahead, we (staff, board and volunteers) want you to tell us how we can support you. We also want your feedback, and we need you to stay with us because there is no us - no JCC - without all of you.
During these difficult days, everyone will be stretched and everyone will be stressed. You likely will be, as well. However, on the day it is safe again for us to open again, we want to be fully capable of doing just that. As such, please consider some simple steps: sign up for M2M if it interests you, call us if you'd like to volunteer and please renew your membership and consider a gift to help us bridge through this unprecedented time.
Programming and Membership are the keys that open our doors and keep the lights on day to day. Your support and donations will help ensure we can get back to that lovely normal.
This distance is temporary, and we are counting the days until we can be physically together again and welcome you back to your home at the J at 633 Salisbury St.
With warm wishes for good health and safety,
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