Here we are, amazingly, at the one-year anniversary of COVID-19. The virus has had a profound impact on people around the world, yet at this moment of demarcation, when more than half a million people in the U.S. have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus, there is finally hope in the air. As hospitalizations and new infections drop, and vaccines become available to millions of people every day, we are heading, with trepidation, towards some measure of freedom.
Still, uncertainty lingers. After a year of universal trauma, we have lost our footing. The prospect of going back to our old lives is tantalizing, yet we know we can never fully return to the old ways. COVID-19 infected our lives with unprecedented levels of misery and fear that no vaccine can erase. Inequality and structural racism were laid bare during the racial unrest of the spring. Some of us were able to leverage the privilege of jobs and steady income to work from home. Others were not so lucky and suffered cruel setbacks. Students of all ages lost ground and lost their connections to peers with a year of mostly online learning.
At the same time, this year has generated unprecedented levels of resilience, generosity, and kindness. Several young filmmakers in Jewish Atlanta even made a film about our “can do” spirit! Did you see “Atlanta: The City Too Busy to Wait” in the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival? There’s much to reflect on as we approach the anniversary of COVID-19’s grip on Atlanta and the world. We wanted to mark the moment with a look back through FederationFive, month-by-month. See how fully our Jewish community responded to this challenging year with creativity, compassion, and love.
MARCH | JF&CS Food Pantry responds to hunger needs | COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund launches | Federation COVID-19 Resource page created | Unexpected blessings of social distancing | Zoom Passover becomes the norm
APRIL | Support for COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund swells | AgeWell Atlanta rises up to meet challenges facing older adults | Special outreach to Holocaust survivors during the pandemic |We respond to COVID-19 needs in Israel
MAY | Bridging social distance to do good safely | Jewish Atlanta Flagpole entertains and unites us on Zoom | Coping without Camp for Summer 2020 | Teen Philanthropy addresses COVID-19 | Federation collaborates to offer safe reopening guidelines | Atlanta’s Israeli American community leans in to do good | JumpSpark offers Virtual College Road Trip for high school students contemplating college.
JUNE | Safe ways to volunteer | Community solidarity expressed | Community dialogue on safe reopening | Food delivery for seniors | Black and Jewish in Atlanta | Staying Connected in Difficult Times | Oral Histories of Resilience during the pandemic
JULY | Overnight camps pivot to family camp model | Kosher Food Pantry delivers! | Community Security Services step up in a COVID-19 World | Propel Grants renew our investment in innovation and resilience | ALEF Fund assists families in need of day school and preschool tuition assistance | COVID funds raise spirits in Israel | COVID creates more pathways to Jewish learning online | Elite coaching videos offered for free to young athletes | Despite pandemic, Federation’s strategic plan is on track | Summer kosher food plan helps families | Partnerships support pandemic parenting
AUGUST | Looking at race in Israel: The Ethiopians | Adapting to COVID: innovative Jewish back-to-school options | Jewish artifacts of the pandemic | Jewish loan funds bring dignity during COVID | Unused camp scholarship funds rolled over to 2021 | COVID-19 in Israel | HAMSA sees spike in Jewish addiction
SEPTEMBER | Serve the Moment offers COVID-safe service opportunities for college–age students | Supportive Housing in Israel gets additional funding | Small group sports open at MJCCA | Innovation in high holiday worship for 5781 | Even alone we can pray | Donors give at inspiring levels | Yokneam fundraising supports Lone Soldiers during COVID | Jewish Atlanta’s response to COVID documented in a new film | New survey of community COVID needs | Despite pandemic, Shinshinim return to Atlanta
OCTOBER | Sukkot in a time of distance | Day school enrollment grows during COVID | COVID Response Fund Report: How your dollars had impact | Jewish Interest Free loans support families | Meals for homebound Holocaust survivors | COVID Funds in Israel and abroad | One Good Deed phone calls lift spirits
NOVEMBER | More virtual programming for older adults | Southeast mounts virtual Jewish camp fair | Jewish Professionals’ giving circle supports AgeWell Atlanta
DECEMBER | When virtual learning wasn’t cutting it, ALEF Fund helped send kids to Jewish day school | Jewish day camps prepare for summer 2021 | COVID safe MLK Weekend includes learning sessions on racism
JANUARY | Emergency response funding supports Jewish preschools | How trauma amplifies change | | How human connections raised $4.3 million for COVID relief
FEBRUARY | Physically apart, but not alone | Supporting camper mental health at camp this summer | COVID-19 Self Care Survey launched