As we continue to rebuild and show our resilience, we have seen so many people and organizations step forward to assist us in our own healing and repair.
Amongst the most visible and helpful services has been the JCC movement’s support of JResponse through JCC Association. JResponse was conceived last May as a mechanism that would allow professionals from across the field to be deployed to a JCC in crisis and to provide skilled hands in a time of need as a demonstration of our broad commitment to community and to one another.
While our field anticipated JResponse deployments taking place in the aftermath of natural disasters, no one expected that it would be needed here in Pittsburgh in the wake of our own tragedy of October 27. As such, the first JResponse deployment in our movement’s history began several weeks ago and will continue on Fridays and Mondays through the end of the year. These JResponders, from the JCC Association office and JCCs all over the country, have been helping at our front desks, in our health and wellness programs, supporting our work with seniors, and every task imaginable to provide our staff some additional respite or simply helping us catch up after a month of unexpected twists and turns. I’ve had the pleasure to welcome these wonderful professionals every time as the JCC field “learns through doing” how to organize and respond in times of crisis and build strength through collective action.
Their work was particularly evident today as our JResponders helped our marketing department organize, collate, and display the dozens and dozens of posters, artwork, and other gifts of support that have come our way over the past 30 days. Not only did we want to begin to organize these materials, but the documentation of this work really supports the morale of the hundreds of staff and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to help our community heal. Clearly, WE ARE NOT ALONE!
As we begin Hanukkah later this weekend, with a full array of activities for children, families, and adults throughout the next week in both locations, I want to thank our JResponders for being there for us and for all of you who continue to go above and beyond in countless ways to strengthen us.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a happy Hanukkah,
President & CEO
JCC of Greater Pittsburgh