Federation helps community cope through virtual programming
May 15, 2020
When our community and society were faced with the life-changing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando stepped up to fill the void brought on by the loss of our normal active lives.
At the onset of the pandemic, the Federation rose to the occasion to bring the essence of Passover into everyone’s homes and hearts—this included a beautiful virtual Women’s Passover Seder hosted by Cantor Jackie Rawiszer, attended by more than 100 women; and a community virtual Seder for first night of Passover, hosted by Yael Weinstein, Federation’s director of Adult Jewish Learning and her family from their home. JFGO also hosted a community-wide panel of rabbis who discussed how to cope. The discussion was led by Rabbis Steven Engel of Congregation of Reform Judaism, David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom, and Joshua Neely of Temple Israel.
Since Passover, the Federation has continued to provide programming to raise spirits, keep people engaged and educate our community. Offerings have included weekly classes related to the Jewish calendar and our connection to Judaism, Jewish history, and Jewish memory, as well as cooking experiences and meditation sessions.
To support the community and to respond to people’s emotional needs, JFGO brought in special speakers such as Anita Riggs to help individuals explore the emotional fallout of the pandemic. And on Sunday, May 3, the Federation hosted a chat with the esteemed author of the best-selling book and Netflix series “Unorthodox,” Deborah Feldman.
The Federation continued its emphasis on adult Jewish learning and experiences by offering a virtual bonfire for Lag B’omer on May 12.
Also upcoming: the monthly Getting Into Getting Bolder discussion group for Jewish women 50+, and a community-wide celebration. Into the Night: A Shavuot Experience on May 28.
For more details please visit the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando website at jfgo.org.