You really should know this one thing, at least.
If you’re feeling alone, we hear you. We see you. We understand.
By we, I mean everyone with a heart, which is an awful lot of people. I mean rabbis, cantors, volunteers and employees of the Jewish community, and people throughout Wisconsin. Even your curmudgeonly newspaper editor. All of us.
We approach these High Holy Days thinking about you. We’re thinking about folks who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, living alone or with few people around. We’re thinking about overwhelmed young parents and overwhelmed adult children of older parents. We’re thinking about those of us who are most nervous, most isolated, most on their own.
The community is working the problem. This has surely been reflected in our recent coverage. We’ve also got a resources page in back of this edition that we’ve been updating and refining on a monthly basis, with help from throughout the Jewish community. For a digital version, visit the Milwaukee Jewish Federation resources page. Programming via Zoom abounds; see our Coming Events pages for a sampling.
Everyone is looking to connect and to make sense of this. Our pageviews for JewishChronicle.org have gone through the roof. New print subscription requests keep rolling in. Rabbis keep telling me they’re seeing more people at services or events – virtually.
We are together in isolation. It’s the bright side of this experience. Others are living it with you. It’s a joint struggle to make the pandemic as safe and livable as possible.
And there’s an end in sight. In the distance, you can see it. Vaccines are on the way. Historically, pandemics subside. We find a way.
For these High Holy Days, we must hug one another virtually, by way of Zoom, FaceTime, phone calls or whatever risks you feel you can personally live with. From a distance, we can all send one another positive, uplifting thoughts.
Our part is to send you another Chronicle, including the annual High Holy Days section that we’re soon to start posting to the internet. It represents the hard work of our page designer, advertising salesperson, various writers and editors, and Hannah Feuer, a talented Northwestern University student who agreed to switch her summer internship to a remote experience when the world shut down. She’s been writing for us from Bethesda, Maryland.
We hope this edition provides you with at least a tiny sign of normalcy and of Jewish continuity. May it inform you, salve your isolation, and bring you some peace in some small way.