From the desk of CEO Judy Halper – September 2017

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

It seems that we are in constant states of shock these days. If we aren’t reeling from changes in conventional government and political stances, we are stunned by the power of Mother Nature and the havoc she is wreaking on so many Americans and people of other nations around the globe. Somedays it just seems it’s all too much to process and comprehend, and unfortunately many of us are left feeling out of control or hopeless about the impact we can have on any given crisis, much less all of them.


Judy HalperI confess to feeling alternately “pumped up” about this historic time, energized out of complacency, and at other times, feeling very small and insignificant, leaving me to wonder how any one thing I can do will make a difference. I believe this is why it is so important to be a part of a community – a group of people we know well, and some we know only slightly – to help pull us up and pull us together and remind us of the louder voice and greater impact we can have when we work towards solutions together.


The images of communities in rebuild mode in Houston, the Caribbean, and various cities of Florida are a reminder of all the strength we have as individuals, and the remarkable achievements we can realize together. Look at the incredible speed and efficiency of clean-up efforts that are taking place. In large part, it is because so many community members are setting aside differences and difficulties in order to get people “back to normal.” I call this healthy distraction. We are all in this together.


I am awed by the work we all must do to recover from these historic storms, and I am impressed by the commitment I see all around me. Thank goodness for government readiness and response, and for our strong network of non-profit organizations providing shelter and assistance. In particular, thank you to JFCS staff who, as part of our national network, have volunteered to provide phone comfort and support to those in need. Through their efforts, those of safe, dry, and blessed with electrical power, are able to support communities near and far.


As we enter into the period known as the High Holy Days, I wish everyone a year of health, hope and happiness.