When I began writing this blog, I thought about all of the things I could be writing about right now; COVID-19, riots, people being sick and not being able to see each other, people not being able to have or attend funerals. There are so many things I'm concerned about, and I guess you are as well. That being said, I'd like to change the subject. I'd like to talk about some of the things I'm really happy about right now.
We are learning. Both academically and emotionally, we are learning. Technology has opened unending doors. There are hundreds of thousands of things available on the internet. Things many of us never even imagined. You can take a 3D stroll through the Louvre, The Guggenheim, multiple museums and galleries, historic homes, parks, libraries, beautiful cities, gardens, or even do all of your shopping. You can take classes in just about any subject (including free education from Ivy League schools), from educational masters, coaches, religious leaders and even self-proclaimed experts. You can learn to play instruments, cook, create art, play a sport, or build just about anything. Don't want to read or take a class? You can watch just about any type of video imaginable. From how-to videos to old movies, TV shows, comedy routines, and even old Jews telling jokes, (and yes that really is a wonderful website).There are webinars, web-conferences, shared programs and files. We can work from home and for many, accomplish so much more. We are learning that the the internet connects us in ways we never dreamed. We can skype, zoom, email, text, instagram, pinterest, share video clips and voice messages and tons of other things I don't know the first thing about. Kids can learn and play online. We can connect through technology. The new normal. This is a good thing for most. It is scary, it is different, but it is good.
We are also learning how important people are. Not just having them around, but actually physically interacting with them. We realize just how important a hug is. A compliment can change our days. Eating out is a true luxury. We miss movies, concerts, ceremonies, dances, and parties. We even miss marketing events. We are learning what is important. We are also learning who's important. We are bonding because we have to. We are compelled to. We need people. Being socially distanced is a physical thing, but shouldn't be a mental thing. Not for anyone.
We are seeing the importance, again, of providing for our seniors. They are such a big part of who we are. Their love, education, traditions, wisdom, and direction shape our lives. They have had the hardest time lately, I think. They don't always have technology on their sides but they are learning. If they couldn't physically see their families, they could virtually see them. There are seniors out there who can't turn a computer on, but can use Zoom on their smartphones to reach out to friends and family, and have virtual birthdays and holidays. They are learning. They couldn't have concerts, so entertainers set up amplifiers and sang in the courtyards and the residents opened their windows. They couldn't have programs or services, but the facilities have found a way to stream them on in room televisions. We are all learning.
There are lots of difficult things happening right now, but there are lots of good things as well. If you would like to see some of the things we at the Jewish Pavilion are doing, please visit our website at www.jewishpavilion.org. Our newest program, “Show us your Shabbat”, asks that you send pictures and videos of your Shabbat so we can share the with residents of elder-care facilities in our new initiative to bring Shabbat Services for Seniors directly into their rooms. We also have a great page called, “Pavilion Pathways” that will be bringing information and promotions from community businesses directly to you, our supporters. We are sending cards, pictures and letters from people across the country. We are calling elder-care community residents. We are providing holidays and Shabbats in goodie bags that we are delivering. With your help, during these trying times, we are making a difference, and we are learning.