407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

As we begin June we start a new reality. Florida is in phase 2 of reopening, and we are seeing our Jewish community begin to gather again. From synagogues holding both virtual and drive-in services to the Rosen and Roth Family JCCs opening their early childhood programs and summer programs for children, we are taking slow but steady steps to returning to a new normal.

At the Federation we are continuing to provide high-quality programming for your enjoyment. We received great feedback after this week’s Empowerment Through the Pen: One Woman’s Story as Julie Meltzer described what it is like to be one of the first female scribes to write a Torah. In July we are excited to bring you Sarah Hurwitz, a political speechwriter for the Obama administration who decided to apply her communication skills to write Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Live – in Judaism. During this July 12 Zoom event, she will discuss her time in the White House and the insights and profound spiritual connection she found during her journey back to Judaism. Registration opens next week.

One thing that dealing with the impact of COVID-19 has shown us is how strong, vibrant and diverse our Central Florida Jewish community is and how essential our agencies, organizations and synagogues are. As the summer progresses, I am certain that you will have lots of opportunities to engage Jewishly in meaningful ways. I hope you take advantage of the many opportunities that exist to explore Jewish life in Central Florida. From ritual worship to Tikkun Olam, from art and culture to early childhood and camp, from cooking and authors to opportunities to learn more Jewishly, our community offers a vast array of resources for you.

As we approach Shabbat, I hope you take time with your family and to explore the wonders of our community.