Responding to the Needs of the Day

Since this was published, the Federation has decided to close its offices at 2000 Technology Drive for the next two weeks. Remember, the Federation is open for business, just remotely!

I write this note at a unique time in world history. Our Federation, our Jewish community and all of our society is putting plans in place to deal with the spread of the coronavirus. Today, I sent an email to our Board updating them on what our Federation has been doing. I share it here:

I want to continue to keep our Federation Board apprised of decision making going on at the Federation around our response to the coronavirus. At a full staff meeting this morning, the following information was shared with our staff:

  1. ALL Federation events, programs and classes through the end of Passover are being postponed, canceled or moved to Zoom. Our staff will be working on the communications to those attending each program and communicating directly with them shortly.
  2. For the foreseeable future, Federation committee meetings will all be moved to Zoom. We want to keep doing our normal business but do not want to bring multiple groups of diverse people together in person.
  3. Our Federation offices remain open for normal business until such time as we are advised to change that approach. That being said, we are closing the office just this Monday to do a dry run of all of our remote working systems to ensure we are prepared in case we have to move to a fully remote working environment. Again, we are working Monday but will be doing so remotely.
  4. We are going to increase the amount and type of cleaning of the offices starting now. That will include the cleaning of all door handles and surfaces. In addition, we will no longer leave food out in the open.
  5. A new protocol will be put into place asking all visitors whether they are sick or if they have traveled to places like China, Japan, South Korea, or Italy recently. If they answer yes, we will ask that they not enter our facility.
  6. Later today, a communication to our entire database will be sent out with the above information and other important facts.

As is the line we continue to hear in the media, we are doing all of these things with “an abundance of caution.” While there have not yet been any reported cases of the coronavirus in Allegheny County, we believe it is just a matter of time and our preparation will have us best positioned to continue to provide the leadership and resources our community will need. Our topmost concern is the health and safety of Jewish Pittsburgh.

This past Monday, professional leadership of our eight Beneficiary Agencies and Federation met. We shared our strategies to continue our caring for our clients, students, members and staff with each other. I was so proud to hear the plans that are in motion. Thank you to each of our Beneficiary Agencies for their leadership and partnership with Federation and one another: Community Day School, Hillel Academy, Hillel JUC, Jewish Association on Aging, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Community Services, Jewish Residential Services and Yeshiva Schools.

You can keep informed about the virus, our Jewish community and other resources right from the Federation’s website at jewishpgh.org/coronavirus-resources.

Wishing you a healthy, safe and secure Shabbat of Shalom.

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