RFP: Chronicling COVID-19 and the American Jewish Community
August 31st, 2020
A Jewish Funder Collaborative — including Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and others — seeks proposals to support chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the American Jewish community and the community’s response.
Historically, crises have been crucibles in which much of Judaism’s greatest wisdom has been forged. Hanukkah, Purim, and Pesach are powerful encapsulations of the Jewish community’s response to historical calamities. The flourishing of Reform and Orthodox Judaism were both reactions to the upending experiences of the Enlightenment and Emancipation. The Shoah led to theological and philosophical crises with which we are still coming to terms. Even the Talmud can be conceived of as a colossal, centuries-in-the-making reckoning with the destruction of the Temple.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, American Jewish communities have been affected in profound ways: illness and death striking many; the closures of schools, camps, and JCCs; radical disruptions in the fundraising, programming, and staffing of Jewish nonprofit organizations; and more. And Jewish communities are responding with compassion and creativity across a range of arenas, including liturgy, halachic responsa, technology use, philanthropy, ethical guidance, and social services.