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COVID-19 Response: Together While Apart

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Update: July 2

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 
 
Summer is officially here and our campus is beginning to buzz. We began our Phase 1 limited reopening of the building on June 1 for essential services. We are encouraged by the success of our camps, hosting food and blood drives, and continuing our farm operations and virtual programming. Refer to the infographic below to see the impact of these services.
 
 
The health and safety of our community members and staff remains our top priority. Our limited reopening has allowed for the methodical assessment of our policies and procedures. We are using what we learn to help us reopen for as many families and community members as possible this fall. Our fall reopening decisions will also be guided and dependent on the health department and state guidelines.
 
There is still time to join us for camp this summer. Our Early Childhood Center camp (toddlers - Pre-K) and Cherryvale Day Camp (entering Kindergarten - 11 years old) summer sessions have limited space available in July and August.
 
Looking Ahead
We have begun to build our Phase 2 work plan for our fall reopening. Our priority is being responsive to community needs. This includes serving all of our currently-enrolled ECC families, rethinking our building space usage, and exploring the potential for in-person events and rentals. In addition, we will continue to create virtual, and potentially hybrid programs (in-person and online), understanding that even as our communities reopen, there will still be a need for virtual offerings
 
We are committed to racial justice, to amplifying the voices of People of Color and Jews of Color, and to continually reflect on the ways in which we can be better, both as an organization and within our community. 
 
We are having extensive conversations and taking measures to critically reflect on the areas in which we can grow and improve. We have convened our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee and started to create opportunities for meaningful conversation as a community. Join us for Poetry and Action: Using Spoken Word to Discuss Racism.
 
We understand that this work cannot be done overnight and will require a long-term commitment. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will share specific goals we have set for the Boulder JCC. 
 
 
Thank you for your support of the JCC. We will continue to send updates to the community as we approach fall. 
 
Jonathan Lev, Executive Director
Lee Strongwater, Board President 
 
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Update: May 22 

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 
 
Since we closed our physical doors on March 13, our energy has been directed towards creating meaningful virtual experiences, determining how to provide essential functions for Boulder, and working to maintain organizational sustainability. From our early childhood center families to older adults, we are convening virtually with care and compassion. Together, we are finding new opportunities to support and engage with each other. 
 
On Wednesday, May 13 our Board voted to begin Phase 1 of our reopening plan. All aspects of our reopening are dependent and based on local and state guidelines in partnership with the Boulder County Health Department and State Licensing.
 
The health and safety of our staff and community members remains our top priority. We are opening in a very limited capacity to ensure that the best practices, policies, and procedures are in place.
 
Phase 1 includes:
Connecting and Convening Community during Closure
Our building is now in its 10th week of being closed. During this time, we have strived to create a sense of togetherness while being apart. We are sharing some of the highlights of the last 10 weeks. 
 
 
Changes at the JCC 
As with most organizations and businesses, COVID-19 has significantly impacted our ability to provide our core revenue-generating services and offerings, including early childhood programs, rentals, and camps. While we could not fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on our organization or the length of our closure back in March, we made immediate decisions to significantly reduce non-personnel expenses. 
 
Since then, we have been able to gather people virtually, but our radically decreased revenue has resulted in us having to make painful and difficult decisions about our staffing. These temporary changes include salary reductions, reduced hours, new roles, and for some members of our staff, furloughs as of June 6. To support our staff, our Board has generously established an Emergency Relief Fund for all of our employees and extended health insurance benefits for furloughed employees. 
 
People are the heart of the work that we do. And our staff are an integral part of that. These staffing changes are not in any way a reflection of the work of these individuals, and we hope to return our staff to the JCC as soon as it is possible. 
 
Looking Ahead
We look forward to the day when we are all back together in our beautiful building. In the meantime, we are here with you. We are proud of and inspired by you and the millions of people around the world who are taking care of our communities. We are living in a time where so many of us are focused on working together on a single issue. This gives us hope for what is possible in our future.
 
Jonathan Lev
Executive Director

Lee Strongwater
Board President

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Updated: April 22 at 12:50 pm 

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 

Yesterday morning, our Board voted to keep the Boulder JCC building and the Early Childhood Center facility closed through the remainder of the school year, May 22. 

This was a very difficult decision for our leadership and Board. You may have heard that on April 20, Governor Polis announced that the state would be moving from Stay at Home to Safer at Home. At the moment, most if not all Colorado school districts have made the decision to continue remote learning through the end of the school year, including BVSD, which made their announcement earlier this week. And, some have already decided to close their buildings for the entire summer. While the Safer at Home guidelines allow for the reopening of childcare centers with strict precautions, our school is very large, and we are working with our local health authorities to establish proper protocols to reopen under their guidance. 

We have been dedicating significant time and energy to develop our plan to reopen each aspect of our building, whenever that may be practical and possible. This includes analyzing new procedures that need to be put in place, ensuring we have the right safety equipment, and more. We continue to work through this complex process in order to be prepared when the time comes. 

We continue to do our best to communicate as quickly and transparently as possible. We are heartened by the strength of our community, knowing we will be navigating this situation together.  

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director

Lee Strongwater
Board President

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Updated: April 2 at 5:25 pm 

Dear Boulder JCC Community,

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Jared Polis extended his Executive Order on the suspension of in-person school until April 30. As such, the ECC facility and the JCC building will remain closed until at least April 30. We continue to follow local and national policies and best practices on how to best help contain this virus.

It is critical that we all do our part to help ensure the health of our community. We are looking forward to being together once again in our building. In the meantime, we have many upcoming virtual offerings.

Thank you,

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director

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Updated: March 27 at 2 pm 

Dear Boulder JCC Community,

We believe that we are better when we learn from one another and are in community with one another. This belief drives how we design programs and build community with you. 

We are focused on creating opportunities to engage our community. Our goal is to create connections so that every person, organization, business, and restaurant is seen, heard, and supported. 

As such, we created and will continuously update a new page on our website, “Together While Apart,” highlighting the following:

Below are a few local and statewide initiatives designed to request assistance, volunteer, and/or donate. 

We are continuing to send our Boulder JCC Friday email, highlighting our upcoming virtual programs. If you know someone who is not receiving this weekly email, please forward it to them or they can sign up here

Program updates:

  • Boulder Jewish Festival - after careful consideration with the Festival Committee and the City of Boulder we have decided to postpone the 26th Annual Boulder Jewish Festival, originally scheduled for June 14, to an appropriate date hopefully later this summer when the whole community will be able to gather safely in celebration and good health.
  • Cherryvale Day Camp - we continue to plan for a great summer and you are able to register for camp weeks. We are delaying payment processing until we confirm that camp will run this summer. 

We are here for you. If there is any way we can support you during this challenging time, please email Nancy Lipsey. The Boulder JCC has always been more than just a building. Together, we will navigate this uncertain time as a community of love, hope, and solidarity.

Thank you,

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director

Lee Strongwater
Board President

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Updated: March 19 at 10:15 am

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 

Earlier this morning, our Board and leadership team voted to keep the Boulder JCC and Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center facilities closed until at least April 17. 

Our board called this vote in response to Governor Polis’ executive order, “Ordering Suspension of Normal In-Person Instruction at All Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the State of Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19” yesterday evening. The full executive order is available here and the statement from the Governor’s office here. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people yesterday evening. 

Our Board and leadership teams did not make this decision lightly, and we continue to return to our values as guidance. We teach our students in the Early Childhood Center about Tikkun Olam/Repair the World and Brit/Covenant, and we are committed to living our values as an organization. Because of this, we are upholding our covenant with the community to take care of each other and be agents in healing the world. 

We are so grateful to be in community with you and are looking forward to being able to welcome you back into our building. In the meantime, our staff has been hard at work creating opportunities to virtually gather, connect, exchange ideas, learn, and grow together. View our upcoming online offerings and check back frequently. 

Revenue from tuition, rentals, and program fees is a critical component of the financial health of the Boulder JCC. We, like many other organizations, are in the complicated process of assessing our finances and weighing all of our options to continue paying our staff and ensuring our organizational sustainability. If you are able, we need you. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in any amount that feels possible for you.

Lastly, many people have contacted us about ways they can support the community during this time. The state has put together a website called Help Colorado Now to mobilize volunteer opportunities and a Colorado COVID Relief Fund. Visit our website for ways to help locally. 

Our love for you and our entire community is sustaining us through this. We are deeply appreciative of you and are here with you. We form one big community and together, we can uplift one another and get through this time. 

Thank you,

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director 

Lee Strongwater
Board President

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Updated: March 15 at 6:25 pm
Edited: March 16 at 1:15 pm to include additional community resources

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 

We are proud to live in a community where people are looking for ways to support one another and the agencies and businesses they love during this time. If there’s anything that this uncertain time proves to us, it’s what we already knew to be true in our hearts, that community is the foundation upon which we can all thrive and that community is what is going to get us through this time. 

While we know that many agencies are working on more comprehensive solutions to address the current and potential needs in our community, we wanted to share some immediate opportunities to provide support.

Our community’s needs are varied. We have prepared a few options that are currently available to request assistance, volunteer, and/or donate. We will post all of these on our website and continue adding to the list as they become available. 

  • The Community Foundation has created a COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County to ensure essential services for community members. Learn more and donate if you are able. All donations will be matched up to $100,000 at this time.
  • Community Food Share has prepared a Coronavirus Preparedness and Prevention page for those needing food and for those with the ability to donate or volunteer.
  • BVSD has put an Emergency Food Distribution plan in place for the week of March 16. 
  • Connect with EFAA for assistance with basic needs or to get involved in supporting their efforts. Más información sobre los servicios de EFAA en español
  • Continue to support us, the Boulder JCC, and our ability to serve the community during this uncertain time.

Additionally, here are a few resources, articles, and other community information: 

We are committed to creating the community bonds that will sustain us during this time of uncertainty. We will be sending more information about virtual offerings from our early childhood center and program team very soon. We hosted our first family-friendly Shabbat Sing virtually. Watch it on Facebook

If you have any suggestions about what you would like to see, please send an email to Nancy Lipsey, Senior Director of Programs. 

If there are any specific needs you have, please let us know and cc Nancy Lipsey. We will continue to collect community resources during this time and want to ensure they are relevant to your needs. 

Thank you,

Jonathan Lev, Executive Director
Lee Strongwater, President of the Board

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Updated: March 12 at 11:04 pm

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 

Our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, community members, and staff. As information has become available, our Senior Leadership Team, Board, and Safety and Security Team have continuously taken into account the community’s health and safety. 

As such, starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13 the Boulder JCC building and the Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center will be closed. All Boulder JCC programs, events, meetings, and functions are cancelled through March 29. 

Earlier this evening Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District announced that classes would be cancelled starting tomorrow. Given that many families have children at more than one school, it is important that we all follow suit in order for these closures to have a positive impact on the health of our community. 

Sometimes the right thing to do is also the hard thing to do. We are taking this step because we are listening to health experts who say the best way to keep everyone safe is to practice social distancing. We want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. 

We are so grateful to be in community with all of you. This is an unprecedented situation for us, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to remain engaged with you and your family during this time. 

We pride ourselves on being a safe and welcoming place for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather, connect, exchange ideas, learn, and grow together. At all times, and especially during stressful times, we believe that there is strength in community and in uplifting all communities. We remain committed to open and honest conversation and being a welcoming place for all. Let’s remember to continue to treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect. 

Our team is hard at work organizing creative solutions to ensure that we continue to engage with you and offer resources, activities, learnings, and more that can be attended virtually. If you are registered for an upcoming program or event during this time, we will be in touch with you soon. 

If you don’t already, now is a good time to follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram as we will be posting about these upcoming opportunities and live streaming events. In addition, for up-to-date information, please refer to our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness at the Boulder JCC webpage.

We so appreciate each of you. We are in this community together. 

Thank you,
Jonathan Lev
Executive Director 

Lee Strongwater
Board President

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Updated: March 12 at 9:30 pm 

For Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center Families

Dear Families, 

The Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center is closing as of tomorrow, Friday, March 13 through March 30. If there is student medication or personal items in the ECC that you need to collect, the ECC will be open to you from 8 - 10 am to stop by and collect these items. 

We will continue to keep you informed as decisions are made but we wanted to send this communication as soon as possible so that you can begin planning accordingly. 

This was a difficult decision. We are so grateful to be in community with all of you and understand the challenges that this may present for your family. This is an unprecedented situation for us, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to remain engaged with you and your family during this time. 

Additionally, we are in direct communication with Boulder Community Health about how to best accommodate and support families that are in roles that are essential to the health and functioning of our community, especially our healthcare professionals and first responders.

As you know, we have been working closely with the Senior Leadership Team, Safety and Security Team, community organizations and leaders, and our Board to continuously make sure that we’re making decisions that prioritize the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff, students, and community members. 

Based on learnings from other communities, it has been shown that limiting group gatherings has helped slow the spread of the virus. If we stayed open, it would undo all of the county’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus. 

Earlier this evening Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District announced that classes would be cancelled starting tomorrow. We also know that many other early childhood programs and independent schools in Boulder will be closing as well. Given that many families have children at more than one school, it is important that we all follow suit in order for these closures to have a positive impact on the health of our community. 

We so appreciate each of you. We are in this community together. 

Jonathan Lev, Executive Director
Susie Valdez, Senior Director of Early Childhood Education
Lee Strongwater, Board President

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Updated: March 11, 2020 at 11:09 am 

Dear Boulder JCC Community, 
 
Our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, community members, and staff. The Boulder JCC, with the leadership of our Safety and Security Team and the Boulder JCC Board, have been working closely with our local and state public health agencies, the CDC, and the JCC Association as we monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 
 
We are continuously assessing the implications of delaying, postponing, and/or cancelling various programs and activities at the JCC. These decisions are difficult and complicated. We pride ourselves on being a safe and welcoming place for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather, connect, exchange ideas, learn, and grow together.  
 
In the recent declaration by Governor Jared Polis of a state of emergency in Colorado he shared, “Our most vulnerable population, including those over 60 and those with chronic health issues, are urged to avoid public gatherings.” We recognize our role in helping lead the effort to help limit the potential spread of this virus locally. 
 
Additionally, learnings from other communities have shown success in limiting the potential spread of the virus by swiftly limiting large gatherings. We are committed to learning from other communities and doing our part locally. 
 
As a result, we are cancelling all remaining screenings of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival. We have decided to cancel these screenings because the event gathers large crowds and serves a diverse population, including vulnerable populations. 
 
We are deeply appreciative of our staff for their tireless work in organizing this incredible festival and the Dairy Arts Center and their Executive Director, Melissa Fathman, who partners with us to create this annual event. As two nonprofit organizations, we rely on programmatic funds as a major source of income. We are working with the Dairy to create a process for those needing a refund. We will send a follow-up email to Film Festival ticket holders with more information.
 
We ask for your patience as we determine what, if any, additional programs and events will be cancelled or postponed to a new date. If you would like to cancel your attendance at an event or program that you’re already registered for, please send an email to JConnect@boulderjcc.org. We are hopeful that by taking swift and direct action we can help keep our community healthy and safe. 
 
The Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center and smaller programs and events are not affected at this time. Due to the nature of information changing by the hour, we are only making decisions about JCC organized programs over the next 5 days. As such, decisions can change rapidly and we urge you to continue checking back with us. 
 
The Boulder JCC has prepared a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness webpage to provide up to date information to community members. This webpage will be continuously updated as needed. This situation is changing rapidly and we urge you to check our webpage frequently for the most up to date information. 
 
Thank you for your understanding and support. 
 
Sincerely, 
Jonathan Lev
Executive Director
Boulder JCC

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Updated: March 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Dear Community Members,

Today, Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in Colorado in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

As a community center, we have been working closely with our Safety and Security Team, our local and state public health agencies, the CDC, and the JCC Association as we monitor the continuously evolving situation. 

In light of Governor Polis’ statements and news conference we are considering what this means for our building, community events, rentals, and other scheduled programs as we work to help keep our community healthy and safe. This may include limiting the size of upcoming programs, postponing or cancelling large events, limiting to essential programs, modifying entryways and gathering areas, and other measures. 

There are currently many unknowns about the impact of this virus in our community. As always, we don’t take any of the decisions we make lightly as we work to ensure we have as much information as possible to make informed decisions with our internal teams, local and state agencies, and others who have emerged as leaders in this area. 

This situation is changing rapidly, and we urge you to check back on this webpage frequently for the most up to date information. 

At all times, and especially during challenging times, we believe that there is strength in community and in uplifting all communities. We remain committed to open and honest conversation and being a welcoming place for all. Let’s always remember to treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director
Boulder JCC

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Updated: March 6, 2020 

We are committed to sending timely communication as we monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, staff, and community members. 

Yesterday afternoon, the first two presumptive cases were reported in Colorado. For more information about these two cases specifically and other information on the state of Colorado’s response, please refer to this post from yesterday on the Governor’s website.

We are continuing to stay informed through our close communication with our public health agencies. Locally, Boulder County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment drive the decision on any quarantines, closures, or other health measures needed. We will follow these decisions as they arise. 

In addition, we have created the following guidelines and posted them on our doors:

We ask all who enter our building to support our community’s health and wellness by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • If you are feeling ill, have symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, or you believe you have been in contact with someone who is ill, we ask that you not attend events and programs.
  • Wash your hands upon entering and before leaving the JCC with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

If a member of our Senior Leadership Team and/or Safety and Security Team observe you exhibiting symptoms, you will be asked to leave. 

At this time, all operations of the Boulder JCC and the Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center continue as scheduled. 

Thank you for your cooperation and support. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Jonathan Lev at Jonathan@boulderjcc.org

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Updated: March 5, 2020 

The Boulder JCC, with the leadership of our Safety and Security Team, have been working closely with our local and state public health agencies, the CDC, and the JCC Association as we monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, community members, and staff. At this time, regular programs, the early childhood center, and our rental and event spaces are all open and continuing as scheduled. 

We are continuing to stay informed through our close communication with our public health agencies. Locally, Boulder County Public Health drives the decision on any quarantines, closures, or other health measures needed. We will follow these recommendations as they arise. 

While there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, we want to reinforce recommended guidelines on everyday prevention: 

  • View the CDC’s webpage on Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands before entering the JCC and after leaving the building 
  • If you are with a child, please ensure they wash their hands before drop-off, before pick-up, and after pick-up 
  • Avoid touching your face and help children remember not to touch their faces 
  • If you are sick or exhibiting cold/flu-like symptoms, please refrain from visiting the JCC or attending programs until all symptoms have subsided and until you are fever/symptom free for 48 hours without medication. 
  • If your children are sick or exhibiting symptoms, per our policy for all illnesses, please keep children at home until they are fever and symptom free without medication for at least 48 hours. 
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has a Healthy Children guide for COVID-19

The JCC and the Jay and Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center continue to follow hand washing protocols as well as regular deep cleaning and sterilizing of all materials and surfaces. 

The Boulder JCC will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with community members. Please check this webpage for the most up to date information from the Boulder JCC. 

At all times, and especially during stressful times, we believe that there is strength in community and in uplifting all communities. We remain committed to open and honest conversation and being a welcoming place for all. Let’s remember to treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect. 

Thank you for your cooperation and support. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Jonathan Lev at Jonathan@boulderjcc.org

Sincerely, 

Jonathan Lev
Executive Director
Boulder JCC