I’m vaccinated!

Now what?

The CDC has guidelines, recommendations, and protocols. Our governor has his executive orders. Our county execs share their thoughts with us every day. And, of course, personal levels of comfort cannot be discounted.

The Federation offices are open for staff, with COVID restrictions in place – masks, social distancing, sanitizers, contact information, and screenings. Guests are welcome, but by appointment only. We enjoy complete flexibility for working remotely if we are more comfortable. 65% of us are in the office nearly every day. 35% are hardly ever physically in the office.

Last month, the Federation board started discussing a reopening plan as it relates to our events and meetings. Obviously, we are not unique. Every organization (Jewish and non-Jewish) is having the same discussion, working within the changing guidelines and personal comfort.

As we move forward, how can we balance the readiness of human contact with the benefits of virtual meetings? On the one hand, for a virtual meeting, you do not get to commute, pre-schmooze, or post-schmooze. On the other hand, you do not have to commute, pre-schmooze, or post-schmooze. A 7:00 meeting could be a night out with friends, or a one-hour distraction. Certainly, there are benefits to both.

And that brings us to the hybrid model which combines the in-person with the virtual, accommodating the best of both worlds. Our board emphatically endorsed testing the hybrid with our upcoming annual meeting on June 10. We have reserved the 200-person outdoor pavilion in Schenectady’s Central Park for those ready to meet safely in person. We are also working on making the program equally enjoyable for those who would rather attend virtually. For now, save the date. I’ll get you more information as I have it.

In my home, we are testing a hybrid for Sunday’s Yom Yerushalayim program. This past motzei-Shabbat (Saturday night, after Shabbat), our son Dov invited his high school bubble friends over for pizza and to watch the Unpacked video series on the Six Day War together, which they really enjoyed. They will re-gather on Sunday at 1:00 to watch the virtual speaker.

You may have noticed my aggressively pushing this program. I really think that these videos are outstanding, and strongly encourage everyone to watch them. Virtual programming affords us the luxury of enjoying speakers from anywhere in the world, and in fact, Sunday’s speaker, Avi Posen, will be joining us live from Israel (hence the early start time). Please register here.

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