The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way all of us work, learn, connect to one another, and receive information. The Federation is no different, and we take seriously our role as a leader and convener of Houston’s Jewish Community. We are intent on providing you information as we work to guide a collective response.
This is why I want to share with you the often-unseen work of the Federation and specifically, the work of the Jewish Response and Action Network (JRAN) which launched last December under the direction of our new Director of Government Affairs, Jackie Fisherman.
Fisherman’s position was created post-Hurricane Harvey when we saw the need for even more coordination across our agencies when facing a situation that impacts us all, from disaster preparedness to security. As a convener, the Federation found itself uniquely positioned to use JRAN as a vehicle to coordinate financial support, volunteer management, resource sharing, trainings, self-care, and timely information on credible threats to our community.
As COVID-19 emerged as a new threat, JRAN shifted its focus to pandemic response for Houston’s Jewish community. The group has become an information lifeline to our Jewish institutions and quickly expanded to more than 130 members, representing 57 organizations across the Greater Houston area. What was once a committee of security directors and lay leaders, grew to include rabbis, board chairs, CEOs, and other community leaders.
Fisherman works with county and city officials, local law enforcement, and continuously monitors policy decisions. Her daily digest JRAN emails provide rapidly evolving fact-based data that allow organizations to make decisions that are in the best interests of their congregants, students, families, and/or stakeholders.
In this moment, one that is very likely to define our world for a generation, I am proud of the work the Federation is leading through JRAN. It connects us more deeply to our partners as we navigate these challenging times. Please remember our response in this moment is “Powered by You” because of your support of the Federation. Together, we will persevere.