JCC OF LBI PRESIDENT
Dear JCC of LBI Family;

I was looking forward to delivering a welcoming address to all of you at our annual brunch and greeting everyone at our first beach Shabbat; the weekend of June 26 was going to be the beginning of our 2020 summer season. It is with heartfelt disappointment that I must inform you that the JCC building will remain closed, most likely, until after the High Holiday season. The board in our June meeting voted to not hold any activities inside the JCC until after October 2020. This decision was not made in haste, and is not written in stone. Alternatives have been discussed at every meeting that was held since March and we will continue the discussion. A contingency committee was established in April and with the other existing committees came up with ideas for virtual services, classes and programs that will fill our summer season with plenty for us to do. The first big event is our welcome back zoom meeting with a  presentation lead by guest speaker, Eric Mandel, scheduled for June 28, 2020 at 10:30 AM. 

We recognize that the pandemic is fluid and information about treatment and a vaccine are being given to us all the time; we seem to be learning daily more and more about Covid 19. This information and the regulations established by Governor Murphy will help guide us into making a sound decision as to when we will reopen and what that reopening will entail. I realize that some of you may not return to the island this summer for various reasons, and it is upon your return that you usually pay for your membership obligations, I am asking you, please send in your dues. We are going to run into a financial deficit because we will be losing revenue that we normally generate during the summer months, for example, the loss of almost $14,000 that the bazaars would normally generate. The various entertainment that we schedule during the summer will not be the same format, therefore, we will not be charging the same amount; but these events will still be fun and enjoyable. If you have not been to any of our zoom programming or services you don't know what you are missing!!! Rabbi Jay is doing Maariv services daily and various other programs throughout the week to keep our minds sharp. You should also know that Rabbi Jay will be at the JCC to stream our services during the summer. As we formulate the live streaming of the High Holiday services from our bema, we will send out additional information on this shortly. In the meantime, you can learn how to be a real pro at zooming, by joining us for Shabbat services Friday, Saturday and Havdalah to end Shabbat, Saturday night. You can come in your PJ's or underwear, because we only see each other from the chest up. I am so looking forward to wearing my suit jacket with a pair of shorts or a comfy pair of sweat pants, for my High Holiday appeal.

I understand that this is not what any of us bargained for, we hoped to be joining our family and friends and enjoying the hazy, lazy days of summer; not wearing a mask in public or bumping elbows instead of giving hugs and kisses.

This was a very hard decision that 16 of us made for the rest of the congregation. We have been reaching out to you since this nightmare began with wellness calls, now it is your turn to reach out to me. I need to know what you think about the plans that we have made; what you feel about how we move forward. You can call me at (609) 709-6106  or email me at mjbofjcclbi@gmail.com. We are all part of what makes the JCC unique, the place we love and where we want to be, so do your part, send in your dues, donations and gifts. You have to speak up let us know how you feel.

In closing, I hope you and those you love are all safe and doing well. Irene and I are looking forward to seeing you all and being with you soon; even if it is with masks and social distancing.
 
Sincerely,
Michael J. Babst