In the past few days and weeks, we have all experienced shocking changes in our day-to-day lives. As our spiritual leaders, you have been on the front lines. You’ve made difficult decisions about canceling Bnei Mitzvahs and restricting attendance at life-cycle events, you’ve adapted prayer services and study sessions to take place online, you’ve helped your flocks understand the essential importance of pikuach nefesh above practically all else. And you’ve done all this while worrying, like everyone else, about yourself and your loved ones avoiding exposure to this frightening disease.
As we enter the next phase of this pandemic — social distancing, virtual work and school, waiting for test results — we want to share with our readers what you’re seeing, thinking, learning, teaching. I know you are incredibly busy and for sure exhausted as well, but we need to connect our communities in this critical time, and amplifying your wisdom, your insights, your empathy — maybe even your humor? — is a crucial step in doing so.
I’ve tried to keep the form short but also wanted to cover the range of things you’re probably experiencing. Please feel free to skip any questions you don’t feel like answering, but please scroll to the bottom because the last question is where we ask you to upload a picture or video of yourself doing something in our new normal, and we really want the visuals.
Also, we’d love your help in sharing this form with colleagues, so that we get a broad range of responses, and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Thank you for all you are doing.
JODI RUDOREN, Editor-in-Chief
Clergy in the time of coronavirus
Jodi Rudoren became Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, the nation’s oldest independent Jewish news organization, in September 2019 after more than two decades as a reporter and editor at The New York Times. She is helping lead a transformation of the storied 123-year-old institution, a nonprofit that went digital-only in early 2019.