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Covid-19 has been a challenge for everyone, but the burden has been exceptionally difficult for people who live on the margins during the best of times. Thanks to the Jewish Women’s Foundation, DePorres Place was able to provide emergency grants to six women who are doing their best to get through this pandemic, but are struggling mightily. Here are notes received from three of them:
Renee was able to pay her light bill, which had become three months in arrears. Her thank-you note says, “Because of you [I was] able to pay 3 months of electricity, you can’t imagine [my] relief. I feel tears of joy because of how much of support you guys have given me. I am forever grateful.”
Leshell is a mom with three children at home, who works in the kitchen of a nursing home. She is currently seeking a better-paying job at a factory in Riviera Beach that makes aviation hardware. She wrote, “Thank you guys so much. I really wasn’t expecting that and it was truly a blessing to me as well as my family.”
Laurette is from Haiti, and she says this grant is “a sign of love and hope in this country. May God bless you for your devotion and your sharing spirit. Thank you to the Jewish Women’s Foundation.”
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Angela has completed seven online courses with a passing grade. These are not easy for her, since English is her second language, but she’s eager and a hard worker, and she’s learning! Her completed courses include:
- English for Career Development
- English for Business & Entrepreneurship
- English Grammer: Prespositons – Intermediate
- Fundamentals of Project Management Assessment
- Managing Groups & Employee Interaction
- Stress Management – Relief from the Stress of Work & Life
She is now focusing on her Linked In profile and resume, in preparation for her job search.
Even though she hasn’t passed her teacher test quite yet, Yenifer is busy networking with education professionals. On August 8, she volunteered to give out school supplies to children at Northmore School, working with DePorres Place partner organization, Northend Rise. DePorres place is thankful for Jewish Women’s Foundation support and for making real change possible, change that will rebound through these young women’s families, and help the entire community!
In collaboration with more than twenty camps that attended the two Winter 2020 CultureShift trainings, Moving Traditions created “Heart to Heart: Teen Conversations for Summer 2020,” to help Jewish organizations (synagogues, JCCs, camps, day schools, etc.) provide the health, well-being, and positive Jewish connection that camps provide each summer for thousands of Jewish youth.
In response to the pandemic, Moving Traditions expanded online programming for Jewish parents and educators on teen sexuality, health, and wellbeing, building on work previously funded by JWF. In April 2020, more than 650 households participated in a Webinar with Peggy Orenstein, bestselling author of Boys & Sex, and on August 4, 2020, Moving Traditions featured a conversation with Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Kahn, Columbia University professors and co-authors of Sexual Citizen: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power and Assault on Campus.
Looking ahead to Summer 2021, Moving Traditions staff is encouraging camps to adopt their Teen Group model – Rosh Hodesh for girls, Shevet for boys and Tzelem for trans and nonbinary teens – online as a strategy to stay connected to campers throughout the year. They are hopeful that they will be able to hold CultureShift training conferences in Winter 2021, likely online, in anticipation of camps reopening in Summer 2021.