We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy during these challenging times. We wanted to provide you with an important update regarding our facilities and programs. When we reopened on June 1, few could have imagined the magnitude of the health crisis we are now experiencing in Houston.
We hope that this note finds you and your family safe and healthy. The month of June has created many new and unexpected challenges for us all as we continue to search for ways to navigate our new reality which changes daily. As we have reopened our facilities throughout the month, we have been unsure about what to expect. Our Medical Advisory Group has been evaluating our protocols on a daily basis so that we are able to continue to provide you and your family as safe and healthy of a J experience as possible.
Writers in the Schools (WITS) offers NEW online classes open to members and the public! Creative Writing Camp Online sessions are taught by professional teachers and writers who have mastered the ability to layer social and emotional support for students through daily online instruction.
The safety and well-being of our community remains our first priority, and we appreciate our continued partnership with you to ensure a healthy and safe environment. With continued reports of a higher than desired amount of positive COVID-19 cases in Harris County, we must all stay vigilant.
These past few weeks, our pandemically traumatized nation was further shaken to its core by the death of George Floyd and the resurfacing of the centuries-old plague of systemic racism. "I can't breathe" wrenched our hearts as protesters took to the streets to demand justice and affirm that black lives matter. Jelani Cobb writes:
"The shock of revelation that attended the video of Floyd's death is itself a kind of inequality, a barometer of the extent to which one group of Americans have moved through life largely free from the burden of such terrible knowledge."
We are happy to announce that beginning Saturday, June 20, the J will offer weekend family recreational swim times. In order to participate, a reservation must be made ahead of time. Reservations are available beginning Thursday, June 18.
On behalf of the entire J staff and Board of Trustees, I hope that you and your family continue to be safe and healthy. We continue to see increased participation at the outdoor pool, tennis and fitness centers and look forward to seeing you soon. This week, for the first time since March 13, children and their parents were on the campus to meet and greet their teachers at the Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School. Our staff are looking forward to reopening our Early Childhood programs in West Houston and Bertha Alyce, along with gymnastics, tennis and our new Summer Fun at the J program.
Thank you for your continued support and patience as we implement our plans to reopen the J. We have had a successful first week of operations in fitness, tennis and aquatics, and we are now prepared to implement our next phase.
We are thrilled to share with you that effective Monday, June 15, we will reopen the Bertha Alyce School, Ellen Boniuk School in West Houston, Summer Fun at the J and Merfish Teen Center, and expand the use of the gymnastics facilities. Specific program details and our health and safety protocols for BAS, West Houston, Gymnastics and Summer Fun will be emailed later this week to all program participants.
The death of George Floyd and the protests across the world continue to be a reminder of how deep the pain is in our society. We are reminded of the universally applicable Jewish value to love your neighbor as yourself.
When I was in elementary school, I was given an assignment to interview one of my grandparents about World War II. I chose to interview my Poppy Joe, who I knew had served in the army during that time, though I knew little else. We sat down in my grandparents’ kitchen and he told me all about how he flew planes over Burma. He had immigrated to the United States from Poland at 7 years old, and he was so proud to have served his country. And I was so proud to hear his story! I knew him as a small business owner who loved swing music and a good joke, and I had no idea about his military history. The interview revealed a completely new side of my grandfather to me, and I still treasure the recording of it to this day.