The Virtue in Virtual

By Seth Schafler, WJC President

I never thought I’d come to like the word virtual. Almost, but not quite as good as the real thing. That’s what it meant to me. Not anymore.

Now, when I think of virtual, I think of seeing the faces of my friends every day at morning minyan and evening check-ins; to joining online Torah teaching sessions by Rabbi Arnowitz and Rabbi Segelman; to hearing the beautiful voices of Cantors Ethan and Shoshi on Wednesday mornings; and to countless other virtual gatherings.

This is not a virtual community. It’s the real thing. I applaud the incredible efforts, above and beyond the call of duty, of Rabbi Arnowitz. What a challenge for Rabbi Arnowitz in his first year as our Senior Rabbi to confront this unprecedented challenge. He has truly risen to the occasion as our spiritual leader and Tami, the boys, (and dogs), and their whole extended family have become our family and warmed our hearts. And how fortunate we are to still have Rabbi Segelman with us at this time. Rabbi Segelman continues to exemplify true piety and selfless dedication to our community. PLEASE PLEASE step up to recognize Rabbi Segelman and Marla and support our Shul on May 17 at our upcoming Virtual—yes, that word again!—Gala ( We really need you!

So many people have stepped up in this situation: from David Goldstein and our office staff, to our educational directors and teachers, and so many of you who have reached out to offer material and emotional support, and have been instrumental in keeping us together and supporting one another.

A huge thanks to all of you. It has not been and will not be easy, but we will persevere and thrive, because that is who we are. Really.

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