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Celebrating Silver Linings

A proverb says that “every cloud has a silver lining,” a glimmering light of hope and positivity that shines through in even the darkest of times. At the Jewish Community Foundation's Annual Meeting in December 2020, we celebrated the silver linings that have come out of an otherwise difficult year. Below are personal silver linings contributed by members of our community. If you would like to share your own silver lining here, please email Brooke Hardy.

“We have shared more time around the dinner table with our adult kids than we had in years.” – Anonymous

“The joy of adding our seventh grandchild to the family and, most of all, the resilience that surrounds us.” – Merilyn Berenbom

“Zooming and FaceTiming with family in other cities. Playing games online with family and friends all around the country.” – Judy Jacks Berman

“For me, the Silver Lining of 2020 has been being able to attend so many outstanding programs without having to travel. The JCF annual meeting is a perfect example. I can fete the accomplishments of many people I respect and admire!” – Cynthia Gensheimer

“When the pandemic hit, I started calling my 84-year-old aunt in Austin, TX once a week. This hour-long ritual has become extremely important to both of us, as we share current news and stories about her childhood in Marfa, TX and mine in Southern California. We have both agreed we will continue even after the pandemic is over!” – Martha Gershun

“I am inspired by our community's generosity during these challenging times and that we strive to live by the words of our sacred tradition, ‘kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh.’ We are all responsible for one another.” – Annie Glickman

“Time to take multiple online classes through The Florence Melton Adult Education program.” – Susie Goldsmith

“Spending time with our adult children who have been able to come back home for extended visits -- and at the same time!!!! All of us are very grateful to have jobs that can be done remotely.” – Lauren Hoopes

“My first career was teaching elementary school in the Shawnee Mission School District. One of my former third grade students whom I hadn't seen in 40+ years was in town for a death in her family and ended up staying here with her family for several months rather than traveling home to Maryland. She reached out to me, and we have shared driveway chats at my home and become dear friends as adults.” – Marian Kaplan

“We've had a bonus year with our daughter, who took a semester off from college. Our nephew was born on March 24th and we've enjoyed 'meeting' him and watching him grow via Facebook Portal.” – Kurt Kavanaugh

“I didn't think my 17+ year old dog was going to make it through the spring, but since I've been home and with her almost all of the time since mid-March, she is still here keeping me company.” – Linda Lyon

“One positive out of this year has been the opportunity to slow life down a little and appreciate little things more. Walks outside, connecting with family and friends more often. The reboot was needed to prioritize our lives again.” – Jeff Mallin

“Our family has spent so much more quality time together. I feel as though I know my 5-year-old daughter so much better now. Instead of just hearing from her teachers how bright and spunky she is, I get to see this for myself every day!” – Hannah Michelson

“Our son, daughter-in-law and 15 month old grandson moved from Brooklyn to Leawood.” – Shanny Morgenstern

“New opportunities to practice humility and gratitude and experiencing the blessings of meaningful relationships.” – Irv Robinson

“Five months living with my adult-ish daughters. Getting to know them better as adults. Lots of new recipes. And lots of long walks.” – Amy Shapiro

“More time at home with my family and less time at extracurricular activities.” – David Sosland

"During this year’s pandemic I have been reminded about the importance of cherishing the moments. I am thankful to be able to work from home and homeschool my children. Although some days are more challenging than others, we are grateful to be able to spend this time with one another." - Antoinette Starks

“Our silver lining is our grandson Jonah Stein! He had a Bar Mitzvah project idea that was extremely timely and he ran with it. Jonah and his family have worked diligently through the pandemic, beading and selling MaskerAides, with all the proceeds going to the JFS Food Pantry. Jonah’s raised over $15,000, we’re so proud of his dedication to stick with the project helping so many.” – Esther Stein

“During the pandemic our son has taken his Bar Mitzvah project to another level, raising over $16,000 for the JFS Food Pantry. He has done this through the creation and sale of MASKerAIDs which are beaded necklaces for people's masks. The whole family has coalesced around this effort which has given our family a great sense of purpose during this difficult time.” – Josh Stein

“We have found that the pandemic has brought us closer to friends and family rather than separated us. It is different certainly, but we have connected with more family and friends more often than before. Partly it is time and partly it is technology, but mostly it is the need to connect while you are isolated at home. We have connected with old college and high school friends and family we haven’t seen for years. We do a daily Zoom call with one of our sons who we used to talk to once or twice a month. We have a regular Shabbat Zoom call with 5 couples and do zoom dinners with several other groups. And the ability to attend Board meetings remotely is a pleasure. Since we can’t travel our budget finally balances. It has been fun and rewarding.” – Gary Weinberg

“One silver lining was my virtual retirement event in August and the special messages I received. Thanks to MCHE for making it so meaningful and to those who zoomed in!" – Jean Zeldin