COVID-19 Update to the Bernard Betel Centre Community (May 4)

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Dear Bernard Betel Centre Community,

As I look outside and see blue skies, and feel the warmth of the sun shining through my window, thoughts of the promise and beauty of spring and summer emerge. The smell of the budding flowers, the lush colours of tulips, daffodils and cherry blossoms fill my senses with anticipation and joy. In a past edition of the Betel program book, I made reference to Rabbi ‘Yitz’ Greenberg, past President of the National Centre for Learning and Leadership who indicated ‘that biblical language and symbols point to spring as the season for deliverance. The rebirth of the earth after winter is nature’s indication that life overcomes death and that spring is nature’s path to renewal.’ It is during these difficult times of COVID 19 that I have become more reflective and know it is more important than ever to commit to the rebirth and renewal of our land.

We celebrate spring with the fresh smell of recently cut grass and the ground waking up after a long, cold winter. As we celebrate spring differently this year due to physical distancing and utilizing our much appreciated technology, Betel will also be focusing on the ’rebirth’ of new online programs though Zoom and Facebook Live, and thrilled to introduce ‘Senior Centres Without Walls’ using teleconferencing to provide programs to older adults who don’t have access to computers or the internet. Through our online programs we are delighted to hear and see many of you. We value our interactions with you by telephone during our check-in calls, and are filled with excitement in seeing you back at the Centre in the hopefully not too distant future. Please let us know what kind of programming you may be interested in by emailing Maria, both during this social distancing time and beyond as we together continue to grow, renew and celebrate rebirth.

This coming week Tuesday, May 5 at 10:30 am I will be hosting my first online ‘Tea with Gail’. If you haven’t attended one of these while at the Centre, I would be honoured to have you join me remotely with other Betel and community members to chat, share information and promote community. Please register HERE. In our ongoing attempt to be inclusive and respectful of our diverse membership I also plan to host a separate session in Russian next month.

Did you know?

  • Since March 17, the Bernard Betel Centre staff have been having daily staff meetings (5 days a week) via Zoom to discuss how we continue to engage and provide programs and services for our membership, volunteers and community participants.
  • Since March 17, Betel’s senior management staff have been busy meeting and/or submitting written updates and reports on a weekly basis on the programs and services the Betel Centre has been providing to all our funders.
  • Betel’s program staff have developed 62 wonderful online and teleconferencing program opportunities in May for older adults.
  • By end of April we had over 2,250 views of our online programming.
  • Betel has hosted three Sunday Facebook Live Concerts generously performed by Jerry Rush and Dave Giles, and Musicians Mikhael Khinkis (with more planned for May!), and Anna Koning have recorded a special performance for the Betel community on YouTube.
  • Our Community Support Service staff made over 300 check-in phone calls this week to 163 Healthy at Home participants and 123 Door to Door clients.
  • This week our Program staff and Chiropody staff made over 340 check-in phone calls to Betel members.
  • For seniors that do not have internet or access to computers, we will be starting ‘Senior Centres Without Walls’ this coming week by teleconferencing programs with this group.

Please stay safe and healthy while continuing to practice physical distancing during these inviting and special days of spring. On behalf of all the staff of the Bernard Betel Centre, we miss you and look forward to welcoming you back at the Centre in the near future.


Gail Gould
Executive Director
Bernard Betel Centre

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