A Message from Gail Gould, Executive Director

Dear Bernard Betel Centre Community,

So much has happened over the past month – some positive changes as evidenced by moving to Step 1 of the province-wide COVID-19 reopening plan, accompanied by increased numbers of individuals accessing their first and second vaccinations; and regrettably with great sadness many negative and horrific examples of Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, violence, and blatant institutional racism and violence throughout our city, province, and country.

In this issue of our July E-Newsletter I encourage you to read Marcus Staviss, President of the Betel Board of Directors, statement on anti-semitism. As Marcus so eloquently states, ‘all of us in the community have a right to live in dignity, free from discrimination and violence.’ As part of that commitment, the Bernard Betel Centre Board of Directors will launch the organization’s work in this area by participating in Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training this month. We look forward to reporting more in the coming months about the agency’s work in reviewing, developing, and changing our policies and procedures to make the Centre a more accessible, diverse, and inclusive environment for everyone.

With the province in Step 1 of reopening, many community members have been asking when the Centre will reopen and whether we will be offering outside programs. These are both excellent questions. At this point, we have not received direction or permission from the province when we will reopen. Throughout the summer, we will be ‘piloting’ a few physical distancing programs outside the Centre on our patios as a way of transitioning to on-site, inside programming. We will continue with the high level of Zoom and Teleconferencing programming that we have been providing over the past year. This summer we will be sending out a survey to our community trying to gage what will make our membership feel safe in returning to the Centre and the types of programs they are most interested in participating in. To further our plans for reopening, we will also be sending out Membership Renewal letters asking our membership to renew their membership by either mailing in their membership or calling reception to pay for their membership.
We greatly appreciate those of you whom have already done so. We need your financial assistance as we move to reopening of the Centre.

Recently one of our wonderful members sent me this beautiful piece of prose from a 15 year old girl to a senior. Since so many of our members have missed our Intergenerational Programs, she thought this lovely piece would be greatly appreciated. I think it is beautiful and brought a big smile to my face.

‘Dear Friend…These are my wishes for you…

Comfort on difficult days
Smiles when your spirit sags
Rainbows to follow the clouds
Laughter to kiss your lips
Sunsets to warm your heart
Hugs when you feel low
Beauty for your eyes to see
Friendships to brighten your being
Faith that you can believe
Confidence for when you doubt
Courage to know yourself
Patience to accept the truth
And Love to complete your life.

From your new friend’

Wishing all of you, smiles, sunsets, laughter, and renewed friendships as we embark on the next stage of reopening. We look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future both in person and on Zoom. Enjoy the summer, stay healthy, and safe.

Respectfully,

Gail Gould
Executive Director

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