Gratitude, Every Day

Dear Friends,

These past weeks, secluded in my home due to covid-19, have brought up a lot of hard feelings. But amid all of this, I’m also finding a lot that makes me grateful. And I am finding the time to appreciate the power of that feeling.

I’m grateful for those dearest to me—my family, friends, and community. And how we are now making time to be connected more often.

I’m grateful that, like so many others, my family found a way to celebrate our holidays. This year I attended the largest and the smallest Passover Seder of my life. Hosted by my son, I sat with my husband alone at our table, while technology made possible a celebration that included people from across the country.

What stood out for me was how proud and grateful I am to my son for leading all of us in traditional prayers, stories, and songs—and for reminding us of our responsibility to care for the hungry (every day), to include those who are different (always), and to pursue freedom (for everyone). That work must continue. During and after covid-19.

I’m grateful for other things, too.

Like our global recognition of essential workers who make this secluded time safer and easier—the delivery workers, health care personnel, and leaders who are problem-solving in real-time. We have a responsibility to recognize them and be grateful—but also to remember how very important they are when these days are finally behind us.

I’m also grateful that Tanenbaum’s work is still making a difference even in the midst of this pandemic. We’re offering new online resources and webinars, conferring with our Corporate Members, and available to all those with whom we work so that we can respond to covid-19 together.

In these days, for which there is no description, I find that gratitude not only gives me hope, it shows me a pathway forward and helps me focus on the people and actions that are really important, both today and tomorrow.

Stay safe, secure and healthy.

With gratitude,

Joyce S. Dubensky
Tanenbaum CEO

Extremism Spreading With Coronavirus


The Coronavirus is changing everything—how we live and how we think. As the number of confirmed cases surge, we are all facing a public health crisis, assaults on human rights and dignity, and – for many of us personally, questions of life and death.

With sorrow but not surprise, we are also watching a predictable uptick in hate and extremist violence around the world. (Read more). Chaos creates uncertainty. Uncertainty fuels fear. And fear is a trigger—for extremism.

● There has been a dramatic surge in the targeting of Asian communities all over, exasperated by an increase in xenophobic rhetoric and mischaracterizations of the virus as Chinese. (Read more).

● A Sikh gurdwara was attacked in Afghanistan, killing 25 worshippers. (Read more).

● The New Jersey Department of Homeland Security (NJDHS) warned of white supremacists taking advantage of the pandemic to cause chaos. (Read more).

● Borders are closing to refugees all over the world, as are fears that they will spread the disease (Read more).

● The ADL warns that extremists are using the COVID-19 pandemic to mainstream their conspiracy theories, xenophobia and anti-Semitism—including with escalating online and social media attacks and by blaming Jews for causing the pandemic. (Read more).

Whether in person or online, all forms of extremism are deadly. Our response? It’s time to build solutions and support everyone in our international community. It is through social support—even as we practice physical distancing—that we can counter hate and save lives.

You can help from the safety of your own home. Our resource, Five Ways To Counter Extremism On Social Media can help you take a stand against the extremism that is still present and waiting to pounce.

None of us know what the coming weeks and months will bring, but we do know this: None of us are in this alone. Our community is strong, and we will help each other pull through,

Joyce S. Dubensky      Mark Fowler
CEO                              Deputy CEO


Physical Distancing and Social Supporting

Dear Friends,

This is a challenging moment for all of us. COVID-19 (coronavirus) has forced us into new realities.

Like so many of us, at Tanenbaum, we’re taking precautionary steps and are carefully considering how to move forward in these difficult times. As of now, I am grateful to report that all our staff are well, and working off-site. We’re keeping in touch regularly and staying focused on what needs to be done.

We are also planning ahead—because we know that times of uncertainty have a history of breeding dehumanization, suspicion and violence.

And this is certainly a time of uncertainty. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we’re already seeing people turn on one another. Right now, the targets seem to be people from other countries, starting with those from pan-Asia and now people from Europe. We see the demonization starting…and know it’s likely to spread.

So, what can we all do preemptively? We have 3 ideas…and ask you to share yours.

  • Social Distancing = Physical Distancing + Social Support. That means you can…
    • Be in touch without touching.
    • Make a phone call for every hand you can’t shake.
    • Do something to help the most vulnerable for every embrace you must avoid.
  • Second, identify something that makes you feel better and do it…whether it’s prayer or your spiritual life, meditation, exercise, calling your Grammy, or listening to your favorite music.
  • And finally, remember that no matter what you believe, we all share the Golden Rule. Let’s do unto others as we would have them do to us.

Fear has too often been weaponized, so let’s counter that tendency. This is a time for kindness and caring, and a time to help one another no matter who we are, how we disagree, or what we believe.

With hope that you and yours are well, that we are all safe, and that together we can keep fear at bay,

Joyce Dubensky,
Tanenbaum CEO