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Please check this page for up-to-date emails and information being sent out to all staff at Pearlstone

How to stay up-to-date and informed:

  • Make sure you are on the TEXT ALERTS from PEARLSTONE – text jalert.prc to 292-929
  • Sign up for TEXT ALERTS from State of Maryland – text MDReady to 898-211

Important Videos:

  • Watch this Animation on how social distancing really does help
  • watch this video on proper hand washing

Current Key information:

  • Pearlstone closed to all events thru May 10th – subject to change
  • No staff lunch until we re-open
  • Everyone who can work from home should work from home
  • If working from home – use the TEAMS app in Microsoft outlook

COVID All Staff emails

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Family Medical Leave (FMLA): April 1st Update

Dear Pearlstone Staff,

In continuing to provide information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Family Medical Leave (FMLA) has been expanded to include job protection and partial paid leave for employees who are unable to work at the office and/or remotely because schools or daycares are closed due to the public health emergency. The expanded FMLA becomes effective April 1, 2020 and will expire on December 31, 2020.

Specifically, the expansion states:
- Employers must provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for their child(ren) under the age of 18.
- Eligible employees are those who have been employed for at least 30 days as of April 1st.
- The expanded FMLA applies to eligible employees who are unable to work at the office and/or remotely because schools or daycares are closed due to the public health emergency.
- Pay requirements under the expanded FMLA are as follows:
* First ten days are unpaid; however, employees may use the two weeks emergency paid sick leave
(capped at $200/day) and/or other available leave time (vacation or sick) during this ten-day period.
* The remaining 10 weeks, employees will receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, capped at $200/day.

HOW TO REQUEST EXPANDED FMLA:
- Employees must reach out to their HR representative to request Expanded FMLA. Documentation regarding closed school/daycare provider will not be needed (at this time), but employees will be required to complete an FMLA form.
- Employees status will be changed to non-exempt (if applicable) and time will be entered in Dayforce via Timesheet and coded as C-19 Expanded FMLA 2/3.
- Employees can request that the expanded FMLA be used intermittently in full day increments. Please discuss this with your HR representative.
- Employee may use other leave (vacation/sick leave if available) to make your pay whole.
- PLEASE NOTE: WHILE OUT ON EXPANDED FMLA, EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS MUST ENTER/APPROVE TIME DAILY AS THE PROPER PAYMENT OF THE TIME REQUIRES MANUAL IMPUT BY OUR PAYROLL EXPERTS.

For full details on the Act, see attached Department of Labor notification.

Be well,
Jennifer Folayan

Staff Update: March 27

Good afternoon everyone!

We hope you are all in good health and have the support you need from friends, family, and community. We are here for you too! As we make our way through this extended chapter of separation, the most important thing we can all do is stay home and take care of ourselves and those closest to us. Watch the 2 videos at the top of the page on how social distancing really does help and on proper hand washing so that we all stay healthy.

Pearlstone continues to navigate this crisis, and we appreciate everyone showing such strong support for each other and for this organization during this difficult time. Here are some important updates for you regarding what is happening throughout our team, thanks to all of you!

Staying Connected
To support and connect with each other throughout this time, Joan is leading weekly Wellness Lunch n Learn Zoom calls every Wednesday at 1:00 pm. Please join us! All are welcome, and thank you Joan! Look out for more info on additional opportunities to connect with each other next week.

Stewardship
Our Land & Maintenance teams continue to work on site while following all necessary health and safety protocols. Our maintenance team has reset systems to account for no guests, saving energy and money. Our farm team is uncovering the strawberries, selling the remaining produce from cold storage, and starting seeds in the greenhouse and fields. Our land stewardship team has been pruning the orchard, installing signs on the perimeter trail, and repairing a tractor. Thank you all for continually caring for the land and buildings while everyone else stays home!

And special thanks to members of the Retreat services and housekeeping teams who continue maintaining and cleaning common areas of the main building, and to HR & front office staff who have had to come in briefly for a few critical items on site as well. Most special thanks and farewell to our beloved Missy Richardson. Our virtual sendoff yesterday was beautiful, and we all wish you the best and can’t wait for you to come back and visit!

Food Service
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, our Culinary and Retreat Services teams produced and packed 2000 bagged breakfasts and lunches for Baltimore City youth who would otherwise not have had meals on those days (due to closings related to the pandemic). This was a partnership with the Mayor's Office of Family and Children's Success. Our teams were very happy that we were able to help the kids and stay busy a few more days doing what they love. Thank you all for doing this great deed and helping respond to this crisis.

Programming
The program team has launched a variety of awesome online offerings! Check it out at www.pearlstonecenter.org/online—so much great stuff here for hands-on projects, skills, and learning with our amazing educators. Thank you program team! We’re open to your ideas as well! Please send Sonja (ssugerman@pearlstonecenter.org) your suggestions for online learning opportunities you would like to see us offer in the weeks ahead.

Cancellations & Sales
Many groups have cancelled, impacting all of April, and much of May and June as well. Most are looking to reschedule. Thanks to the great talent and loving warmth exuded by our leader in these conversations, Eve Wachhaus, all of these conversations have built stronger relationships, and in some cases we have benefited from donations as well. Thank you Eve! Heather continues to field calls from groups that are looking to book in the future and she is developing a very creative method for leading “virtual” site tours with a combination of photos and videos. And Scott is receiving inquiries for campus rentals and pool membership as well. It is a great relief and inspiration to receive these ongoing inquiries—the world is not ending and our community still loves Pearlstone and will come back as soon as they can! Thank you to the sales team for maintaining some momentum for the months ahead.

Finance & Compensation
An economic relief package is emerging from Congress that will provide potential loan opportunities for Pearlstone—and millions of other organizations and businesses across the country. This loan will be critical to our financial sustainability. Special thanks to Dana Stein and our new Director of Finance, Claudia Fath, for their hard work on all our behalf. As we work hard to understand what this means for Pearlstone, we plan to continue paying everyone as if we were continuing normal operations. In the meantime, please continue to work from home if possible, and again, do not come to Pearlstone if you are feeling sick at all. Until further notice, you need your supervisor’s approval to come onto the Pearlstone Campus at any time. If you are going to work on campus you must do a health check prior to coming in. If you have a fever or aren’t feeling well, please stay home! We have a thermometer on site and will be taking temperatures in order to keep everyone else safe.

Construction Projects
While the Governor required all non-essential businesses to close earlier this week, several aspects of our operations are exempted from that order: farming, food production, and construction included. Therefore, our Farm Village Bunkhouses are being built as we speak—and they look great! Photos coming next week. Also, renovations continue on 5427 Mt. Gilead Rd, and planning continues for our Retreat Addition, with construction expected to begin this fall.

At times like these, we are reminded of the simple things that matter most: our health and wellbeing; our loved ones; our relationships and our communities. May we all take this time to invest in what’s most important, and to care for ourselves and each other in the days and weeks ahead.

We will get through this together!

With Love,

THE PEARLSTONE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Jakir Manela, CEO
Eve Wachhaus, Deputy Director
Scott Katz, Campus Operations Director
Rachel Feldman, Director of Business Development
Greg Strella, Stewardship Director
Sonja Sugerman, Program Director

Important News & Pearlstone Updates with Resources: March 23

Hello all,

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and their families. My name is Jennifer Folayan and I am your new HR Team & Culture Associate at Pearlstone. My first official day was last Monday and the first week has flown by! I look forward to meeting and greeting each of you in person soon or at our Lunch & Learn virtual Zoom meetings. I will be posting updates and more information as we understand what is happening here in the unfolding of our global crisis. The most important message I want to convey to you is that I AM HERE FOR YOU and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for support or to discuss any of your needs. I aim to do my best to find the resources you need.

Today Larry Hogan held a live press conference. Here is the summary and what it means for us at Pearlstone:
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered all nonessential businesses to close by 5 p.m. Monday. That includes all businesses not designated as critical infrastructure sectors by the federal government.

Grocery stores, restaurants, farmer's markets, convenience stores, liquor stores and cafeterias can remain open. The prohibition on dine-in service continues. Anyone who works in the food supply chain, from farmers to delivery drivers to retail workers, is considered essential.

Some other businesses that are considered essential and can stay open include: hotels, electrician firms, janitorial firms, laundromats, dry cleaners, TV stations, banks, insurance companies, staffing companies and transportation companies.

Here's a government explainer on what can stay open.

Hogan said the measures are necessary to protect state residents and save lives. He explicitly said the state is not issuing a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order at this time, but police will be enforcing bans on gatherings of 10 or more people.

"Unless you have an essential reason to leave your house, stay home," Hogan said.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PEARLSTONE?
Most employees have been told to stay home. There are only a handful of staff at Pearlstone checking on the farm, animals, and facilities. Please follow all directions given to you by your immediate supervisor. It is important to sign up for the following two text alerts from Pearlstone and the State of Maryland shown below to stay in communication as the situation is rapidly changing. This is how we will disperse information to all Pearlstone Staff as the situation is constantly updated.
Please follow these directions:

Pearlstone:
Text jalert.prc to 292929

MD Ready:
Text MDReady to 898211

Governor Larry Hogan encourages all Marylanders to opt-in to #MdReady, a texting program that allows people to opt in to receive messages via text. To opt in, text "MdReady" to 898211 to begin receiving updates, tips, and alerts about COVID-19 and other threats and hazards.

Some other resources I would like to share is our EAP (Employee Assistance Program) through BHS. I have attached some handouts that will direct you on how to claim your free tools. I know these times can be especially stressful with all the changes in working from home, being isolated, family issues, financial issues, and other matters. I highly recommend using all the free resources that are available to you. It’s very simple, the number to call is 1-800-327-2251. You can call for variable reasons including Relationships, Transitions, Risks, Challenges and more. There is also an online portal for more tools including an excellent resource library.

Go to [bhs.online.com]BHS.online.com
My BHS portal
Username:
ASSOCIATED

The following are some important contacts in the Associated system for all of us as we adjust to the escalating needs of our community:
- To see our Pearlstone program team offerings in online learning, visit www.pearlstonecenter.org/online
- For resources throughout our community, visit https://associated.org/covid-19-updates/
- For information and resources to support people during this challenging time, call the JCS Community helpline at 410-466-9200 or write to info@jcsbaltimore.org
- For JCS virtual groups, please see http://www.jcsbalt.org/jcs-virtual
- To volunteer to help deliver meals or to be a friendly caller, go to https://jvcbaltimore.org/covid19/
- For domestic violence support, call 410-234-0030 or go to https://chanabaltimore.org/contact/
- For no interest loans, contact hfla@associated.org
- For virtual fitness and family activities, visit https://www.jcc.org/virtual-j
- For educational resources, go to https://cjebaltimore.org/resources/educational-resources/
- For cultural activities, see the following links: The Book of Joseph: The Birth of a Play, Morrell Park Projected and http://jewishmuseummd.org/blog/
- For well-being resources for Jewish communal professionals, visit http://thedfi.org/leadershipthroughcrisis/

Have a good evening.
Thank you for your attention,
Jennifer Folayan

Staff Update: March 20

Good morning everyone!

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy at this time. These are unprecedented times we are living through—for all of us individually, collectively, for Pearlstone as an organization, and truly for our state, our country, and our planet. We will continue to send regular all-staff email updates so that we can all stay on the same page, even while apart. Please read this entire email to understand the challenges we face, and our response:

PESACH
It is with a great sense of loss and sadness that we inform you that Pesach at Pearlstone is cancelled this year. All of us contribute to this massive immersive program, our biggest event of the year. Many of our guests come year after year, and they ask about and have come to care for you. There are so many Pesach programs all over the world, but what we do at Pearlstone is unique, very successful, and a sellout every year. We made this decision because of CDC’s recommendation to cancel all gatherings of 50 people or more anytime in the next 8 weeks (up until May 10). While we wish that we could postpone Pesach, that’s not how the Hebrew calendar works. The bad news, besides our disappointment, is that with Pesach cancelled (and many other retreats as well), our organization is now facing significant financial challenges. The good news is that many of our Pesach guests have already confirmed their spot for next year. Pesach at Pearlstone will return!

COMPENSATION
We understand that many of you have questions and concerns surrounding compensation, both during this time when we do not have any retreats in house, and in general moving forward. Until further notice, we are continuing to pay everyone as if we were continuing normal operations. This creates coding questions in terms of sick leave vs other categories of pay, and since this is a system-wide issue we are working with the Associated to provide clarity for everyone. In the meantime, please continue to work from home if possible, and again, do not come to Pearlstone if you are feeling sick at all.

VARIED EXPERIENCES, ALL GOOD—WHEREVER YOU ARE AND WHATEVER YOU’RE UP TO
For those working from home, the Associated created a Business Continuity site filled with resources on working from home. To log in you will have had to set up your two-factor authentication. Click here for the website. While many of us are working at home, HR staff, Housekeeping staff, and the Stewardship team continue to work at Pearlstone while practicing social distancing for everyone’s health. Some members of our hospitality team are not able to work from home or on site; we know this is a very difficult, frustrating situation and we are looking for ways to get our kitchen back in action. Everyone on our team is valued and important—regardless of where you are or what you are doing these days.

STAYING CONNECTED, AND PRIORITIZING OUR WELLBEING
One way we can all stay connected is through a new weekly series of Wellness-focused Lunch n Learns that will be lead by our very own Joan Plisko. We had a great turnout on today’s call, and there will be a calendar invitation going out for future gatherings. Next week we’ll also be saying goodbye to Missy through a zoom call on Thursday March 26th, at 2pm. Please join us! These are stressful times for all of us. Please consider taking an hour to gather, see each other’s faces, and take time to invest in your own wellbeing through dialogue, learning, and fun. This crisis looks like it will be a marathon, not a sprint. Please take care of yourselves!

RESPONDING TO THE CRISIS
In response to the public health crisis engulfing our communities, we are reaching out to government agencies and nonprofit partners in order to maximize Pearlstone’s contribution to the public good. We are hoping to build a partnership that enables our food service team to reactivate the kitchen in order to provide emergency food for isolated, hungry people during this crisis. Our program team is also launching online engagement opportunities to support our community through connections, meaningful learning, and joy during this difficult time. More to come on these and other potential Pearlstone responses to this crisis.

GOOD NEWS
Amidst all the uncertainty and challenge, it’s essential for us to celebrate the good news too. Some items in this category for us all to feel good about:
Our special exception application for the house next door, 5427 Mt. Gilead Rd, was approved! This means that we are ready to launch our rental enterprise with that property as soon as things return to normal. This new added capacity will be a great new option for our guests, and an important new revenue source as well.
The state of Maryland ended their legislative session early on Wednesday (instead of mid-April), passing a budget that includes capital funding for our retreat addition! With this project now fully funded, we are looking forward to the start of construction in late summer or early fall. More information to come on this in the months ahead.
With all of these cancellations, we could have seen devastating financial losses and/or potentially damaged relationships with long term clients, partners, and Pesach guests. But thanks to the extremely hard work, talent, and gifted communication skills of Eve Wachhaus and Laura Kurcfeld, we have been able to limit the damage and retain outstanding relationships with everyone involved, ensuring future business and even stronger relationships moving forward. Thank you Eve & Laura!

PRIORITY #1
Our first and foremost concern is, was, and always will be your health, safety, and wellbeing. Our deepest prayer is for all of us to pass through this crisis unharmed.

Sending you all love and comfort, and hoping to see you on a zoom call together next week!

THE PEARLSTONE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Jakir Manela, CEO
Eve Wachhaus, Deputy Director
Scott Katz, Campus Operations Director
Rachel Feldman, Director of Business Development
Greg Strella, Stewardship Director
Sonja Sugerman, Program Director

Important Coronavirus Update: Please Read: March 13

Good morning Pearlstone team,

What a week! This has been quite an unprecedented time—for all of us at Pearlstone, and throughout our country and across the globe. As we navigate these turbulent times, our shared values and culture of Connectedness and Love will guide us through. Thank you all for remaining calm and committed to treating each other with kindness, and for taking onadditional work to keep our facility extra clean, handle extra phone calls, create new documents, and adapt to rapidly changing schedules. We are allmanaging uncertainty and stress beautifully, and we should all be proud of being part of a dedicated team exhibiting such professionalism, respect, and compassion during this challenging time.

CORONAVIRUS: THE LATEST
With the World Health Organization’s global pandemic declaration and the Maryland Governor’s public health actions yesterday, we are now entering a new, more intensive chapter of this public health crisis. There have been12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland and out of an abundance of caution, public schools and universities are closed through March 27. While there are no directives for any hotels or event venues to be closed, gatherings of more than 250 people are now prohibited as well. This does not impact Pearlstone for two reasons: 1) Our largest groups between now and mid-April are around 100-140, and 2) all of our retreat groups and programs between now and March 27th have cancelled or postponed to later dates—all our clients and partners still very much look forward to being here in the future! The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has maintained their stance that risk remains low for the general population, but the risk is higher for the elderly and infirm.

SICK LEAVE
We have implemented liberal sick leave for all staff: this means that any employee who is feeling sick can and must stay at home instead of coming to work, and will be compensated for their time regardless of whether or not they have accrued any paid time off for sick days. We will ensure you receive sick pay if needed. Please communicate openly and honestly with your supervisor; let’s continue to show our care for each other’s health and wellbeing by not taking any risks during this public health challenge.

WORKING FROM HOME
Starting this coming Monday March 16th, all eligible staff will begin working from home until further notice, in consultation with your supervisor. No employee—regardless of your job description—is required to come to work at Pearlstone during this time; please speak with your supervisor to come up with a specific workplan that makes sense for you. If you normally clock in, we will work with HR to make sure your hours are reflected in Dayforce. Attached and below please find some helpful guidance and resources on remote-work technology from the Associated IT Department. Please be extra careful when checking your emails – now is a perfect time for Malware and spam asking you to click on links about Coronavirus. Don’t get fooled!
Email: The best way to access email remotely is to go toapps.associated.org. Directions are attached.

Files: If your files are stored in your P or T drive on fileserver, please connect to theRemote Desktop to access your files. Directions are attached.

Work laptops: If you have one, please take your laptop and power cord home.

Voicemail to email: Our phone system has the ability to deliver your voicemail messages to your email. If you think you would need this, please submit a request tohelpdesk@associated.org. Your voicemails will be delivered to your phone and your email.

Forwarding your calls: If you need to have your calls forwarded from your desk phone to another number, please submit a request tohelpdesk@associated.org.

Two-factor authentication: Some employees have their multi-factor authentication set up to ring their office phone. This will not help in the event that you are working remotely. If this is your situation, please update your two-factor authentication methodnow so you are ready in the event you are out of the office. Directions are attached.

Home computer: If you plan to use your personal computer, please be sure it has anti-virus protection and that all recommended Microsoft Updates have been done. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact the helpdesk.

We understand that many of us are unable to work from home. If you are in that category, please know that we all value and honor your work, no less than anyone else here. We would not be Pearlstone without amazing food, well-organized meeting spaces, beautifully clean rooms and facilities, and our farm. We are committed to making sure that all of us, salary and hourly, get through this together.

SOCIAL DISTANCING
Working remotely but choosing to do so in a coffee shop or with friends does not actually help our communities successfully reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Please practice social distancing as much as possible, at least for the next two weeks! Learn more here about how we can all prepare and effectively respond to this unprecedented situation.

IF YOU DO COME TO PEARLSTONE
For anyone who does come to Pearlstone to work, please be extra vigilant and observant of good hygiene and public health. This means staying at least 6 feet away from other people at all times. It also means that everyone washes their hands thoroughly multiple times throughout the day. There will not be staff lunch, so please bring your own food as well.

POSTPONED
Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, our LGBTQ inclusivity training with Keshet, scheduled for next Tuesday March 17th, has been postponed and will be rescheduled. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion of all peoples, especially underserved peoples, remains a top priority. We look forward to engaging in that training together, in person, with all of you in the future.

WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!
Now is a good time to step back and appreciate the great work we all get to do together every day. We are a unique, collaborative team that creates sacred space for each other and for people from across the country and beyond. Our mission has not changed and our values remain constant. We face this challenging time together, and we will reunite together on the other side of this difficult chapter. Let’s all continue to support each other throughout this time.

Thank you all!

THE PEARLSTONE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Jakir Manela, CEO
Eve Wachhaus, Deputy Director
Scott Katz, Campus Operations Director
Rachel Feldman, Director of Business Development
Greg Strella, Stewardship Director
Sonja Sugerman, Program Director

Coronavirus and Pearlstone - Let's talk about the facts: March 3

Dear Pearlstone Team,

It’s time to talk about the coronavirus. Here is what we know, what we can be doing now and how we can prepare. Let’s start with some facts:

Currently the flu is much deadlier than coronavirus:
Coronavirus: as of 02.26.2020: 2,770 deaths worldwide.
Flu: estimates range from 291,000-646,000 deaths worldwide (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine).

In addition, of the current small population who have coronavirus, 3% of that group have died. Of those deaths, 95% were old and/or sick already. That means that currently, the chance of any of us getting coronavirus is small and the chance that any of us could die from it, if we got it, is much, much smaller (source: Share Facts, Not Fear).

While those facts are important, we are equally focused on preventative measures. The CDC has provided some best practices around how to limit the spread of coronavirus and we want to follow those guidelines. Additionally, as a retreat center, we welcome people here without knowing if they could have come in contact with anyone exposed to coronavirus. For the safety of us and our guests, we must follow the following best practices:

Our Health—simple things to do now:
Wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home when you are sick.
Use a tissue to cover your sneeze or cough.
If you have plans to travel outside the country, please review the CDC travel guidance and, if your destination is on the list, please self-quarantine for two weeks upon return. That means do not come to work. Please speak to your supervisor about possibilities of working from home.
Reconsider cruise ship voyages into or within Asia.

Communicating with our Guests:
We are drafting an email that will go out to all group leaders reflecting Pearlstone’s vigilance in keeping our staff and guests healthy, and sharing our policy that upcoming guests must refrain from coming to Pearlstone if they have reason to believe they may have been in contact with someone with coronavirus, or if they have traveled to one of the countries currently listed on the CDC website within the last two weeks.

Our Community Response:
We are in contact with The Associated and our insurance provider regarding various scenarios that may unfold in the weeks and months ahead. We will learn more about what financial protections we have if groups lower their numbers or cancel their events with us.

Please take extra good care of yourselves and your loved ones. If at any point you have a concern that you might have the symptoms of the coronavirus, please go see a doctor right away. CDC states that symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and that these symptoms may appear anytime between 2 days and 2 weeks of exposure. We care about each other! Let’s all do whatever we can to maintain our own good health and that of others around us.

We remain so very grateful to everyone who is a part of our Pearlstone community. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please be in touch with Missy, Eve, and/or Jakir directly. We will continue to communicate transparently moving forward. We are all in this together!

Eve, Jakir, and Missy

Emails to our Guests

Pesach at Pearlstone Sadly Canceled

Dear beloved Pesach guests,

As we make our way through these uncertain times, you have been in our thoughts each and every day during this public health crisis. Our first and foremost concern at Pearlstone is, was, and always will be the health and safety of our guests and staff—and our deepest prayer is for all of us to pass through this crisis unharmed.

Like you, we have been closely monitoring public health recommendations from government authorities amidst the coronavirus global pandemic. On Sunday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released unprecedented recommendations to postpone or cancel all gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. “This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus”, the CDC stated. While we wish that we could postpone Pesach, that’s not how the Hebrew calendar works. So in light of the CDC recommendations, with heavy hearts we must inform you that Pesach at Pearlstone will not occur this year.

What does this mean for the world?

This new CDC recommendation is a call to action for all of us. When we stay home and practice social distancing it reduces the spread of this virus. “One should see the world and oneself as a scale with an equal balance of good and evil. When one does a good deed the scale is tipped to the good – both that person and the world are saved”—Maimonides. Please—for your health and for those around you— practice the good deeds of hand-washing, limiting contact with others, and giving tzedakah to protect and help others. Together we can all save lives in the days and weeks ahead.

What does this mean for us?

We will miss all of you so much! Throughout the year we look forward to the beautiful, unique, inclusive Pesach community we all create together. For 16 years, Pesach at Pearlstone has been something truly special, and we are devastated by this cancellation. We have been preparing for months, all of our Pesach food has been ordered, all contracts have been signed, and all our field-trip tickets have been purchased. This cancellation is not only a huge disappointment for our staff, it also represents disastrous financial harm to Pearlstone.

What does this mean for you?

We ask for your understanding and support as we work to navigate this extraordinary challenge together. Moving forward, we are offering a three-part financial response to this last-minute cancellation:

25% of your total Pesach invoice will be refunded
25% will be forfeited to Pearlstone in order to cover all of our expenses already incurred
50% will be carried forward as a voucher transferable to any Pearlstone event occurring within the next 13 months. This moment will pass. When it does, we will all yearn for community, nature, and celebration soon thereafter. Pearlstone will be here with open arms when the time comes!
Please consider using your voucher to come back for a family reunion or special event, to deepen multigenerational relationships at Gramp Camp, to have the time of your life at Family Farm Camp, or to experience Sukkot as it was meant to be: on the land and in beautiful community. There are so many wonderful opportunities to gather and celebrate here throughout the year—take your pick and come for magical experiences your family will never forget! When you are ready, please contact Laura and she will help you apply your voucher toward future events.

Use your voucher to confirm your slot for Pesach at Pearlstone 2021 today! Next year’s program will be better than ever—benefiting from two years of worth of planning and preparation!

For your consideration

This crisis—and cancellation—has caused tremendous challenges for Pearlstone, and we know it has caused hardship for many of you as well. If you are able and interested, please consider donating part of your voucher to Pearlstone as a charitable contribution. You generosity will help us see our way through these uncertain times, and we would be profoundly grateful. Please let Laura know if this option is possible for you.

May all our families, our friends and neighbors, our communities, and indeed the world, stay healthy and safe during the days and weeks ahead. May the Holy One watch over us all, and deliver Refuah Shleimah—complete healing—to all those affected. And may we all have faith! We will find our way through this crisis, and before you know it, we will be together again, celebrating our freedom with a farm to table Seder, surrounded by family and friends on a beautiful spring day at Pearlstone.

Sending love and blessings to you all,

Jakir Manela, Chief Executive Officer
Eve Wachhaus, Deputy Director
Laura Kurcfeld, Director of Guest Services