What lessons will you take with you to 5782?

We asked Jewish Chicagoans to reflect on lessons they learned from this most unusual year

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Top row from left: Laura Sauer and Romil Shah, Lisa Friedman, Valerie Slutskaya and Scott Shamberg. Middle row from left: Michelle Fettner, Jenna Cohen, Sandee Holleb. Bottom row from left: Robert Bloom, Hilary Primack, Allison Leviton.

Let's face it. Many of us are ready to turn the page on the calendar-and look ahead to a new year with hope and faith that it'll be better than the last. But with all the challenges the world has faced during the pandemic, we couldn't help but learn from the experience, and come out on the other side wiser-and with a healthier sense of perspective.

In anticipation of the Jewish new year, 5782, we asked Jewish Chicagoans to impart what lessons they gleaned from this most unusual year that they will carry with them into the future.

Shana tova u'metuka! May it be a good and sweet year for you!

"We need to reach out to others-whether the elderly, those less fortunate, family, or friends. Humans are social animals, and we need connections."
Michelle Fettner, Buffalo Grove

"Change is constant."
Scott Shamberg, Skokie

"Slow down. Nurture hobbies! (That's two things, but they're related)."
Laura Sauer, Elmhurst

"There were so many people who put their own lives on the line to make sure that we were able to remain safe, healthy, and had what we needed to live our lives during the pandemic. From all of the doctors and nurses to the those who mopped the floors in the hospitals, and not to mention the grocery checkers, truck drivers, pharmacists, personal shoppers, and on and on. My lesson? That we must learn to be more appreciative of those who do the work we would never do and to make sure that they are compensated appropriately."
Lisa M. Friedman, Skokie

"Friends and family are everything."
Hilary Primack, Chicago

"I have learned to be sure to appreciate each day-because I don't know what tomorrow may bring. At least, I try to remember to do that!"
Janice Goldberg Sackett, Skokie

"I learned that it's okay to put my own needs first now and again. I'm also learning that a vacancy in my calendar doesn't have to mean that I'm available. It's okay to use that time to rest and recharge."
Jenna Cohen, Chicago

"The importance of social interaction with friends, colleagues, family, and neighbors. We are social creatures and the soaring rates of depression and suicide show how crucial our interpersonal connections are to our happiness, well-being, and mental health."
Robert B. Bloom, Highland Park

"Find what inspires you and use that to give you strength."
Valerie Slutskaya, Skokie

"I can hold my family together  And I am stronger than I thought."
Lisa Pevtzow, Evanston

"I've learned that adults can be as resilient and as flexible as children!"
Sandee Holleb, Wheeling

"I know this sounds crazy: With everyone getting vaccinated, it's amazing to see people smile. It's so small but makes such a difference. From a year that we have been socially distant and had our faces covered, this small gesture makes a simple walk pure sunshine."
Allison Leviton, Chicago  


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