Abstract

When COVID-19 started to spread in March 2020, no one could anticipate the impact it would have on the world. Social behavior is one key aspect that has changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic. Through restrictions that imposed social distancing, masks, and quarantines, feelings of loneliness, depression, and isolation increased. At the same time, there was also evidence of prosocial behavior, with the emergence of people helping those in need. As the pandemic turns endemic with restrictions lifting, the longstanding impact of the pandemic on people’s behavior is still unclear. One way to explore this phenomenon is through community-based organizations. As these kinds of organizations rely on people’s involvement, it can shed light on the longstanding impact of COVID-19 on members’ social behavior. This study focused on Jewish organizations in America as an exploratory case study to explore the ways in which community life has changed. The study provides insights into the pandemic’s effect on these organizations and their communities’ relations and practices. Through interviews with leaders of Jewish organizations across the U.S, the study identified seven themes related to the COVID-19 crisis, including changes in leadership perspective, community involvement, and organizational management. The study highlights the need for continued attention to the community challenges that emerged during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the strengthened connection between the community and Jewish organizations presents potential for collaboration and positive outcomes, offering a pathway to overcome these challenges. The study also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing employee engagement in a virtual work environment. Future studies should consider exploring the global impact of the pandemic on community engagement, as well as investigating its effects on other sub-communities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020--United States; Community organization; Jews--United States; Interpersonal relations--United States; Leadership

Date of Award

2023

School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Department/Program

Education

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate

Faculty Advisor

Martine Jago

COinS