#ForTheFuture Prompts

One of Gorfinkle's many letters home; this one accompanied the above photograph.

About these prompts: The questions below are intended to capture the moment and its impact on you as it’s unfolding. As you respond, think about what you want people in the future to know.  

The following are suggestions to get you started. You don’t have to respond to every prompt or every category. While these have been developed with journaling/writing in mind, feel free to process your responses through any medium!  

Consider also revisiting the questions throughout the weeks (or months) as your experiences and thoughts change or evolve.  

Biographical introduction 

  • Introduce yourself and share as much information as you are comfortable with. This can be a brief paragraph, outline, or whatever you would like. Consider sharing your name, age, gender, job, education, location, marital status, background, and more to provide future researchers context around your personal experiences.  

Personal impact on you 

  • When and how did you first learn about the COVID-19? When did it start impacting your life? 

  • What is your new normal? What changes in your daily life are minor and what are major? 

  • How are you getting your information? (through TV news, newspapers, family, friends, social media, other online resources, etc.?) 

  • What emotions are you experiencing during this time?  

  • What are you enjoying and not enjoying? 

  • What is challenging to you? What brings you comfort in stressful times?  

  • How are you finding joy or humor during this time? 

  • What is inspiring you right now? Who is inspiring you? 

  • Is there anyone or anything you’re especially thankful for during this experience? 

  • Have you or anyone you know become sick? If so, describe your/their experience. 

Impact on your family, work, or communal life 

  • Share your experiences of social distancing – both inside and outside your home.  

  • How are you communicating with your family? Your neighbors? Your colleagues?  

  • How has the COVID-19 situation impacted your work life?  

  • If you have children, roommates, parents, or a significant other at home, how are they adjusting to their new routine?  

  • If applicable, what is the impact of remote work or schooling in your household? 

  • What is the impact of COVID-19 on your local community? 

  • As planned gatherings, events, or meetings have been cancelled, have they been replaced online or over the phone? 

Impact on your Jewish life 

  • How has this time impacted your Jewish routines and occasions?  

  • If Jewish gatherings or events have been cancelled, how have you replaced them, if at all? 

  • Did you or your family adjust your Passover plans, and if so, how? 

  • Are you turning to family recipes or traditions to get you through the present? 

  • Are there Jewish texts or voices that bring you perspective or comfort? 

  • Does it help to reflect on this time within a Jewish framework, or not? 

Looking to the future 

  • What do you want people to know about your experience in the future?  

  • How do you think living through the COVID-19 era will change your future way of life? 

  • What are you looking forward to after this experience?  

  • What do you think will be forever changed after COVID-19? What do you hope remains unchanged? 

  • How have you changed from this experience?  

  • What might you have done differently?  

Remember to submit your story here.