April 16, 2024
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Jeff Korbman Shares His Thoughts

The Jewish Link asked:

What changes has the coronavirus prompted that you want to preserve?

Jeff Korbman responded:

It would be convenient to articulate a hobby or habit adapted over the pandemic.

Yet, reflecting over the past seven months, that wouldn’t be truthful. I could share that I started reading The Wall Street Journal, learned how to cut a pineapple, started a new chavrutah or tried my hand at repairing drywall. Each is true; but none capture what I have gained, and hope to continue, when this pandemic is long over, please God.

The challenge for me is working from home. I hate working from home. Professionally, I have spent the past 30 years in the fundraising field. I hug people. I laugh with people. I hold the hands of people. I need personal connection.

And yet, every morning after 8 a.m., I say goodbye to my wife, Dana, who leaves for her office as an “essential employee,” and I spend the day alone. In a word, it’s been challenging. The experience is the very opposite of what I enjoy…to be with others.

How true when God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

To be sure, I load up on Zoom calls. I am on the phone throughout the day. As a woodworker by hobby, I am in the shop, making sawdust, crafting furniture for family and friends. I keep busy.

But Zoom and the phone, to paraphrase a past teacher, is like “kissing the bride through the veil.” It comes close but…falls short.

What I have come to appreciate, more today than ever, is dinner every day with my wife. Without the necessity for me to travel for work, dinner with Dana has become more than an anchor in my routine; it is an experience I hope we can keep up as long as possible. And if not, I can return to elegantly cutting pineapples.


Jeff Korbman is a professional fundraiser and a skilled woodworker. He lives in Highland Park.

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