May 18, 2020
First, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. We would also like to thank you for your consistent support of YJA and your patience as we navigate this difficult time. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YJA Convention scheduled for July 2-5, 2020 in Dallas, TX is officially cancelled.
As we discussed in our last communication, the safety and health of attendees remains our first priority. Despite the gradual opening of normal operations in some states, we have to remember that our convention is a global gathering: attendees come to YJA from across North America and around the world. There would be no way for us to guarantee the safety of all of our guests, nor be able to implement the social distancing procedures that are recommended by experts. Convention is a space where young Jains explore their faith together and build friendships that last a lifetime. It’s where we become a part of something bigger, and while we are deeply saddened by this outcome - especially given that no YJA Convention in history has been cancelled - we know this is the right decision.
We would like to highlight our great partnership with the local sangh in Dallas, the Jain Society of North Texas (JSNT). Bringing the YJA Convention to Dallas has been a dream for many in the local community. Nevertheless, we look forward to growing this relationship in the future. From the very beginning, JSNT has supported the hard work and effort of the youth to bring this Convention to Dallas, and we thank them for setting an example for how sanghs can empower their youth. YJA will continue to be a vibrant presence for the local youth, working to engage, inspire, and connect them with other young Jains in our global community.
At this time, we are continuing to explore our options for virtual programming in the upcoming months. We will make announcements about any virtual Convention-related plans as soon as we are able. In the meantime, we will continue to offer a variety of virtual programming and opportunities to connect. You can also find our up-to-date weekly programming at yja.org. We also encourage any Jain youth in your communities to take a moment to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to stay up-to-date, and be sure to join any regional Facebook groups that are relevant.
Lastly, please take a moment to listen to this message from our 2020 Convention Committee and the Jain Society of North Texas. With the support of the local sangh, the members of our Committee have poured everything they had into planning this Convention, and they are dedicated to keeping the YJA experience alive for all of you until we get to see each other in person again!
Avish Jain, Parshva Vakharia, Simmi Nandu, and Vatsal Gandhi
Convention Co-Chairs, 2019-2020