The Impact of our Chesed Caring Committee

I have known of the Chesed Caring Committee for a number of years, but have never fully appreciated what they do and how well they do it until recently. My partner had surgery in mid-October and we knew that his recuperation would be a slow one, so I reached out to the Committee for a couple of meals to give me a break from all the duties that I knew I would have on my plate during the recovery period. Simmy Zaret and her core group (Sheila Miller, Janet Sanderson and Tanya Lewis) organized three Shabbat meals to be delivered to our home. The meals were sumptuous and delicious, made by three of the 48 volunteers on their roster of DJC members who can be called upon to prepare and deliver meals, attend Shivas, make deliveries, etc. Not only that, but I received regular emails from the Committee checking in to see how “the patient” was doing.

They exemplify the best of what community is and should be. I cannot say enough to express our gratitude for the support they provided at a stressful time.

Upon further inquiry, I learned that over the past few years, the Committee has sent close to 70 bereavement and get-well cards to those dealing with illness or death, and over 50 fruit baskets and fruit platters into Shivas and homes dealing with bereavement. During COVID, they have coordinated hundreds of “check-in” phone calls to the entire congregation and provided ongoing support to those feeling isolated and/or in need. In short, they have been there for any DJC member who is in need.

One of the many strengths of the DJC is community, and that means volunteers stepping up to do whatever is needed whenever it’s needed. This has been demonstrated over and over, not only through the Chesed Caring Committee, but through many other initiatives including helping a Syrian family, the multi-faith peace walk and COVID mask-making––to name just a few. Like all committees of the DJC, the lifeblood is volunteers and we can never have too many. It makes our community richer and stronger. To the Chesed Caring Committee and all the other volunteer-driven groups within the DJC, I say “Ya’asher ko’ach!” and “Thank You!”

-ALAN GOTLIB

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