What is Hesed? Loving kindness. Compassion. Listening. Support. Connection. Meeting Needs.
Hesed volunteers seek to support congregants in need in a variety of ways. We offer a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen when needed. We offer a meal when you are ill, recuperating from surgery, or during or after shiva. We offer rides to the doctor, to services and events at TBI, or other important errands. We offer visits to those who are ill, homebound, or otherwise need a friendly face and a compassionate listener. Hesed offers this and so much more to our congregants who are dealing with injury and illness, mourning the loss of a loved one or dealing with one of life’s many challenges.
How you can help? As we are rebuilding our Hesed program, our ongoing committees always need volunteers. Whatever time you are generously willing to offer is greatly appreciated. Please review the teams below to see how you can help.
Cooking Meals Team – Check the TBI calendar, What’s Nu? and Ma’aseem for upcoming dates when we will be preparing meals to be frozen for when we need them. We will have a variety of dates and times available to help. If you have a favorite recipe that freezes well, please share it! Additionally, if you are hosting an event at TBI and would like to donate any left over food, please let us know. Whether it can be frozen or not, we will do our best to ensure it does not go to waste. We also hope to provide Thanksgiving and other holiday baskets, as well as to continue to feed our police and fire volunteers in Whitpain Township who work on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Visiting the Ill Team (Bikkur Hollim) - Volunteers visit the sick and homebound to lend a supportive ear or shoulder. We will be offering training for those who would like to volunteer but aren’t sure you have the skills necessary. Just being a compassionate listener with genuine concern for the well-being of our congregants is enough. See below for more information on some learning opportunities with Rabbi Dayle Friedman to build on those skills.
Transportation Team - There are times when our fellow congregants need a ride to a doctor’s visit, help with errands, a ride to synagogue services or an event, or to visit a loved one in the hospital or other care facility. If you have some time to spare and would be willing to help with this important task, please contact Paula Goldberg (610–539–4636 or [email protected]).
Phone Call Team – Volunteers reach out to congregants with a simple phone call to check in, wish congregants a Shabbat Shalom or Chag Semeach, and see if there is any other way Hesed can offer support.
Meal Delivery Team – Volunteers are needed to deliver those delicious meals we cook to congregants periodically, especially when recovering from illness or surgery, mourning the loss of a loved one, or dealing with other life challenges and transitions.
Young Families Support Team – Often there are challenges in what are supposed to be joyous, wonderful experiences. The Young Families Support Team is here to listen and offer assistance.
Education Team – Volunteers plan opportunities for us to learn more about Hesed and work with Rabbi Danielle and the Religious School students to broaden their understanding of and exposure to Hesed.
Mitzvah Day Team – These volunteers will be working closely with Rabbi Danielle to plan Mitzvah Day experiences for the Religious School and the entire congregation on Sunday, January 7th, 2018.
Hevra Kadisha (Holy Society/Jewish Burial Society) – These anonymous volunteers honor the dead in accordance with Jewish tradition in preparing the deceased for burial.
You can also be part of the Hesed Committee if you have enthusiasm, energy, and a yearning to share your ideas with our volunteers. We generally meet the second Thursday of every month. Please check What’s Nu? for the most up to date information.
What to do if you need assistance from Hesed: Please know that we try to reach out to all congregants who might need some assistance but we don't always know who you are. If you need support and don’t know who to ask or if you know of a congregant who could use our help, please call the main office (610-275-8797), Emily Cutler’s cell phone (215-499-0488) or email [email protected] or [email protected]. For specific transportation requests, please call Paula Goldberg (610–539–4636 or [email protected]).
All requests will be kept confidential, unless you choose otherwise. Soon, there will be a resource board outside the Rabbi's office with TBI and community resources you might need and photos and contact information of some of our committee members. Please reach out to any one of us when needed. Of course, Hesed greatly appreciates your support. In order to continue to provide what we do, donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. Please consider a gift to the Hesed Fund.
Other ways Hesed can help:
Bereavement Support (Nihum Aveilim) – Volunteers ensure that those in our community who are mourning the loss of loved ones have support following funeral services and throughout shiva.
Mi Sheberach List - We continue to add names of TBI congregants or your loved ones who are ill to the Mi Sheberach list for healing prayers. Contact Nancy Bernstein (610-275-8797 x 101 or [email protected]). Provide the person’s English name plus (if applicable) his or her Hebrew name including the Hebrew name of the mother (e.g., Hershel ben Rachel). We read all the names aloud at minyan. TBI members and members of their immediate families will be maintained on the list until you ask us to remove them. Other names will be removed after 30 days. If prayers are needed longer than that, we ask that you contact us again to ask that the name remains on the list. Please notify Nancy as soon as the name can be removed.
Bereavement Support Group: We are in the process of starting a bereavement support group for congregants who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Please contact Nancy Hite ([email protected]) if you are interested in becoming involved or wish to attend these facilitated meetings.
Caregivers Support Group: Providing care for loved ones is hard. Join Rabbi Woodward and other caregivers as we support each other in our experience of taking care of those we love. Sometimes we care for loved ones with acute physical challenges. Sometimes we care for loved ones with longer-term mental or chronic challenges. Sometimes we feel a need to take care of ourselves, too, but when do we have the time? Join Rabbi Woodward for a safe space caregiver group. All are welcome. All meetings are at 7 pm.
Oct. 17 Nov. 21 Jan. 16 Feb. 15
March 15 April 12 May 10 June 7
Workshops with Rabbi Dayle Friedman
This year, we will be offering three workshops with Rabbi Dayle Friedman: Envisioning for a Caring Community: Our Texts Speak (Oct 18), Shattering and Repair: The Transformational Possibility of Brokeness (Dec 13), and PaRDeS: The Sacred Art of Listening (Jan 10). All workshops will be at 7 pm. These workshops are designed to aid the Hesed committee in our work to create a more caring and compassionate community but the workshops are open to all of TBI. Please join us.