Beit Emanuel Care Committee
One of the key foundations of our community is the Care Committee. This team of volunteers represent the essential values of our community of Tikkun Olam. Quietly and unobtrusively this team of volunteers calls congregants on their birthdays and uses this as an opportunity to connect with members. Max Green makes contact with all those who are commemorating Yahrzeits and offers support.
The Care Committee also tries to keep in touch with those congregants who we know to be ill, frail, elderly or isolated. Together with the Rabbi we aim to regularly visit and call these congregants to provide support and encouragement. Though most of the committee are not trained counsellors, their compassion and care for congregants remains invaluable. Their generosity is seen in their willingness to undertake these tasks which are often unappreciated by the larger community.
During times of stress, such as during the Covid 19 crisis in the community we are lucky to have additional volunteers from the community who support us in the extra roles we play to support congregants. Diane Fine, Chairperson of the Care Committee expressed her thanks to all the volunteers who have been calling congregants to check in with how they are coping with lockdown, and thanks to those who have volunteered to shop for the elderly and frail.
The Care Committee is also responsible for outreach to the community beyond the walls of Beit Emanuel.
We have become a teddy bear empire.
Since 2017 we have distributed almost 2,000 handknitted teddy bears to several hospitals in the Johannesburg area, one hospital, Zithulele Hospital, in the rural Eastern Cape and the Africa Tikkun creche in Hillbrow. We have also collaborated with Aaron Goldblatt and His Socks for Jocks project and delivered socks to the same hospital in the Eastern Cape.
We had help from a couple of old age homes and individuals who have generously knitted for us. One of our knitters has personally knitted more than 500 teddies. When we have received donations of wool or knitting needles, we have passed these on to our knitters.
Following an appeal from Thelle Mogoerane Hospital neonate unit for beanies and other baby clothes and additional soft toys for the paediatric wards at the hospital we again appealed to our members for contributions. On Mitzvah Day 2019 we distributed close to 200 beanies for premature babies to the hospital.
Diane Fine says it is very helpful if members let us know when congregants are ill or in need. Without this source of information it is very difficult for us to offer support. We rely on word of mouth and would appreciate your help.
If you wish to volunteer to join the Care Committee please give Diane Fine a call on 083 450 2089 or call Morgana at the Shul Office.