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Building a Gemilut Chesed (Caring) Community
Living our Jewish values through acts of loving-kindness
Our Sages tell us that the world is based on three things:
Torah, study of our sacred texts; Avodah, serving God through our prayers; and Gemilut Chesed, active loving-kindness towards others. Pirkei Avot 1:2
The Gemilut Chesed Committee seeks to meet our congregants' chesed (loving-kindness) needs, as well as those outside our community, in a loving, respectful, and effective manner. The committee respects the privacy of those who ask and makes them as comfortable as possible based on our available resources.
Through our Chesed Community, we make it easier to bring our members together to acknowledge the joyful moments in our lives, to comfort the sorrowful in meaningful ways, and to help those who need assistance.
Although we would like to meet any need, however great, that may arise for a community member, we regret we don't have the resources to meet every type of need. We offer assistance in the areas where we can be effective:
The Beit Tikvah Gemilut Chesed Committee is made up of members who volunteer to coordinate member response to congregant requests for aid. The Rabbi will remain available for all congregants' personal and pastoral needs on an ongoing basis.
The committee is responsible for receiving gemilut chesed requests, making sure that the Rabbi is informed (only with permission from the member making the request), and following up to ensure the need was met.
What is a Chesed Community?
Once the Gere Rebbe decided to question one of his disciples: “How is Moshe Yaakov doing?” The disciple didn’t know. "What!" shouted the Rebbe, "You don’t know? You pray under the same roof? You study the same book? You serve the same God? Yet you dare tell me that you don’t know how Moshe Yaakov is, whether he needs help or advice or comforting? How can that be?" Here lies the very essence of our way of life: every person must share in every other person’s life, we must not be alone in sorrow or in joy.
Please let us know how you would like to help care for others in your community. Youth are welcome to sign up and earn community service hours.
How to get assistance
To get help, you may call the office at 410-464-9402 and leave a message asking for the Gemilut Chesed Committee Chair to contact you, or send an e-mail to Ray Wacks at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may leave a confidential message on the Rabbi's private voicemail at 410-464-9402, option 1, or send him an e-mail at email@example.com.
Either the Gemilut Chesed Chair or the Rabbi will contact you. If the chair is contacted, s/he will then contact congregational volunteers and organize the needed assistance on a fully confidential basis and inform the Rabbi if permission is given to do so. If the Rabbi is contacted, he will either help you directly or, if permission is granted, he will inform the Chesed Chair, who will then organize congregational assistance.