Hesed – Lovingkindness
Hesed is how we take care of each other. It is the safety net that catches us when we fall. It is phone calls before Shabbat and it is cooking for a shiva, or a new baby, or the homebound. Hesed is our best Jewish selves caring for our community.
Our BJ community is defined by the connection we feel to each other. When that connection is threatened by illness or confinement, it is our spiritual obligation to offer support.
For BJ members undergoing or recovering from illness our Bikkur Holim volunteers provide support and resources by:
- Visiting people in hospitals, nursing homes, or in their own homes
- Making phone calls to congregants who are homebound
- Performing practical tasks such as shopping or running errands
- Calling those whose names are on the Mi Sheberakh list for healing prayers on Shabbat morning
- Helping congregants who are experiencing illness or facing surgery with person-to-person support
Let us know if we may visit you at home or in the hospital or help in any other way. We will contact you to plan together how we can best assist you.
Volunteers – click here to read tips relating to Bikkur Holim.
Mi Sheberakh (Blessing) for Healing
Every Shabbat and holiday, we recite the Misheberakh blessing, a prayer for those who are in need of healing. Our Mi Sheberakh list is refreshed twice a year on Hanukkah and Shavuot. We ask that you provide, if possible, the full Hebrew names of the person who is ill.
Our Hevra Kadisha (Comforting Mourners) volunteers offer additional support and resources:
- Perform tahara (preparation of the body for burial)
- Assure a minyan will be present to say kaddish when shiva takes place in Manhattan
- Provide escorts for mourners into Kabbalat Shabbat services
- Contact the family by phone at the time of Sholshim (30 days) and prior to the High Holy Days and Pesah
BJ also sends a condolence platter to the family, and provides siddurim, kippot and a havdalah set for shiva minyanim in Manhattan.
Guide for Mourners
Read our Guide for Mourners for a comprehensive list of traditional Jewish practices to adhere to during the period following the loss of a loved one.
The Spoonful of Hesed program brings together BJ members one Sunday each month to cook healthy, delicious meals and deliver them to other BJ members in need of a little extra care and a warm sense of community. This includes those who have recently returned home from the hospital, are elderly and can’t cook for themselves, are in mourning, or who recently had a baby. If you know of someone who would appreciate a meal at anytime during the year please email Billie Di Stefano. We also need volunteers to help us cook, deliver, coordinate, and sponsor events. We would like people of all ages to participate in this great mitzvah. To volunteer for our next Spoonful of Hesed, please fill out this form.
When a baby is born, the BJ community reaches out with a loving hand by providing meals for the family. If you have recently celebrated a birth in your family, please contact Billie who can provide you with information about meals. If you’d like to be on a list of volunteers who sign up to cook when a baby is born, please contact Enid Lotstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our Hesed resources page for information on where you can find community support and a helping hand.