“She died in her sleep,” relayed the voice over the phone. “After years of suffering… she is at peace, but, now… now I am suffering. Rabbi, can you help me?” I put down the phone and was with the family in under an hour. That afternoon, I heard fragments of a lifetime of memories…the next morning we returned her body to the earth.
How quickly life can change, and, when it does, JSSA is here to help. As the Director of JSSA’s Jewish Chaplaincy Services, my team and I work with families facing challenging situations every day. Some families are able to pay for JSSA’s services and some are not. Regardless, we are always ready to help.
Two weeks after officiating at the funeral for the family mentioned above, a letter arrived on my desk. It contained a check for twice the amount of our suggested donation, along with a note that read, “For the next family in need.” What a mensch!
One ancient sage, Rabbi Tanchum, would purchase double of everything. When asked why, he explained, “one for me, and one for someone in need.” This kind of generosity is at the foundation of kehillah kedosha, a holy community. And it is what has kept JSSA’s doors opened for the past 120 years.
This Passover, JSSA is partnering with B’nai B’rith, and other local organizations and synagogues to deliver 500 Kosher for Passover food baskets. For families, individuals with special needs, seniors and Holocaust survivors in need. As you prepare for your own holiday celebration, consider sponsoring a basket (or more) for $36. Your generosity will allow a struggling neighbor to celebrate Passover with dignity.
Too often, we hear of clients unable to afford the additional items necessary to observe Passover. Some even consider buying less in the weeks before in order to afford the more expensive Kosher for Passover items. Others forgo their medication. You can help them avoid making these choices by sponsoring a basket or few. This holiday program relies solely on the contributions from our community.
JOIN US by choosing to sponsor a basket (or few) in honor of your host or guests – send an eCard today, www.jssa.org/holidaygiving.
To extend our thanks to program supporters and to enhance Seder experiences across the metro area, we’re providing some added fun…with Passover BINGO! This is not just your Bubbie’s BINGO! With questions like, “Why is sponge cake a popular Passover dessert” and challenges like, “share a modern day exodus story”, JSSA, your local Jewish Social Service Agency, has created a Passover BINGO game for everyone at your Seder. Together your friends and family will learn more about each other and reflect on story and experiences of Passover.
Hag Sameach (Happy Holiday),
Rabbi James Q. Kahn
Director of JSSA’s Jewish Chaplaincy Services
Marissa Neuman Jachman
JSSA Manager of Annual Giving