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Caring Community

“Caring Community Initiative” pairs families with a variety of TBH-BE Caring Community Committees. Integration of new members happens through personal contact and outreach from our existing members. The TBH-BE Caring Community provides many and varied  opportunities to be involved with helping our synagogue community, our neighborhood, and beyond.

Read below for information on the Hesed Network, Cook for a Friend, Soup for the Soul and Response to Hunger.

Hesed Network

Hesed is a Hebrew word that is hard to translate directly. It suggests kindness, caring, compassion and concern. Our Hesed Network embodies all of these characteristics through its outreach to our membership. Our Hesed Network extends itself to those in our community who need special, gentle support during times of transition, crisis and/or joy. We support members of our community who are in mourning, who have been sick or infirm taking the utmost care for a family's confidentiality and privacy. We reach out to families celebrating the birth of a new child, those who are home-bound or in need of companionship. These are the people for whom “Hesed” becomes the embodiment of what it means to belong to a caring community.

| Sermon from Rabbi Neil S. Cooper: The Journey of the Soul An Introduction to the Study of Death, Mourning and Comforting - Parashat Terumah

I. Menahem Aveilim: Outreach to Mourners
When a family member dies, the family in mourning must make all the arrangements necessary for the funeral and shiva, at a moment of sorrow, grief and, perhaps, shock. Although these arrangements must be made by family members, there are other arrangements which could be considered. Beyond the funeral arrangements, our Hesed Network functions as a team to help and support the family during their period of mourning. One of our committee members will present a book about the customs and practices of shiva to the mourners on behalf of our synagogue. We can also coordinate meals coming to a shiva house. For information on how to prepare or observe shivah, click here. To volunteer for outreach to families in mourning, please contact Mindy Oppenheimer.

II. Bikkur Holim: Outreach to Those Who Are Ill
In the beautiful Jewish tradition of visiting the sick, our Bikkur Holim team is ready to offer support to those who are ill in our community. If you are facing illness, whether at home or in the hospital, a member of this group would be glad to visit you. Illness can be lonely; a warm visitor can revive the spirit. If you would welcome a visit, please contact one of our clergy or one of the BH coordinators, Rachel Dunaief or Batya Warshowsky. We are ready to be there for each other.

For more information, click here for the TBH-BE Bikkur Holim Handbook.

III. Other Support
1. For those who require some extra assistance, our Hesed Network can try to help with meals, rides, etc. Please contact us for more information.
2. For those who are seeking prepared kosher meals, click here for a list of local kosher meal resources in the community.

Contact Hesed:
Email |

Cook for a Friend

A meal and so much more…

Volunteers support the program by providing a friendly visit, preparing for deliveries, and help to cook meals. There are over 20 cooking groups throughout the Delaware Valley who make meals in partnership with our Cook For a Friend program.

We maintain an inventory of meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and vegetarian pasta meals throughout the year. Individuals may choose from these categories to customize their weekly delivery of 5-14 meals. The program includes baked goods, soup and a breakfast bag, when available.

The Cook For a Friend program is a community based program comprised of more than 500 volunteers who prepare and cook meals for homebound seniors.
For more information about the larger program, visit

Please contact Sam Brint for more information:
Email |


Each month or so a small team gathers in our synagogue kitchen to cook 30 - 40 quarts of soup. The soup is frozen and delivered, as needed, to members recovering from illness, childbirth or completing a period of mourning.

Please Contact Lori Cooper for more information:
Email |

Response to Hunger

Created in May 2009, this initiative was established to provide much needed meals for low-income, elderly, and challenged adults who live in the surrounding areas of the synagogue. Our initial list of recipients was furnished by the Federation Food Pantry and the Jewish Relief Agency. The list has continued to grow based on requests from social workers at the Brith Shalom House, Jewish Children and Family Services, and the Tikvah House which provides housing for challenged adults.

For five and half years a group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer cooks have met monthly to prepare 160 nutritious meals, which are delivered to our thirty three recipients. These meals, along with a bag of fresh fruit, are delivered by a team of seven volunteers who, if desired by the recipient, will stay and visit with them. Read More Here.

Due to the closing of the kosher meals on wheels program, The Response to Hunger Initiative has tried to fill some of the desperate need. Our meals are prepared and delivered at the end of each month to aid our recipients while they are waiting for their next social security check to arrive.

The Response to Hunger Initiative was originally funded with a generous gift given on the occasion of the marriage of two of our synagogue members. We have continued to fund this important community project with a few generous individual donations and the help of funding from Rabbi Cooper. With careful and creative shopping skills we have made every dollar count. The Initiative incurs no other expenses other than our food purchases.

To continue this critical and beneficial effort, The Response to Hunger Initiative is asking the synagogue members to remember the ongoing and crucial funding needs. Time of celebration and memory are excellent opportunities to give to those less fortunate. Donations can be made through the synagogue office.

The Response to Hunger Initiative is coordinated by Steve Schwartz. Should you have any questions about the program or donating, please do not hesitate to contact him.

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784