The goal of the Caring Committee is to provide Temple members a way of fulfilling the mitzvah of performing acts of G’milut Chasadim (deeds of loving kindness) within the Temple community. Since all Jews are enjoined to perform this mitzvah, we are, in fact, all members of the Caring Committee. The core of the TRS Caring Committee is a group of coordinators who connect Temple members and/or their families who need help with other Temple members who can help. Our Committee core is made up of subcommittees that deal with immediate needs (crises), mutual assistance (self-help), and education. Please consult the list below.
The Caring Committee continues to seek out members who need help, and we continue to try different ideas and ways to expand participation. We keep a list of volunteers who wish to help. Temple members who wish to be included on the volunteer list or serve as a coordinator are invited to contact one of the committee chairs. TRS members who need assistance that do not fall into one of the categories below are encouraged to contact Becky Marrs in the Temple office at (703) 532-2217, or a member of the TRS clergy.
Members help families coping with a death in the family and assist with burial arrangements. The Chavrah Kadushah (the Holy Fellowship), the burial society, was one of the first groups set up by Jews in the Diaspora. Rodef Shalom carries on this beautiful tradition through the Bereavement Subcommittee. Serving on this committee fulfills mitzvah, the commandment of comforting the mourner. If you wish to participate as a volunteer, please contact Anita Thornton at (703) 532-2217.
Widows and Widower Support
TRS offers its members “Next Step” groups for widows and widowers who are beyond the early stages of bereavement—post 6-12 months. (Please visit the Support Groups page.) There is also support available for widows and widowers immediately following the death of a spouse and before a new group begins. Members of ongoing Next Step groups are available to provide information, mentoring, and an understanding ear. For more information, contact Debbie Massey, 703-532-0942.
Bikkur Cholim (Visitation of the Sick)
This subcommittee seeks to meet two needs. First, we wish to encourage caring visits in the congregation by educating people through published guidance based on professional sources. Second, we wish to attract and train volunteers to respond to the clergy’s requests for visits to ill and convalescing congregational members. Bikkur Cholim continues the tradition dating to the early days of the Jewish Diaspora of visiting the sick. Interested members are very welcome and should contact Melissa Sporn.
Our Temple has a number of support groups to help those in our congregation. Please visit our Support Groups webpage for more information.
JSSA is Here to Help
Thanks to the continuing partnership between Temple Rodef Shalom and the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), JSSA is available to provide support and referrals to congregants in need as a result of emotional, social, or physical challenges. JSSA supports individuals, couples, and families through mental health counseling, services for children and adolescents, older adult services, career programs and adoption assistance. Visit the JSSA website.
Elder Care/Jewish Council for the Aging
Currently the Elder Care subcommittee is working in conjunction with the Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) to meet the needs of elderly temple members and/or families with elder care issues, whether local or out of the area. Services provided include a Senior Helpline that can be reached at (703) 425-0999 for information or assistance on housing options, financial aid, or transportation. TRS volunteers have also provided rides to services for elderly temple members and assistance in purchasing groceries and other tasks. Visit the JCA website.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): www.nami.org
Suicide.org – Suicide prevention, awareness, and support: www.suicide.org
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): www.nimh.nih.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): www.samhsa.gov
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): www.chadd.org
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation: www.bpkids.org
The Trevor Project (LGBT mental health/suicide prevention): www.trevorproject.org
Anxiety Disorders Association of America: www.adaa.org
National Eating Disorders Association: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Alcoholics Anonymous: www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous: www.na.org
Gamblers Anonymous: www.gamblersanonymous.org
Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: www.dbsalliance.org
National Autism Association: www.nationalautismassociation.org
Veterans Crisis Line (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs): 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Mental Health: www.mentalhealth.va.gov
Mental Health America: www.mentalhealthamerica.net