Service of G-d consists in what we do to our neighbor
(Rabbi Leo Baeck)
Kabbalat Shabbat services at Ohel Avraham are soulful and uplifting. A special service was held recently to honor the volunteers within our spiritual community. By definition, volunteers give of themselves TO the community, without any expectation of receiving recognition in return. However, there is a strong sense of communal appreciation and gratitude for volunteers that is fostered by the Ohel Avraham clergy and staff. Our rabbis and our community organizer make you want to be a part of the circle of helping and giving to congregants and visitors alike.
The idea for the Caring Community germinated with congregant Rachel Rose Shalev. “As part of the caring committee, it is such a pleasure to know that this community lends a hand to friends in need. Not everybody knows each other but even through helping they get to know each other and we build a community together. I am constantly amazed at the volunteerism that pours out of our community,” said Rachel.
There are plentiful opportunities to give time and effort, to Ohel Avraham and its members, on a myriad of levels. Congregants can bring refreshments to kiddush, offer rides to/from services, donate canned goods to refugees, cook and deliver food for congregants who are recovering from surgery, offer home hospitality during the Shabbat/Chaggim or host guests from overseas. The key is the willingness to participate; the limits are boundless.
This enthusiasm for volunteerism is a living testament to the good works started by Rabbi Leo Baeck. To be valued for these efforts is icing on the cake, or in the case of Ohel Avraham, a do- it- yourself sugar cookie kit, lovingly assembled (by the Leo Baeck special needs students) in glass mason jars and given as a token of appreciation to congregants who had volunteered during the past year. To come together in prayer and song, to be swathed in a communal tallit under the ner tamid and praised for good deeds is a humbling experience. May the number of volunteers within our community increase and may they all continue to give of themselves, with generosity and humility.
Written by Gayle Schwartz