I appreciate this definition of mitzvah, which goes beyond doing a good deed or following a commandment, and adds connection as an essential ingredient. The AARC Mitzvah Corps strives to create for its members a feeling of connection and support that can then be brought forward to meet the needs of members of the congregation with compassionate caring. Towards that end, we hold quarterly meetings that begin with a personal sharing of a blessing and a challenge since we last met. In this way we have supported each other through health challenges, losses, changes in career or living situations, family stresses. Through that feeling of being connected it is easy to feel moved to connect to others when they are in need. Connection is the heart and soul of our mission – “to mobilize support when needed” and our vision – “to create a non-judgmental community in which it is natural to ask for and receive help.”
Much of what we have mobilized to do has been to help individual members in need. This has encompassed needs that arise from joy – setting up the worship and celebration areas for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and needs that arise from sorrow – helping the bereaved host a Shiva. We have organized meal chains for families bringing home a newborn and for individuals moving through significant illness. We have provided rides to medical appointments, and organized daily support calls during these times of increased isolation created by the pandemic.
Currently, we are interested in receiving input from the community on several important factors as we move forward into 2022. We have created a survey that will take just a few moments of your time so that you can tell us what you might be available to offer, what you might use the offerings of the Mitzvah Corps for, and whether you want to join us. Please help us out by going to either of these links:
Thanks for your time and support,
Anita Rubin-Meiller, Mike Ehmann, Caroline Richardson, Sharon Haar, and Idelle Hammond-Sass