Belsize Square Synagogue’s unique history has helped to create a strong bond of kinship amongst our membership. Our Community Care Co-ordinator, Eve Hersov, works closely with the Rabbi, Cantor, synagogue staff, outside agencies and synagogue volunteers to offer assistance to members particularly during times of transition and need.
Eve’s role centres largely on 3 main areas:
- Helping our oldest members who may be experiencing difficulty managing deteriorating health, mobility, and social connection
- Bereavement support for members across the entire age-span
- Providing an empathetic private sounding board to family carers, with guidance as needed in regard to navigating practical and emotional issues.
In any given week Eve may be making hospital visits, taking calls from people that are worried about their health, researching care options for members and supporting people that are coming to terms with grief. But the overall theme of her work is social connection and to help ensure that the synagogue can be a resource to our members. She often works with the Association of Jewish Refugees on behalf of refugee members who may not always have family or an extensive contact network.
Throughout the year the synagogue tries to stay in touch with our oldest members by snail mail, email and telephone, particularly around certain holidays. Festival lunches tend to be organised for Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Purim and Shavuot. Additionally, Mishloach manot is delivered to homebound members at Purim and treats are delivered in the autumn for Mitzvah Day.
Rosh Hashanah and Birthday cards also help us to remind our older members that we are never more than a phone call away. Many of our members tune in weekly via BelsizeLIVE to our religious services, and we try to assist members that may require help with transport to or from religious services and festival meals. We also have a volunteer led monthly lunch group that meets throughout the year at a restaurant in NW3 or NW11 and attracts members from as far away as Wembley and Edgware who enjoy gathering for a sociable meal and lively discussion.