Taking Pride in our Volunteering Achievements
Last Shabbat well over 100 people joined us online for Volunteers Shabbat. Hearing some of our volunteers share their stories – the different ways they give their time, passion, skills and energy to sustain and strengthen so many different areas of community life, and their motivations for doing so – was a true inspiration.
We heard from Alan Grossman, the most active member of our Care Team, who at 90, has found a new lease of life in supporting some of the most isolated in our community, building close and deep friendships – gaining a new family of friends - along the way. We heard from Ramona Mason, a teacher of children with special needs in her day job, who, in her new role as editor of Alonim, has a vision for giving a voice to the younger demographic in our community, as well as fostering greater understanding of who we are as individuals outside of our engagement with the synagogue. We heard from Monica Jaye who, two years after she celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at SWESRS, is part of the team curating the ‘Teen Takeover’ section of Alonim, plays guitar and sings at Kol HaMishpachot services, regularly leyns Torah on Shabbat morning, and supports upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah students as a Peer Mentor in the Bnei Mitzvah programme. A common theme arising from their stories was that, in giving of yourself, you receive even more in return. The community’s gratitude and appreciation go to every single SWESRS volunteer – your volunteering contribution, whether large or small, makes a difference, nourishing our flourishing as a community.
I want to say a huge Thank You! to the key people who made this special service and celebratory lunch such a success – Sue Jackson, the Vice-Chair of Council, and Deborah and Janine in the office. This power team, joined more recently by Claire Hartley, our new Care Co-ordinator, supports and coordinates all our volunteers, before and during lockdown.