Member News


As we reach the High Holy Days, the sound of the shofar calls us all to awaken and to turn our thoughts more fully towards those who are in need of our support, especially during such hard times as these. This time of year is traditionally the Jewish time for giving, a time to fulfil one of our most sacred obligations of tzedakah, and we know that you will be as generous as you can be for this year’s Appeal. Each year Council nominates three charities for the appeal and each year you generously give. This year we have taken as our themeCommunities that Care – a theme that epitomises SWESRS - and are supporting Bizchut in Israel, the Jewish Care Home Care Team; and our very own Community Care Co-ordinator.

Kol Nidre 5780 marked the launch of our brand new Fund Raising Appeal for a part-time Community Care Co-ordinator. We are an ageing community. 25% of our members are over 80. In any given week, we have members in hospital, members who are poorly or are isolated and lonely at home. Thanks to your generosity we had a splendid response last year, raising over £8,000 to date, and were able to appoint Claire Hartley as our Community Care Co-ordinator. Claire couldn’t have started at a better time! She hit the ground running, joined the team that co-ordinated our Volunteer response to the Pandemic, and ensured that every member who needed help with shopping or prescriptions was matched up with a SWESRS volunteer willing to help out. Claire was appointed for two days a week for 12 months, and we need to raise more funds to reach our Appeal target. Claire is already helping us to become a more caring community with the resources to address the needs of
all our members with greater compassion and skill. As we reach the High Holy Days this year in the strange times in which we all find ourselves living, please help once again so we can reach our goal.

We are delighted to be partnering with the New Essex Masorti Synagogue (NEMS) in raising funds for the Jewish Care Home Care Team. This vital team supports people to live independently in their own homes, across Redbridge, Essex, Waltham Forest and Southend. Jewish Care’s highly trained professional staff fully understand the cultural needs of people in our community, and can assist from medication to meal preparation, washing and dressing. The Home Care team also bring fun, life and social activities into clients’ homes. The funds raised will provide the opportunity for the caring team to give carers of the loved ones with whom they live the much needed respite they deserve. People who provide high level of informal care are more likely to feel socially isolated and lonely, and this could not be more evident during these challenging times. Your funds will cover the cost of the extra hours that so many of these informal carers within our community so desperately need.

Bizchut is Israel’s leading and longest running organisation devoted to promoting the rights of people who have disabilities. They have a deep commitment to social justice and a belief that people with all types of disabilities have the right to full equality and inclusion. They aim to promote independent living and accessibility in society; and to campaign for autonomy and choice, non-discrimination and liberty. Bizchut receives no government support and collects no payment for their services. This approach is rooted in their belief in the importance of maintaining full independence vis-a-vis government agencies. Their vision is to promote the rights of persons with all types of disabilities in all areas of life while
securing equality, dignity and full inclusion of persons with disabilities within Israeli society.

We know that as a community you are generous. We appeal to you at this time to give  as you can to support the work of Bizchut, the Jewish Care Home Care Team and our own Community Care Co-ordinator. Our hope is that every member will take the opportunity to contribute something as their personal act of tzedakah at this time and we welcome each and every contribution whatever the amount.

To make your donation please either call the synagogue office where payments by card will be taken or alternatively you can make payment directly to us via your bank account using the following details:

Account Name: South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue
A/C No.: 00126324                     Sort Code: 30-90-47
Please use your name along with HHD2020 as a reference.

On behalf of Officers, Council and staff, we take this opportunity to wish all of our members a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year and we give our thanks for any donation you are able to make.

Rabbi Lisa Barrett and Sue Jackson (Vice-Chair)