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Caring Community

At Congregation Beth Am we strive to be a covenantal community – one united by a sense of mutual responsibility, compassion and care. Members reach out to one another in many ways at times of joy and sorrow, providing help when needed through personal notes, meal delivery, new baby gifts, visits to the homebound and peer support in times of crisis. Volunteers are always most welcome!

Our clergy want to know if any of our members are ill or in the hospital. If you know of someone who is in need of special attention, please contact the main office at (650) 493-4661 or email any of the Beth Am clergy or the listed contact in the logged-in-only accessible section at the bottom of this page. 

Beit R'fuah — Mental Health Support Group
Chevrah Kadisha — Burial Society
End of Life Care — Gesharim
Mitzvah Meal Delivery
Tikvah Peer Support
Yad l'Yad — Friendly Visitors

Beit R'fuah (House of Healing): Beth Am’s support group for those coping with mental health issues and the family and friends who help and sustain them. The group usually meets the second Wednesday of each month, starting with a potluck dinner followed by sharing and discussion among participants. (See our Mental Health Resource Listing.) Watch the film House of Healing to find out how Beit R'fuah supports individuals and families at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California. To support the film House of Healing, please visit betham.org/BRdonate.

Chevra Kadisha (Holy Burial Society): Known in Hebrew as the Chevra Kadisha, Beth Am's burial society gathers together soon after a person dies and takes on the holy mitzvah of ritually preparing the deceased for burial. The process known as Taharah includes washing, dressing and laying the body in the casket to be ready for burial. In addition, our Chevra Kadisha performs Shmirah, guarding the body until it is buried. We also are here to support mourners in our community. One specific way we do this is to deliver yartzheit candles to commemorate the first anniversary of a death. See Recommended Resources for Those Who Are Grieving and information about the history and role of the Chevra Kadisha.

Gesharim (Bridges) End of Life Care: A congregant-led initiative offering meaningful strategies with which to face the end of life. Guided by Torah and our sages, the Beth Am community offers learning, access to resources and personal support to individuals and families. Events include film and other arts, speakers and interactive workshops. With the clergy, Gesharim helps small groups to form around specific needs, such as issues for caregivers. Contact:  Rachael Shea; Clergy Partner: Rabbi Sarah Weissman

Mitzvah Meal Delivery: Congregant volunteers bring home-cooked meals to members who are dealing with illness, hospitalization or family stress. Contact: mitzvahmeals@betham.org

Tikvah* (Hope) Peer Support: This program offers one-to-one emotional support for our members who are facing a life challenge. Trained volunteers assist members who are struggling with COVID-related challenges, job loss, bereavement, illness, divorce, a child in trouble or other difficult situations. The program matches congregants in need with a volunteer who is trained to provide compassionate support in times of crisis. All contacts are strictly confidential and may extend over several months. Download the Tikvah Peer Support brochure to learn more. Contact: tikvah@betham.org
*The Tikvah Program is a lay support program and does not replace professional counseling.

Yad L’Yad (Hand in Hand) — Friendly Visitors: Yad l’Yad volunteers offer friendly visits to congregants at risk of isolation. In the spirit of the traditional Jewish Society for Visiting the Sick (Chevra Bikur Cholim), it provides volunteers with practical and Jewish guidance for visiting and matches them with congregants. Participants strive to facilitate loving kindness through regular connection with and between fellow congregants at risk of isolation, learning and growing in ability to offer a wholehearted presence to each other. Contact: yadlyad@betham.org

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784