New Initiative is Helping Jewish Clients Celebrate Shabbat
Thanks to a new initiative spearheaded by two Circle of Care volunteers, Jewish clients are able to celebrate Shabbat with challah bread and candles each week. The initiative, dubbed Shabbat Chesed by creator Asher Lichtman, involves the delivery of the bread and two candles to clients prior to Shabbat on Friday evening.
“There’s a glow on their faces when you knock on their doors and say ‘I have challah and candles to make a more meaningful Shabbat.’ They’re touched and appreciative – it becomes the highlight of their day,” Asher said.
Asher and his son started volunteering with Circle of Care after receiving an email about volunteer opportunities. They delivered Purim boxes to clients in February, and after seeing the deep connection that Circle of Care had with the community, they continued to volunteer with us.
The Shabbat Chesed initiative grew out of the passion and involvement Asher saw from the young boys in his son’s Bar Mitzvah program. He started to gather volunteers by reaching out to the other members of the program.
Asher obtains the challah and candles through The Village Shul, a synagogue based in Toronto. Through this initiative, he hopes to bring more meaning to the Shabbat table by connecting and giving back to the community.
“I’m hoping to make this as far-reaching as I can, because I think it has a huge impact,” Asher said.
Keeping COVID-19 safety measures in mind, he, his son, and four other pairs have been dropping off challah and candles to 20 people each week since February. But Asher hopes to expand their reach, and is dreaming about a larger goal.
“If we could hit 100 homes a week – that would be phenomenal,” he said. “But, I don’t want us to spread ourselves too thin.”
This week, two more father and son pairs are participating, and they plan to reach 10 additional clients.
In working with The Village Shul and Circle of Care, the Shabbat Chesed program will continue to give our clients challah and candles until the end of the school year.
“I think it’s a great relationship and partnership that ultimately enables and cultivates the notion of giving back and being able to pay it forward – that to me, means a lot,” Asher said.
Volunteers are at the core of Circle of Care. We greatly appreciate and value the hard work of each of our volunteers, especially those who continue to help out during this difficult time. To learn more about volunteering at Circle of Care visit www.circleofcare.com/volunteer.