Caring Volunteers

A Caring Community Volunteering to Support our Congregants

WRT is a caring community that provides pastoral care, support, and friendship during times of crisis and life transitions, and elevates the joy of our congregants’ simchas (happy occasions) and celebrations.

Our clergy provide pastoral outreach and spiritual counsel during the many twists and turns of life, great and small, happy and sad.  Our rabbis and cantors are assisted in the work of caring by WRT volunteers who provide support, concern, and understanding—in the form of caring letters, phone calls, meal delivery, assistance with life transitions, practical advice, and the simple blessing of a loving presence.  If you or someone you know is in need of care, or if you’d like to get involved at WRT as a caring volunteer, please contact us at caringcommunity@wrtemple.org.

For more information, please contact Amy Rossberg, pastoral care coordinator, at (914) 723-7727 or amy.rossberg@wrtemple.org.

During these times it might be difficult to volunteer time, so another opportunity to help our Community is a donation to the Caring Community Fund Dedicated to Ann R. Miller by clicking here.

Here are just a few of the ways in which our volunteers support our clergy in caring for our congregation:

Phone Calls & Visits

With clergy guidance, volunteers reach out to fellow WRT members who are recently bereaved, recovering from illness, and/or homebound.

Note Writing

Note writing does not take great handwriting, just a caring heart.  Volunteers write notes to fellow congregants, offering comfort, condolences, or mazal tov on behalf of our congregational community.

Delivery of Yahrzeit Candles

We deliver yahrzeit (memorial-anniversary) candles to bereaved households prior to the first yahrzeit.  While it does not commemorate the end of grief, which is a complex emotional and spiritual process, the yahrzeit does mark the transition to the tasks of renewed living when one concludes a year of mourning.

Support Groups

In addition to the one-on-one outreach that our rabbis, cantors, and caring volunteers offer at WRT, our clergy team is pleased to partner with Jane Slevin, LMFT, a professional social worker affiliated with Westchester Jewish Community Services, in hosting support groups that bring comfort, guidance, and healing to our congregants.  For more information about our support groups, please contact Suzanne Saperstein at (914) 723-7727 or suzanne.saperstein@wrtemple.org.

Currently we offer:

Bereavement Support Group

After the death of someone special, we all need support as we strive to make meaning out of loss and repair the brokenness we feel in our hearts. This group helps those grieving the loss of a loved one to find comfort in community and process feelings of loss in a Jewish sacred context.  Meets once a month. Please see our online WRT calendar for details.

Living with Divorce and Single Parenting

Life is full of change, but having your nuclear family disrupted can be startling and emotionally wrenching.  Open to anyone feeling isolated by the divorce/separation process and/or single parenting, this group will provide support in one another, while also weaving Jewish teachings and traditions into discussions around adapting to new family structures and lives.  Meets six times a year; childcare provided. Please see our online WRT calendar for details.

Wellness Support Series

Experts in the field periodically join WRT clergy in addressing sensitive issues of critical importance in a safe, comfortable, and supportive context.

Past topics have included Aging Care:  Spirituality, Learning, and Support, What’s Jewish About Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer, The Beauty of Remembering, and Sacred Aging.

Opportunities to Volunteer

We are seeking volunteers who are eager to contribute to the caregiving mission of Westchester Reform Temple.  You can get involved in any of the following ways:

    • Caring Note Writing
    • Caring Phone Calls
    • Caring Visitation in conversation with clergy
    • Yahrzeit Candle Delivery
    • Meal Delivery for the bereaved, homebound, or those recovering from hospitalization
  • Mishloach Manot (gift bag delivery) for those in need of Purim cheer

How To Get Involved

We welcome volunteers!  Please get in touch with any of our leadership:

Joan Frankle & Donna Polayes, Chairs:  caringcommunity@wrtemple.org

Amy Rossberg, Pastoral Care Coordinator:  amy.rossberg@wrtemple.org, (914) 723-7727

Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Clergy Liaison:  (914) 723-7727