Community

Chesed and Shiva

Mah Tovu cares about and for its members.

Mah Tovu’s Chesed Committee provides support and assistance to members at times of need.  Whether due to a simcha, such as a birth; or due to illness or a recent surgery, congregation members may bring meals, offer rides, help with shopping, or simply call, visit,  or send a card. This assistance is coordinated with the individual or family in need, based on their personal preferences. Members can contact Chesed Committee co-chairs Susan Buchbinder buchbinder@sbcglobal.net or Iris Rudnick irisrudnick@gmail.com to reach out for assistance for themselves or for someone else.

A division of the Chesed Committee is the Shiva Committee.  Mah Tovu’s Shiva Committee is there for members at this most difficult time.  The Shiva Committee notifies the congregation via email of the death, the funeral and Shiva times.  The committee can also arrange for meals for the mourners and organize the Shiva minyanim. One call to the Shiva Committee chair Liz Bennett (lizlichtbennett@gmail.com) or either of the Chesed Committee chairs will put the system into motion.

Progressive Chevre Kaddisha

“The highest act of gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness) is that which is done for the dead, for there can never be any thought of repayment.” (Tanhuma Vayehi 107A)

Mah Tovu, in association with Beth Emet, Lomdim and the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, is an active participant in the Progressive Chevre Kaddisha (PCK). Just as Minyan members celebrate births and bnai mitzva and Purim and Simhat Torah together, we also support each other in times of death and mourning.

In traditional Jewish practice, when an individual dies the met/metah (body) is prepared for burial in a specific and ritualized manner known as tahara. This preparation is the work of a community’s sacred society or chevre kaddisha.

All minyan members are invited to participate in this mitzvah and the services of the PCK are available to all minyan members and their families.

For general information on ritual and practice related to tahara, please visit www.jewish-funerals.org.

If you have specific interest in the PCK, please contact Alan Hobscheid at ahobscheid@cookcountygov.com.

Tzedakah and Loving Kindness

Our minyan sponsors a Tzedakah fund to which members can contribute anonymous donations, along with other funds that benefit specific activities. Money for the fund is also raised through the sale of tribute cards, Purim ‘Mishloach Manot’ cards and special fund raising events. Monies are distributed to various charitable organizations in Israel and the United States. The Tzedakah Fund is managed by a committee which meets periodically to select beneficiary organizations. Any member is welcome to join.

Mah Tovu members informally support each other in times of illness or a death in the family. Emergency communications, through phone or e-mail, inform members about needs for meals, visits, funerals and Shivas. This warm and caring atmosphere is one of our minyan’s greatest assets.