During the summer of 2001, in response to the growing needs of Temple Solel's congregants, a caring group of Solel members formed a new committee. The committee members realized that congregants' needs weren't just clergy issues, but that members of the congregation also have a responsibility to be there for other members. This new committee and its services would serve as a complement to the clergy and in partnership with them. The group decided to call itself "Hineynu," meaning "Here we are," after the classical response of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses to God's call - "Hineyni," "Here I am!" The Hineynu Community has since responded to the needs of the Temple's members both in good times and bad --- organizing food, calls, and visits to the those who are ill or in need of comfort; sending cards of well wishes, condolence, and Mazel Tov; and having trees planted in memory of the first degree relatives of congregants. In addition, the Steering committee has organized the creation of the healing tapestries currently used at the Kol Echod and healing services. Members of the Steering Committee wrote a Guide for Jewish Death and Mourning. The Steering Committee also cosponsors special events and guest speakers to help meet the needs of congregants. Current members who started Hineynu include Linda Hutkin-Slade and Jayne Marx. Other current Hineynu Steering Committee members are Barbara Emont, Eileen Ferber, Annette Friend, Jodi Lasensky, Ruby-Ann Rudnick, Jane Schatt, Carolyn Wolf, Melinda Wynar, Illana Woods, Julie Glazer, Laura Dolloff, Linda Berezny-Zuieback and Mona Angel. Our clergy and staff have been pivotal to the success of the steering committee; they are partners in the true sense of word, and we thank them all sincerely. And additional thanks go out to the hundreds of congregants --- the larger Hineynu Community, who have answered the call to help by writing cards, cooking and/or delivering meals, and visiting the sick. --- we couldn't do it without you! "Hineynu!" "Here we still are!
The Hineynu Caring Community We Are Here is a network of Temple Solel members designed for in-reach to families in need. Hineynu encourages participation in fulfilling the mitzvah of Gemilut Chasidim—acts of lovingkindness; visiting the sick, consoling the bereaved, and welcoming the stranger. The Hineynu Caring Community responds to the emotional and special needs of our congregational family, especially in relation to illness, bereavement, and major life changes through supportive services such as hospital and home visitation, and provision of meals.
Hineynu Steering Committee Team Captains:
Mitzvah Meals provides meals to the sick and the disabled. Chaired by Illana Woods firstname.lastname@example.org, Jodi Lasensky email@example.com, Laura Dolloff firstname.lastname@example.org, Jane Schatt email@example.com
Healing Tapestry is used during certain Friday night services for congregants to gather under during the Mi Shebeirach. Squares have been designed and handmade by congregants, our preschool and religious school children, and members of Kibbutz Ruhama in Israel.
Hineynu Callers keeps in touch by phone with those members who are lonely or homebound.
Chaired by Jodi Lasensky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel Trees sends JNF tree certificates to acknowledge deaths of first degree relatives (parents, spouses, children, siblings).
Chaired by Carolyn Wolf, email@example.com
Simcha & Well Wishes Corps acknowledges special occasions such as births, engagements, weddings, special anniversaries and also sends condolence, get well and thinking of you cards - Chaired by Barbara Emont, firstname.lastname@example.org
Well Wishes - Chaired by Melinda Wynar, email@example.com
Events - Chaired by Annette Friend, firstname.lastname@example.org
Temple Liaison - Chaired by Ruby-Ann Rudnick, email@example.com
The Bereavement Guide was written and published by the Temple Solel Hineynu Steering Committee to provide information to congregants in order to better understand our Jewish traditions for death and mourning. Whether you are supporting another through this time, dealing with a crisis or preparing for the future, this booklet offers necessary background along with immediate resources. Click here to download The Jewish Path for Death and Mourning: A Guide to Rituals and Practice.
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