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Answering the call for "Jewish Visit"

Friday, 24 December, 2010 - 1:46 pm

Dear friends,

I was fairly new to Victoria, close to 6 years ago, when I received a phone call from a seniors’ home saying, "we have two Jewish ladies here, who would appreciate a visit from a Rabbi.” I think this call was fully answered just minutes ago.

Following that phone conversation, I made my way the next Friday with two Challas to the home. On this visit, I found only one woman, Sara. She was all dressed for the occasion, and although she wasn't in full mental capacity, it was clear that she was overly excited by the visit. It seemed that what brought to her great joy was the fact that this was a "Jewish visit".   

I thought right then about the idea of starting "Jewish visits" to seniors in Victoria. The next Chanukah children of our Hebrew School visited Sara and eight other men and women in other homes, gave them latkes they prepared, Chanukah cards they created and even sang Chanukah songs with them... Over the years many were touched by this initiative and the response from the seniors and their families was overwhelming.

This year we unfortunately forgot to arrange the seniors’ home Chanukah visit. Although our Chanukah was, thank G-d, very busy and successful, we felt that we have failed by forgetting the elderly...

Sara Tafler, the woman who I met that Friday afternoon with a Challah - in the visit which inspired us to start this project - past away this week. While walking behind her coffin at the funeral just minutes ago, I promised myself that we will make every effort not to forget the elders of our community who cannot attend community celebration, and do what we can to bring them the joy and warmth of Judaism which is so dear to them! May this recommitment be in her memory.

Sara Tafler.JPG

Sara Tafler with children of Chabad Hebrew School, Chanukah 2005. 

Comments on: Answering the call for "Jewish Visit"

Ireta wrote...

Thank you for this important message. I know of only 1 person in a seniors home, Clare Shaffer age 103. Please send out by email the names, and homes of the others. Gut Shabbos.

Lindy Shortt wrote...

We were touched by your beautiful message. May Sara's memory be a blessing to all of us and a reminder that our elders are an important part of our history, present and future.

Gut Shabbos,

Stan and Lindy

Susan wrote...

Always good to promote camp. Let me add anohetr thought: Grandparents should think seriously about giving their grandkids a summer at camp gift for Chanukah. We have been doing that for years for our grandkids. We always give them a certificate entitling them to register for camp at a sessio of their own choosing. We did this for years for Jeremy (Swig.Newman), are still doing it for Adam who in 2011 will be a CIT (Newman) and have been doing it for Sarah and leah (Gindling Hilltop) since they were old enough to go to camp. It's a bit expensive to send three or four kids to camp but worth every penny. It's the best give we could give and that they could receive. It would be nice if the URJ camps developed Gift Certificates for grandparents to give. I have suggested it but received no response.