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Pandemic 101: A TBZ Hesed Point of View

No one in our community could have seen this pandemic coming. Every one of us may be experiencing disorientation, dislocation, feelings of helplessness, insecurity, loneliness, and uncertainty. Every one of us is figuring out minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, how to navigate this unknown and potentially frightening situation and wondering if we are doing it right, doing what is best, and how long this will go on. 

You are not alone in grappling with feelings of uncertainty and unease. There is no guidebook to tell us what to do, with new and sometimes contradictory information coming in nearly every day, and each one of us is trying our best to cope and keep a positive attitude. You or those you love may have experienced or are still experiencing the effects of the virus first-hand, the loss of loved ones and friends to COVID-19, and potentially the loss of income and job security. As we continue to mourn together within our TBZ community, we are aware of our neighboring Black and Latino communities who have suffered disproportionately from the loss of life and the economic impact of the pandemic. And, yet, at times, we may feel despair, angst and groundlessness as we wonder how this will play out and how long we can hold on in this state of limbo.

TBZ’s Hesed Committee is here for you.

You are not alone in trying to figure this out.

You have rabbis who care about you deeply.

You have a community who misses you and wants to help you.

You have friends who want to connect with you.

Whatever is going on right now, whether you are sheltering on your own or with family or others, stresses are occurring for which there is no prior experience or direction on how to move forward. Just as the experts have learned more as the pandemic goes on, so have we, your community.

Here are some things Rav Claudia and the TBZ’s Hesed Committee can help you with:

  • Pastoral needs
  • Caring for and supporting the sick
  • Connection with others and emotional support
  • Supporting the mourners, bereavement support
  • Help with food or immediate necessities (help with shopping, food insecurity)
  • Help with connecting virtually with TBZ (technological needs)
  • Help with economic emergencies
  • Help connect you to other resources or other organizations that might be able to address your need.

Again, TBZ’s Hesed community is here for you! The only way we can reach out, however, is if we know what is going on. Do not be hesitant or shy about letting Rav Claudia know if you are experiencing fear, worry, or concern about anything, from physical to emotional to economic needs to spiritual safety. She wants to help.

Do you know someone who would benefit from a call from Rav Claudia? Please let Rav Claudia know. Now is the time when it is more important than ever to understand that you are part of the larger TBZ community and that you are not alone, whatever your situation. You are important. Your well-being matters. Your community has not forgotten you. You make us who we are.  

Hesed is a keystone to building community at TBZ. One day you might be helping someone. The next day you might need help yourself and the TBZ community will be there to help you. Hesed allows us to experience both the joy of giving and receiving.  We are in this together, we need each other, and we depend on each other.  

Please let us know how you are doing and if you, or someone you know needs help. 

Be well, stay safe, we miss you!


Rav Claudia

Amy Bullock &

Hesed Steering Committee

JVS Employment Services for the Jewish Community:

Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) has partnered with Temple Beth Shalom of Needham, Temple Beth Zion of Brookline, and Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley for a biweekly Job Search Support Group. The goal of this group is to provide support, information, and strategies to professionals in managing their job search in the age of Covid-19. This series will be run by experienced Career Professional Amy Mazur. The next Job Seeker Support Group begins on Thursday, December 3, and participants can register with Amy at by November 25. For more information contact Debbie Morley, TBZ liaison to JVS. See flyer for more details.

Feeding Our Hungry Neighbors 

At TBZ, we are committed to caring for those most in need. If you are able, please consider getting involved and supporting the following initiatives: 

Family Table: Because we cannot bring crackers and soup, consider sending a donation to JF&CS: By check: 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 with Family Table in the memo line. By card: Click here (under “Please Apply My Gift to” put “Family Table” and feel free to put “from TBZ” in the notes section.

Brookline Food Pantry: The Brookline Food Pantry continues to need donations of rice, cereal, mac and cheese, oatmeal, and lentils as well as diapers, formula and baby food. To ensure safe social distancing and to minimize community exposure, the Pantry is offering a "drive by or walk by" drop off: Wednesdays from 11:30am-1:30pm, Thursdays from 9am-11am, and Fridays from 9:30am-12pm at their location at 15 St. Paul Street. You can find more information as well a make a donation online at by clicking here: Brookline Food Pantry

Organizing TBZ to help our neighbors in Chelsea 

As a community of low wage immigrant families, the Chelsea neighborhood has suffered some of the most losses, the most cases of Covid-19, and the most widespread unemployment. Families are running out of food daily. 

You can make financial donations to the Chelsea Collaborative or the One Chelsea Fund.  

Donations of non-perishable canned food can be left on the porch of TBZ Member Jen Wofford (173 Davis Ave, Brookline). 

Stay Connected

During these challenging times, we continue to encourage you to reach out to each other. Open the directory and call someone, text them, schedule a video call, even if you don't know them well — let's check in. Let's stay connected. Let's continue to build our community. (Note: you must be logged in to view the TBZ Member Directory.) If you missed the message about how to upload your picture to the TBZ Directory, check it out here!

Dues and Donations during Distancing

Please note that the US Mail is being delivered intermittently and often it is delayed. We invite you to use a credit card online, through ShulCloud which is a secure site, to keep up to date with dues, tuition, fees and donations.  

Using a credit card also means one less means of spreading the virus through mail carriers. If you choose to pay by check, please know that it will take longer for your check to be applied to your account and to clear the banking system. 

Mental Health

Download a PDF of Mental Health Resources from TBZ's Inclusion Committee.

JF&CS Mental Health Connect:

Throughout this pandemic, we’re seeing unprecedented mental health challenges across our community—including loneliness, depression, substance misuse, and so much more. There is no road map for navigating these very different situations, and due to the stigma that still exists around mental health, those in need are challenged to ask for help. 

In response to this growing need, and in partnership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies, we have launched JF&CS Mental Health Connect— a free, confidential information and referral service. Staffed by mental health professionals, JF&CS Mental Health Connect can help you find the mental health resources and support you need, how and when you need them. The service is available via email or phone: 781-693-5562. 

Through JF&CS Mental Health Connect, callers will be able to reach a JF&CS mental health professional who will take the time to understand their situation and connect them with expert advice and appropriate resources—either through JF&CS, community partners, or other social service or healthcare providers. This support and resource navigation is available free of charge. Click here to learn more about JF&CS Mental Health Connect, or any of our other mental health support programs.

TBZ's COVID Protocols for In Person Services - May 2021

Thu, May 6 2021 24 Iyyar 5781