Now in its twentieth year, the MorseLife Health System Homebound Mitzvah Program and its volunteers are making a difference on Monday, September 18 to Jewish frail homebound seniors over the High Holidays who otherwise would not be able to experience its joys and traditions.
More than 400 volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life prepare Homebound Mitzvah Program packages to deliver to seniors throughout Palm Beach County. The packages include traditional kosher meals, wine, large print prayer book and a DVD of services conducted by Rabbi Alan Sherman, Chaplain at MorseLife.
Just as important, volunteers provide “quality time” to Homebound Mitzvah Program recipients – sitting and talking with them to bring some additional warmth to the delivery. The High Holidays commence with Erev Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday, September 20, and continue with Yom Kippur commencing on Friday, September 29 and ending at sundown on Saturday, September 30.
“The Jewish holidays can be particularly lonely for many of our community’s seniors who have lost their spouses and good friends, and who do not have children or other close relatives nearby,” said Linda Sevich, Director of Community Services for MorseLife who has run this program throughout its existence. “It has been our honor for 20 years to be able to bring the joys and traditions of the Jewish New Year to them – it is truly a beautiful mitzvah.”
Homebound Mitzvah Program volunteers will gather for their deliveries on the MorseLife Health System campus at 4847 Fred Gladstone Drive (off Haverhill Road) in West Palm Beach, and at Temple Torah in Boynton Beach at 8600 Jog Road from 8:30 until 3:30 pm.
Since 1997, the Homebound Mitzvah Program has been reaching out to the area’s homebound elders in hopes of diminishing the loneliness and isolation frequently felt over Jewish holidays such as the High Holidays and Passover. It was founded by Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz, who had nurtured a similar program called Dorot in New York to help isolated seniors, and is made possible through the generosity of community philanthropists and a grant from the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.
For more information on volunteering or receiving packages, call Linda Sevich by September 1 at (561) 282-5388.