Since lockdown, Jewish Care’s Meals on Wheels service has provided more than 16,500 meals thanks to an army of volunteers who are now delivering special treats for Rosh Hashanah.
In the run up to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which falls on September 19-21, volunteers will deliver the meals with traditional treats such as honey, apple and honey cakes.
The meals are a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable and allow the volunteers to have a chat and check up on them.
One recipient, Sheila Penfield said: “The meals are truly a lifesaver. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
Volunteer Mitch Winehouse said it’s been great to build up a rapport with the people he’s delivered meals to throughout lockdown.
On Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to enjoy these sweet treats and to ask for a year full of sweetness, goodness and kindness.
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Jewish Care’s spiritual and pastoral lead, Rabbi Junik, said: “Rosh Hashanah is a new beginning for us and also gives us a chance to reflect.
“For many, it’s a time to spend in prayer as we ask for health and that this should be a sweeter, better year for us.”
The time approaching the New Year is also traditionally a time when one visits parents and deceased relative’s burial stones, to honour them.
Jewish Care staff are now able to take a photo of the stone online to share with residents and members of community centres who would usually go to the burial grounds but are now unable to do so.
In Vi & John Ruben’s House care home in Gants Hill, volunteers will be making Kiddush together online and running discussion groups and virtual activities.
Activity coordinator Jacklin Stephenson said: “We are trying to make life as normal as possible and being creative so our residents can actively continue to celebrate all the festivals and shabbat throughout the year.
“The volunteers who support us are so dedicated to ensuring that the residents are involved in preparing for festivals even though they can’t physically come into the home this year.
Chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown added: “We look forward to celebrating Rosh Hashanah and many other bright moments to come, however, we continue to remain vigilant and support and protect our residents and clients during the pandemic.”
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