Bikkur in the Home
Bikkur in the Home
Committee Chairs: Esther Rimokh, Nicole Robles and Heather Conn
BiKkur in the Home Program (BKITH), the Chesed League of the Upper West Side, provides unique opportunities to aid the Home-bound in their private homes and in local nursing homes (106th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam). The program is composed of trained and sensitive volunteers who can service the home-bound individually, in pairs, or in groups. Volunteer opportunities range from telephone visits, to home visits, Shabbos visits, Birthday visits, errands and escorting. Through these chesed activities, volunteers alleviate the home-bound’s feelings of isolation; replacing them with care and concern on a communal level. Our talented volunteers refuel their spirits, share good cheer, and offer blessings on behalf of The JC congregation. In turn, the rewards gleaned from volunteering are transformative! Volunteers are enriched from the tremendous wisdom of the home bound; new social networks are forged; personal growth is enhanced; all the while both the visitor and the resident feel immensely fulfilled, which strengthens The JC community!
What kind of time commitment is required of volunteers?
There are plenty of Chesed opportunities that require only a one-time commitment and other opportunities require a greater time commitment. We respect your preferred commitment and time constraints! Volunteers are matched in a location easily accessible to their home. Our program coordinator works with volunteers to find opportunities tailored to their schedules and preferences! Any help is greatly appreciated and valued.
Our Dedicated Team!
By joining a team of dedicated volunteers, you will be supported every step of the way! Newcomers will receive an orientation. They will be paired with seasoned volunteers who will familiarize you with a wonderful visiting experience. Volunteering can be done individually, in pairs, or in groups. All our services are made available with sensitivity, privacy, and dignity. If you have any further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone Visits - Reassurance over the phone can transform a phone call into a Mitzvah! When a volunteer calls to inquire about how a home-bound individual is faring, the homebound often dons a smile on the other end! During telephone visits, the volunteer engages in social conversation, sings, provides blessings, and offers intellectual stimulation! Telephone visits typically last between 10-15 minutes.
Home Visits - As friendly visitors, we provide face-to-face visits in private homes or at the local nursing homes (i.e. The Jewish Home for the Aged [106 Street between Columbus and Amsterdam]). We offer companionship, intellectual conversation, blessings, Divrei Torah, according to the needs and the desires of the person being visited. Visits typically last between 20-25 minutes.
Shabbat Visits - On Shabbat, the BiKkur In The Home group meets in front of the Westmont Lobby between 2:45-4:00 PM (depending upon when Shabbat ends). Volunteers pair off, or join small groups, to visit the home-bound in their private homes or in the local nursing home. The visits typically last between 20-25 minutes.
Birthday Visits - The time-honored Jewish birthday wish is “until 120.” BKITH brings joy to the homebound through a celebratory birthday visit. We honor the home-bound through birthday blessings, festivities, and birthday goodies!
Shop & Escort - When possible, volunteers provide assistance in purchasing weekday, Shabbat or holiday supplies. Volunteers may also escort the home-bound to the synagogue, on a walk to the park, or on performing errands.
Meal delivery - During times of need, such as illness, or mourning, meal deliveries can be coordinated.
If you know any home-bound resident, who may need any type of assistance, please refer them to us. Our coordinator will discreetly coordinate with our volunteer team. We also seek volunteers with ideas on how we might extend our endeavors to better serve the home-bound. If the BikJur In The Home program has limited resources to provide appropriate assistance, we will happily refer you to other support systems where you can access what you need. For any of these inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
If you would like to volunteer or access our services for yourself or a significant other, please fill out this form. We look forward to contacting you shortly!
“I've loved visiting Barry over the last four weeks, through Bikkur In The Home. It has been an honor and an absolute pleasure to visit with B.G. on Monday evenings. He is full of stories - of travel, fun, and family - and he'll even sing a song every now and then. I really enjoy being in his company. And, it’s nice to know that he enjoys my company, too, and that he looks forward to my visits. It's wonderful that the Jewish Center facilitates these opportunities for people like me. Thank you!”
“Ever since last summer, when I first began volunteering with Bikkur In The Home, I have felt spiritually uplifted by the wonderful mitzvah of visiting home-bound residents on the Upper West Side. Initially, I wasn't sure if Bikkur In The Home was a good fit for me since I was more comfortable with children since I spend my weekdays as a high school teacher. After the encouragement of my friend Esther, who leads Bikkur In The Home of the Upper West Side, I decided to make a few visits. Soon, I was touched by the warm people who have been lifelong members of my neighborhood shuls. They eagerly shared their life stories, travels, knowledge of Hebrew, love for Israel, Torah wisdom, and experiences in the community we shared. I felt so grateful to have the opportunity to visit with them, yet they showered me with their gratitude for the visits. I strongly believe that Bikkur In The Home is the chesed that helps ignite my spiritual growth. Not only should we be a light onto the nations, but we should also bring more light within our community, and Bikkur In The Home brightens that light for the beloved, homebound members of our Jewish community.”
“After participating in the Bikkur In The Home visits program, I soon realized what an amazing group of people are involved in Bikkur Cholim. Going into each visit with a goal of connecting with another person and putting a smile on his/her face, I unexpectedly received exactly the same in return.”
“Volunteering with Bikkur In The Home has been a rewarding experience. Not only does it allow me to perform a mitzvah of visiting home-bound seniors, but gives me the opportunity to gain wisdom. Enabling them to share their life stories and experiences is something they cherish and is an incredible learning opportunity. To walk into their home or center and see their face light up is special as they appreciate visitors.”
"Through my experiences visiting the home-bound, I gained invaluable personal growth. I have found the experience to be humbling and gratifying, realizing that a simple smile, a conversation, or just even your presence can give hope and strength to an individual that is in a most vulnerable state. My visits with the home-bound ignite within me the powerful reminders of the unique, divine worth, and value within each individual. I have also gained a tremendous amount of wisdom and knowledge from their life experiences. Their life lessons were compelling reminders of what to invest in our present lives and before our elder years; health, family, and community.”
“I was asked to look after an elderly lady who was unable to come to shul anymore. The shul was an important part of her life. People have to feel needed and so we asked Lily for some advice; she gave us great insights that only experience and time can teach. We started out by wanting to give, but we got back so much more than we gave. The special feeling of doing what Hashem wants us to do, giving meaning and joy to another soul, learning from their wisdom and experiences and from the mistakes made and the victories won, and the pleasure of discovering a wonderful human being we never would have met and could model after were transmitted through Bikkur Cholim visits. Most importantly, WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!!! We all have so much power. Our lives are like a book we are writing with ourselves playing the hero/heroine. Who do we want to be?”