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Member of the Union of Reform Judaism
  Mitzvah Corps

The University Synagogue Mitzvah Corps is the caring community organization at University Synagogue. It strives to help with the happy, sad, and challenging events which happen to members and their families. Members reach out to help other congregants in need of a helping hand, supportive call, a meal, or a listening ear.

For questions about involvement or benefit information please call the Synagogue office at 310/472-1255, ask for Sue Share and leave a message with her for Margarete Feinstein. You may email Rabbi Morley Feinstein at rabbifeinstein@unisyn.org or Rabbi Joel Simonds at rabbisimonds@unisyn.org directly and they will also respond to you.

Bikur Holim –Visiting the Sick
Volunteers for bikur holim make contact with a recipient (visit at the hospital, call or visit upon release from hospital, card or other contact).  They write condolence notes to congregants who suffer a death in the family during the week that the volunteer is on duty.
Fifth Commandment Group
follows the tenet, “Honor Your Father and Your Mother” from the Torah.  It focuses its activities for congregants coping with issues of elder care and grief.  It supports adult children coping with aging parents through educational programming. It is also considering providing occasional relief for caretakers (e.g., pick up groceries or prescriptions, respite care with infirm parent for caretaker congregant.)
Shabbat Shuttle
Transportation, pre-arranged through the office, can be provided to congregants who need a lift to services.  Taxi service round-trip is provided and paid for through the Mitzvah Corps.
Cancer Support Group
has created a program with a speaker about the importance of genetic testing to women, especially those of Ashkenazi descent.  In discussion is the formation of a mentoring program to match cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients.
Let Our People Go
insures that every congregant has a place for first night Passover Seder, by matching host congregants with those needing a place for Pesach.
Havdalah Happenings
are social opportunities in the summer to meet and greet fellow congregants.
Meal Mavens
prepare home-cooked meals that are then frozen and later delivered to someone just home from the hospital, families in mourning, families with a newborn, or otherwise in need of sustenance.
Shiva Solace
will provide comfort to mourners, relieving them of the burden of being the "host" at the consolation meal or shiva minyan.  Volunteers: bring food prepared by Meal Mavens and contact the mourner, offering to help prepare the home for consolation meal or for the shiva minyan.  Depending on the mourner's wishes this could include: putting out a pitcher with water for those returning from the graveside, helping in the kitchen to put food on the table and/or for clean-up, answering the door to receive floral and food deliveries.
Friends of the Family
provides support to families with newborns and families with young children who are experiencing a crisis (e.g., illness of a parent or sibling, death of a grandparent).  This involves a visit to the family with a newborn to assist with chores or to baby-sit.  Playdates can be arranged for sibling of a newborn or sick child or for child(ren) whose parent is in mourning or ill. These members provide a sympathetic ear for a new mother or father.
Special Needs Programs
University Synagogue has partnered with other congregations to create support groups for parents with    children with special needs .  HaMercaz, a central resource for families raising a child with special needs has co-sponsored programs with our Mitzvah Corps.
11960 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles California 90049-4228
310-472-1255 Fax 310-476-3237 www.unisyn.org
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