Now nearing its 20th year, the MorseLife Health System Homebound Mitzvah Program and its volunteers will make a difference on Thursday, Sept. 29 to Jewish frail homebound seniors over the High Holidays who otherwise would not be able to experience the joys and traditions of the holidays.
More than 400 volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life will 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 Sunday, Oct. 2, and continue with Yom Kippur starting on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and ending at sundown on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
“The challenge for many of our community’s seniors is the passing of loved ones and friends, or the distance they are from their children, and this is particularly evident over the holidays,” said Linda Sevich, director of community services at MorseLife, who has run the program throughout its existence. “For nearly 20 years, it has been such an honor for us to be able to bring the joys and traditions of the Jewish New Year to them on what could be the loneliest time of the year. 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 at 8600 Jog Road in Boynton Beach from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
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 Katz, who had nurtured a similar program in New York to help isolated seniors. The program 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 at (561) 282-5388 by Sept. 14. For more information about MorseLife, visit www.morselife.org.