Mitzvah Program Seeks Volunteers

Now in its 16th year, the MorseLife Homebound Mitzvah Program and its volunteers will make a difference Tuesday, Sept. 3 to Jewish, frail, homebound seniors over the High Holidays who otherwise would not be able to experience the joys and traditions of the season.

According to Linda Sevich, MorseLife director of community-based services, more than 400 volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life will have prepared Homebound Mitzvah program packages and deliver them on Sept. 3 to seniors throughout Palm Beach County and vicinity.

“For some people, particularly seniors with family members who have passed on or live a distance from them, the holidays can be the loneliest time of the year,” Sevich said. “It has been such an honor for us to be able to bring the joys and traditions of the High Holidays to them. It is truly a beautiful mitzvah.”

The High Holidays, the most important period of prayer, reflection and celebration of the New Year for Jewish people, begin with Rosh Hashanah on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 4 and continue with Yom Kippur, which begins on the evening of Friday, Sept. 13.

Homebound Mitzvah program volunteers will gather for their deliveries on the MorseLife campus at 4847 Fred Gladstone Drive (off Haverhill Road) in West Palm Beach, and on the Jewish Community Center campus in Boynton Beach at 8500 Jog Road from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Volunteers deliver packages to the homes of area Jewish seniors that include kosher meals prepared by Morse’s Culinary and Nutritional Services Department, prayer books, a DVD of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and other tradition items. Just as important, volunteers provide “quality time” to Homebound Mitzvah program recipients, sitting and talking with them for a while to bring additional warmth to the delivery.

Since 1997, the program has reached out to the area’s homebound elders in hopes of diminishing the loneliness and isolation frequently felt over Jewish holidays. It was founded by Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz, who had nurtured a similar program, called Dorot in New York, to help isolated seniors.

To volunteer for the program, or to order High-Holiday packages, call (561) 282-5388.