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Chesed (Lovingkindness) Coordinating Committee

What the Chesed Coordinating Committee does – The Essence

In Kehilla, we strive to treat each other with kindness and compassion every day. Sometimes an extra effort is called for. The Chesed (Lovingkindness) Coordinating Committee connects people who have a short term need for food, rides, shopping or other assistance as a result of an injury, illness, birth, or other sudden life change, with the larger Kehilla community.

If you are a member needing help, you may contact Dee at, or Chesed at (on weekends) or call Dee at 547-2424 ext. 100 to let her know. She will notify the Chesed Coordinating Committee and someone will contact you, usually within a day or two… it’s that easy.  A committee member may help determine exactly what your needs are, assist in composing an email requesting support from all or part of the larger Kehilla community or assist in setting up a Wejoinin (or similar) website to organize getting your needs met.

The Chesed Coordinating Committee has also offered workshops on caregiving, with a focus on eldercare and caring for the caregiver.  We have initiated an ongoing caregiver support group. Let us know if you are interested in such a group and, if an appropriate one is not available, the Committee will help form another.

Things Kehilla Members Do – More Than You Might Think

Throughout the year Kehilla Members help one another by:

  • bringing meals to folks post-surgery or to families with new babies.
  • visiting and bringing meals to those who have lost a loved one.
  • giving rides to the doctor, the chiropractor, the store, and to various Kehilla events that members might otherwise miss.
  • calling those who have limited mobility, to chat and stay connected.
  • visiting folks who are older and less able to leave their homes.
  • shopping for food.
  • running errands for people who are house-bound.


Other Activities of the Chesed Coordinating Committee

In a growing community it is easy to feel lost. New members need a way to meet the people in their new Jewish family. Over the years, the Chesed Coordinating Committee has organized annual Kehilla-wide brunches within neighborhoods. Usually held in the fall, the brunches have allowed members to spend some time getting to know Kehilla neighbors who live nearby. Ideally people use the brunches to connect, re-connect and deepen their personal relationships in part so that it will be more comfortable to both ask for and receive help from Kehilla neighbors.

Neighborhood Caring (Chesed) Groups – A Supportive Future

We continue to work towards a program of dividing the Kehilla community into several smaller neighborhood caring groups. Thus far, the one group in El Cerrito/Richmond is doing wonderfully! The idea is to have people in Kehilla who live relatively close to each other get to know one another through additional informal gatherings augmenting our annual neighborhood brunches. The hope is that when a Chesed need arises it will be addressed by those close by who are somewhat more familiar with the person/family.

In order for other groups to get up and running, we need people to volunteer to coordinate caring groups in their neighborhood. The Chesed Coordinating Committee will train you in how to do this…it’s not rocket science and it is a fabulous way to meet your neighbors and fulfill your member volunteer hours.

If you are interested in learning more about this delightful opportunity, please contact the Chesed Coordinating Committee at Chesed@kehillasynagogue.


Free Loan Program – G’Milut Chesed

Kehilla’s Free Loan program is administered by our committee. It’s a quick and easy way for Kehilla members to get some temporary financial relief during difficult times. Loans of about $500. are available for about six months. No interest, no fuss, no muss.

If you want more information about the Free Loan Program please contact the Chesed Coordinating Committee at Chesed@kehillasynagogue . Confidentiality will be respected!


Ditty’s Closet – A Virtual Closet for the Free Loan of Real Durable Medical Equipment

Founded in 2013, Ditty’s Closet continues to make equipment already owned by members available to those of us who need physical aids during rehab, recovery, following surgery or an illness. At the present time, over 75 items–from ice machines to walkers and from crutches to shower benches– are in use or waiting for their next opportunity to be useful. To find out more about items available through Ditty’s Closet click here or Contact If you have items to add to the inventory (you keep them at your house), please contact us! The biggest ongoing needs are for walkers with seats and shower chairs.

What You Receive through Chesed Opportunities – A Gift Each Time

It is a wonderful feeling to both give and to receive loving kindness within Kehilla. We have great fun at our neighborhood Chesed groups. We love providing and receiving support from our neighbors, and encourage all of you to become active participants in providing random acts of loving kindness. If you are interested in forming a group in your neighborhood, or would like to speak with someone to find out more about it, please email us at

Yours with loving kindness,
The Chesed 
Coordinating Committee

  • Meal Delivery for Seniors at Risk of Covid-19 Please note that there are currently two different meal delivery programs available to seniors who are impacted by COVID-19. They are not to be confused with each other and each is described below:
    Great Plates delivers free restaurant meals for adults age 65 and older or adults age 60-64 who are at … »
  • The Mi Shebeirach List: a note from the Chesed CommitteeThe healing power of our community is available to us in many ways. One of them is during the Torah service.  As part of the healing prayer, in the Mi Shebeirach, we mention the names of those who are ill, injured, in distress or recovering. During that prayer, the community prays for physical, psychological and/or spiritual … »
  • An Interview with Laurel Zien, Chesed Committee Co-Chairby Bill Lazarus
    Laurel Zien, co-chair with Hedy Straus of Kehilla’s Chesed (Lovingkindness Committee), remembers her mom’s generous spirit. “If Ditty was wearing a coat and you said something like I like that a lot, she’d say, ‘Here, take it.’ Anything in her closet you were welcome to have.”
    About seven years ago, after her husband died, … »


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