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CBS Cares during the COVID-19 Pandemic

CBS Cares is the name for the way that we at Congregation B’nai Shalom have made every member of our congregation a de facto member of a ‘caring committee.’ A member has a need and, after assigning a point person to be a liaison for that member, we send out an email requesting a volunteer or volunteers to help with that one need. The email is sent out to one of 6 regions, drawn around the 30 towns in which our members live, so that somebody geographically nearby can respond. Only when the volunteer has been assigned is the identity of the one in need shared with the volunteer, protecting the privacy of our members. This system provides every one of our members with the opportunity to respond to a single call to fulfill the needs of another member when they see a CBS Cares email go out to their region.

Our CBS Cares Covid-19 response team is the result of an incredible outpouring of response from our members to a call to help that we put out in the first week of our stay-at-home directives.

50 members are making calls to our seniors and our single headed households to provide support for those who might be most isolated or in need of assistance. In this way, they are learning of needs for assistance for pharmacy pick-ups or a contact-free grocery delivery, which we are offering to provide. They report these needs via online forms that are received by our Regional Coordinators and this then sets in motion the process by which we send out a CBS Cares request to one of our regions. More than that, these regular phone calls are providing social contact for our more vulnerable or isolated members, reaching approximately 160 of our 450 member households regularly. Sometimes listening is enough. When requested by the member, information is passed on to the Rabbi for additional follow-up.

The response of our members has been deeply moving, not only when a call for assistance goes out to some of our towns, but in the generosity through our Rabbi Debra Hachen Caring Fund to provide funds that we can use to support our members in need. Our CBS Cares team that has formed in response to the intensity of the current need has been an absolute lifeline to many of our members, as well as a community of connection to each other.

Contact Rabbi Gurevitz:

  • If you are not currently receiving calls and would appreciate a CBS Cares call from a volunteer or the Rabbi
  • If you need assistance with groceries or pharmacy pick-ups, even if you are not on our regular call list.
  • If you need financial assistance from the Rabbi Hachen Caring Fund. All requests are handled in the strictest confidence.
Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyar 5782