National Volunteer Month: Meet Our Dedicated Chaplaincy Volunteers

April 12, 2022

National Volunteer Month: Meet Our Dedicated Chaplaincy Volunteers

At Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS), we are proud to offer chaplaincy services to our community. Our chaplaincy volunteers visit hospitals and senior care homes to spend time with Jewish patients who would benefit from a friendly and warm connection. These volunteers spread "Jewish sunshine" to those who are sick (Bikkur Cholim), and also help celebrate joyful occasions, like the birth of a child. Volunteers socialize with clients, deliver sweet treats and gift baskets, and sometimes even make cards. Led by Rabbi Judith Beiner, the chaplaincy program also provides training for care facility staff and hospital chaplains.

Though chaplaincy volunteering opportunities have been limited due to the pandemic, their work is more important than ever. Today, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we want to highlight a small group of dedicated chaplaincy volunteers who have been making a difference in our community where it’s needed the most.

As a longtime chaplaincy volunteer, Alyson Spector is always happy to lend a helping hand where it’s needed. One of her favorite ways to volunteer is to deliver sweet treats to various care facilities that JF&CS chaplaincy volunteers frequent. Her friendly “can do” attitude helps JF&CS reach those in need during the difficulties of living during a pandemic.

Rabbi Neil Sandler, who serves as the Rabbi for Ahavath Achim Synagogue, has also been a part of the chaplaincy program for a while. When he can, Rabbi Sandler visits people in hospitals and care facilities, taking the time to provide spiritual care and comfort to those who need it.

Before the pandemic began, Felicia Berne was a regular chaplaincy volunteer for hospital visits. Since COVID has restricted those visits, Felicia happily helps with the assembly and delivery of sweet treat packages for the care facilities.

Marcia Pearl, another long-term chaplaincy volunteer, has found new volunteer opportunities within other service areas at the agency while the pandemic continues to restrict hospital visits.

Adi Feen reached out to our chaplaincy program to make cards for the holidays, which were then delivered to older adults in care facilities. Adi, who has a background in Jewish education and a daughter at Atlanta Jewish Academy, was able to convince some of the sixth graders to make cards for Hanukkah, Purim, and Passover. These cards put on a smile on the residents’ faces and helped them realize they are not alone.

In addition to our longstanding and dedicated volunteers, we have two brand new volunteers that we are excited to have come on board. Jill Jeffries and Kerri Katz will be starting as chaplaincy volunteers this month, just in time for National Volunteer Month! We are so thankful to have new volunteers as we continue our meaningful and important work.

Thank you to all JF&CS chaplaincy volunteers for all that you do. Happy National Volunteer Month – we couldn’t do it without you!

If you’d like to learn more about the chaplaincy program at JF&CS, and what you can do to help, please click the button below to visit our chaplaincy page.