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Points of View
In Times of Stress--Who to Call
My Point of View, September, 2005
© Rabbi Jack Moline

  (bikkur cholim means visiting the sick)
  Contact: Ellen Bayer Pearlstein - 703-933-6063  e-mail:

The Bikkur Cholim Committee, in addition to visiting the sick members of our congregation, can make arrangements for meals to be delivered to a family in need (when someone is ill, or returning from a hospital stay, or for any other reason). They can also arrange for transportation for a sick congregant, to and from the doctor, medical treatments, etc. They have even arranged for grocery shopping and help with meal preparation when necessary.

(chevra kadisha means the sacred society, also known as the burial society)
  Contact: Gary Greenbaum - 703-849-9876 (Chevra Kadisha)  e-mail:
  Contact: Lynne Sandler - 703-548-0427 (Chevra Kadisha)  e-mail:
  Contact: Barbara Elkin - 703-765-1218 (Bereavement)  e-mail:

When a member of our congregation, or a member's parent, sibling, or child dies, the Chevra Kadisha immediately goes into action. (It is always important to notify the synagogue office about a death.) The committee chair is in touch with the funeral home and with the bereaved congregant(s). Arrangements are made for shomrim (people who "guard" the deceased). Additionally, a tahara (the ritual washing of the body) team is arranged.

The Bereavement Committee is notified, and calls are made to the bereaved family to arrange for help with shiva. Sisterhood sends a meal of consolation (when the funeral is held in our area).

  Contact: Larry Uman - 703-204-9100, ext. 15  e-mail:

Larry Uman, LMFT, the synagogue liaison from the Jewish Social Services (JSSA) to the Agudas Achim community, is available for free and confidential consultations for personal and family problems. He has 28 years experience as a counselor and family therapist and worked in the employee assistance programs for Alexandria Hospital, the Pentagon, and Fairfax County Government. He has also presented workshops on a wide variety of topics including stress management, helping your kids succeed, and staying energized at work. * * *

In addition, Rabbi Moline's A Guide to Bereavement and Mourning is available in our synagogue office.

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