Chesed is a Hebrew word often translated as “loving-kindness.” At Traditional Congregation, we believe that it is our Jewish obligation to provide help and compassion to our community in times of need.
For the past 30 years, Traditional has proudly supported the Adopt-A-Student program sponsored by NACOEJ (North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry). This program assists promising Ethiopian Israeli Jews who need financial help to continue their college studies and earn a degree. Ultimately, this education provides them with a profession and helps them break the cycle of poverty.
We’ve helped support 17 students, who have earned degrees in a wide range of career fields. To make a donation, click here.
FLORENCE GAPONOFF MOTHER’S DAY PROJECT
For 32 years, Traditional has provided Mother’s Day gift bags for women in shelters to make their day special. Toiletries and personal care items are collected year-round, then sorted and assembled into more than 300 bags and delivered to a dozen women’s shelters in time for Mother’s Day. This has become an intergenerational and intercongregational project, with people from several local synagogues collecting items and packaging the gift bags. Items can brought to the collection bin in the office wing at Traditional. For more information, contact Barbara Gaponoff Berson, 314-740-3043.
JEWISH FOOD PANTRIES
The Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry currently serves 8,000 people each month. We encourage you to purchase an extra item or two each time you grocery shop and drop it off at Traditional. Also needed are baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula, etc.)
We also solicit donations and kosher food for the Barbara Mendelson Tomchei Shabbos Fund, which “helps to ensure that everyone in our community will truly enjoy a Shabbat Shalom.” Families are provided with essentials for Shabbat and Yom Tov, including non-perishables, fresh produce, eggs and cheese.
RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND
This fund provides aid to individuals and families in need, within our congregation, the larger St Louis community, and wherever it is needed. It discreetly and respectfully helps families experiencing financial stress. If you are in need, please contact Rabbi Gordon in confidence at Rabbi.Gordon@yahoo.com or 314-576-5230. If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.
Are you interested in becoming more involved in chesed in the community? Contact us to learn more!
Everyone can find a way to add some chesed into their lives. Start by making a commitment to call one or two people who are ill and haven’t been able to attend services. Or call individuals whom you notice haven’t been at shul for a couple of weeks who are usually there. It's a small thing you can do that can have a huge impact on someone else's life.