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September 1, 2014 | 6th Elul 5774

5 Simple Ways a Congregation Can Provide Cancer Support

  • Create a frozen food pantry at the synagogue for members and families to use while going through chemotherapy - Have members who are able drop off cooked meals that can be reheated, and then those members who are living with cancer can pick up food as they need it. This can be done anonymously to help congregants who are finding it difficult to ask for help.
  • Regularly visit congregants – Call ahead and make sure that the person is up for a visit. Visiting a person and simply sharing news or just talking can be a relief and a help. Our tradition tells us that by visiting we can help relieve a person’s pain.
  • Assign a Caring Committee Member to a person with cancer to be their contact person and constant connection to the temple – Having one person in the congregation to be in contact with makes it simpler for the congregant living with cancer. It also makes the caring from the community more personal.
  • Support groups for the person living with cancer and the caregiver – Offering regular support groups for both the person living with cancer and the caregiver is a constant way to show those congregants how much the congregation cares. It is also a reminder to the entire community that cancer affects many lives in our community, and not just that of the person living with cancer. It is recommended that these groups be led by clergy in conjunction with a social worker.
  • Give the caregiver some time off - Offering to go grocery shopping, do some housekeeping or even helping out with kids can be a great relief to the caregiver. A caregiver may have an even harder time asking for help than the person they are caring for.

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