Communal Life Committee
In 2017, TBI’s attention turned from a prime focus on social justice activities in the world around us to primarily addressing the needs of our own TBI community. The Communal Life Committee CLC) was formed. We established as our purpose and mission: “to enable TBI members to feel that they belong to a caring spiritual family where each person is valued and where meaningful relationships with each other matter profoundly”. Our secondary purpose was to give support to volunteer Committee Convenors and so we produced, and regularly updated, two volunteers’ manuals, one for members and one for participant non TBI members.
The Committee was with Dorothy Graff’s initial leadership and is now with Vivienne Rosta’s leadership. Cantor Michel Laloum has been our constant and long term spiritual advisor. The Committee has always comprised a group of quiet achievers who reach out with a generous heart to ensure TBI is a warm community and that we forget no one.
Over the years, CLC members have visited and continue to visit TBI senior members in aged care and at home and call on TBI members who may be unwell, bereaved or isolated. We have made many phone calls, especially during Covid, to ensure our members are not lonely or needy. With Rhonda Nirens’ inspiration, we have cooked for members not able to leave home at the time and have delivered meals to them in an initiative named “Take them A Meal”. We have organised live stream capability for our hospitalised members and for isolated people. We have cooked for and delivered food to members temporarily not able to cook for themselves.
We assisted members who wished to learn how to write Life Books for our senior members and then coached them while they were doing so which typically took six months per book writing. The resulting family books made a major impact on the families concerned.
We are very proud of our conversion students’ mentoring offer which we developed and piloted with some significant successes as a result.
The Committee continues producing and distributing gift bags to celebrate the festivals with members at home and in aged care to further relationships that are important to us all. Its members co-ordinate community dinners throughout the year to celebrate Jewish festivals. The number of people attending this year has been astounding. We anticipate that the dinners will continue to reunite our community, add fun to our celebrations and also encourage new members to participate in TBI’s community events.
In a separate initiative, Dot Nathan has been organising and running “Drop in and Chat” for twenty three consecutive years now. The group’s emphasis has developed over time but has continuously been aimed at our senior members who value companionship with likeminded people. They chat, knit – often for others such as hospital patients – , play word games and undertake craft activities. All this takes place at TBI in a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere.