Hope Kellman first heard about JewBer from a member of her congregation. Carol Sklar was trying to get others in the medical community to join the JewBer community.
“I can’t say enough wonderful things about JewBer,” said Kellman, who works as a staff nurse in the department of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Right before Passover last year, Kellman’s two kids came home from college, a fate many students faced in March and April. Kellman and her children couldn’t go to New York to be with family for the holiday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever missed a seder with my family,” Kellman said. “It was so important and so vital [to have JewBer’s help].”
JewBer helped Kellman too when she was in need at the end of May last year.
“I had been fired from where I had been working full-time,” Kellman said. “I refused to see patients that were positive for COVID-19, and the hospital refused to give me proper PPE.”
JewBer’s weekly deliveries made it so that Kellman and her family had one less thing to worry about.
“Knowing that I would be taken care of on Shabbat meant a lot to me during this really stressful time,” Kellman said.
Like other medical attendees, Kellman is often looking after others.
“I’m always busy taking care of everybody else,” Kellman said, mentioning the implications as a mother and a nurse. “To know that I’ll be taken care of every Shabbat is very healing and heartwarming. We all need a lift right now.”
Kellman has continued with JewBer since, enjoying a Shabbat meal and taking part in the community.
“It has been not only a lifesaver but also a spirit saver. It’s definitely helped me structure my Shabbat,” Kellman said. “I look forward to it now every Shabbat.”
The volunteers delivering the food also make a difference to Kellman.
“I felt a part of a community,” Kellman said. “The people who deliver it are always wonderful.”
Kellman often orders two meals as well for her children. When her daughter was still home, she would set up Shabbat and have it ready for Kellman to join once the work day was over.
“I still feel like I get a gift each week,” Kellman said. “I know it’s not magic and this isn’t a miracle, but I feel there’s a direct line. It’s a powerful connection to God and community.”
JewBer has delivered nearly 900 meals to front-line heroes since April 2020. Learn more at jewberboston.org.
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