Jewish Life Services strive to bring Jewish values to life throughout our facilities.
The Jewish Life team coordinates and promotes information, education and participation through newsletters, weekly shiurim (lessons), staff inductions and a range of events surrounding the main Jewish festivals and days of cultural significance.
Jewish festival events include those surrounding High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot), Chanukah, Purim, Pesach, the 'Yoms' (Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha'atzmaut & Yom Hazikaron), Shavuot and the Three Weeks (including Tisha B'Av).
As well as supporting and enriching the cultural and spiritual lives of Jewish Care clients, residents, families and friends, the JLS provides staff and volunteers with orientation, training and ongoing education in the field of Jewish culture and traditions to ensure the provision and delivery of services in a culturally appropriate manner.
The outcome is a deeper awareness amongst staff of the Jewish culture and traditions. This allows us to provide Jewish care that is culturally and religiously sensitive.
The community we serve is a diverse multi-ethnic group encompassing a vast spectrum of religious observance and cultural expression, united by common traditions, heritage and legacy. Understanding and sensitivity towards the diverse cultural backgrounds of Jewish people are qualities which set Jewish Care apart in its capacity to meet the needs of our clients, including Melbourne's large population of first and second generation Holocaust survivors, their families and carers.
Jewish Care's Jewish Life Team provides practical and meaningful pastoral support to residents, volunteers, staff and their families across all of our programs.
Many of Jewish Care's clients were not affiliated with a particular synagogue or cultural organisation prior to entering a Jewish Care facility and may find themselves alone in times of crisis. The dedicated and sensitive Jewish Life Rabbis have been formally trained in Clinical Pastoral Education and are able to provide the necessary support to empower the person in need. Our Rabbis also work with resident's their families, assisting them to work through their challenges within a culturally appropriate framework.
As a Jewish organisation, consideration for the religious requirements of our clients, residents, staff, volunteers, families and friends is integral. Religious and observant Jews adhere to strict dietary rules based on biblical and rabbinic law. Our Rabbis ensure that those residents and clients who adhered to the Kosher laws prior to entering a facility continue to do so while living within Jewish Care facilities. For others who have not been observant prior to becoming a client of Jewish Care, many report feeling spiritually elevated knowing that they are now keeping kosher. We respect individual resident choices. However, as a matter of policy all public areas, dining rooms and food provision services are kept strictly kosher.
Some of the duties carried out by the Jewish Care Rabbis as part of their Kosher supervision include:
- Daily inspection of all storage rooms where food products are located to ensure all products are kosher certified
- Koshering all new or mixed up utensils, crockery and cutlery
- Providing orientation and training for new staff, particularly kitchen staff to ensure all food is prepared and served in accordance with the Jewish religious observance of Kosher requirements. Having a Rabbi present during meal times results in clients often taking the opportunity to approach the Rabbi for support with personal concerns
To find out more about our Jewish Life program, contact Jewish Life Services on (03) 8517 5609 or