Rosh Hashanah is a time of giving
Rosh Hashanah is a time of reflection not only about our own goals and aspirations but also the needs and dreams of others.
There has never been a more important time to help make this New Year a sweeter one for those in serious need.
“We received nearly 20% more calls in the first six months of this year than in the same period in 2021. This is putting an enormous strain on our services that receive little or no government funding,” says Marilyn Kraner, Divisional Manager, Individual & Family Services at Jewish Care.
Many individuals and families find themselves in situations they could never have foreseen. For many, including those who have never sought help before, Jewish Care has been the only place they could turn to.
One of the calls we received this year was from Sarah*. Sarah arrived in Australia, with her parents as a young girl in the 1970’s. She later went on to marry and had two daughters.
In 2012, she followed her passion and opened a shop. However, as with many small businesses, COVID-19 saw the closure of Sarah’s shop.
“Suddenly my income diminished and with it, my self-esteem. Before COVID-19, I thought I was invincible but suddenly, I was thrown into a spiral of despair. I had to move my daughters out of our home into a cheaper rental and this was a huge disruption to our lives.”
Unfortunately, her marriage broke down and she was left as a solo parent to care for her two daughters and her ageing parents.
Sensing her mother’s financial and mental health struggles, her daughter suggested she contact Jewish Care for assistance.
“It was the hardest call I had to make, but I’m so thankful I did. I was immediately greeted with a friendly voice and for the first time in a long time, I felt hopeful. My biggest regret is not contacting Jewish Care sooner”
Sarah was referred to a financial adviser to assist with drawing up a budget and navigating outstanding bills and debts.
Adding to Sarah’s fragile mental state, her psychiatrist was in the process of closing their practice. Jewish Care’s social worker assisted her to look for alternative clinical support and provided emotional support in the interim.
Sarah also received financial aid to assist with rent so she could remain in her current property whilst she sought more affordable housing. She was soon able to find an alternative property which increased her housing and financial security.
To help her long term prospects, Jewish Care’s Employment Centre provided Sarah with support and guidance in seeking employment.
“With assistance from the team, I was able to develop a new resume, highlight my skills in retail and encouraged to think about using my skills in a new direction such as a teaching aide. Over the next few weeks my self-esteem grew and most importantly, the trust and respect from my daughters was regained.”
Within six months Sarah was offered a new job, and is now working as a Retail State Manager overseeing 12 retail sites.
“My life has completely turned around and if by telling my story I can help others, I would be thrilled.”
For people like Sarah, your gift has the capacity to change lives - those in serious need in our community continue to depend on you, now more than ever.
You can make a real difference.
“On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in one of the most famous of our prayers, the Unetaneh Tokef, we think about what we can do to improve ourselves, better our relationship to God and the culminating act of growth which is to give to others,” says Rabbi Ralph Genende OAM, General Manager Jewish Life.
Wishing you a Shana Tova. May we all keep healthy and be blessed with a sweet New Year.
Donate today to make a difference.