Chesed With Ramah by Maxine Wiesenfeld

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On Sunday, September 9th, 2012, campers who were just in the edot Bogrim, Machon, and Gesher 2012 had a unique chesed opportunity. Chesed with Ramah B’Hol Onah paired up with DOROT where we volunteered for a few hours by helping to deliver Rosh Hashanah packages to senior citizens in NYC.  DOROT is an amazing organization that helps connect people of all generations.  The Hebrew word dorot literally means generations.  The organization helps people visit, spend time with, and really connect with many of the older people in the community.

Our job this Sunday was to bring shopping bags full of necessary holiday items to these wonderful individuals.  We met at Brandeis High School in Manhattan, chatted a little, and got right to work.  We walked across the street to the DOROT Headquarters where we received our packages.  We were given the name, address, and other important information about the people we would be visiting.  We then took a nice walk together to our locations.

One stop that my group made was to a woman named Edna.  At first I was a little nervous.  What would I say?  What would I do?  When we arrived I realized there was nothing to be afraid of and it all came naturally.  As we stepped into her apartment we could already sense that we made her day.  Her face brightened as we handed her the package.  We then sat with her for a little while where we had friendly conversation and really formed a bond.  I immediately was able to connect with Edna.  I learned that she used to work and be affiliated with the town of Great Neck, which is where I live.  We discussed the town, and how it is now.  Throughout that half hour or so, the four of us had an amazing time with Edna to a point where we didn’t even want to leave!  Although we had just met we already felt like friends.  Before we left, Edna gave us delicious rougulach and we said goodbye.

We then met up with the rest of our group at 16 Handles, to have some frozen yogurt and enjoy the Ramah company.  I am so glad I took part in this opportunity.  Not only did I get to see some of my amazing camp friends, and some of my favorite staff members, but I also got to do chesed and had an amazing time while doing it.  The visit I had with Edna is truly one I will never forget.  I highly suggest to everyone to really take advantage of the chesed opportunities Ramah has to offer.  With this one, as well as the one we had last year, I have created so many lifelong memories.