Prayers for Jewish Care staff in COVD-19 infected countries

May 28, 2021 by Kirsten Young
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Jewish Care Victoria has held its first-ever Multifaith Solidarity Service.

The service held in the Schwartz Family Synagogue, part of the Hannah & Daryl Cohen Family Building in Windsor.

It was attended by staff of different faiths and countries of origin, from across many areas of the organisation. After an overwhelmingly positive response, staff, elders, and clients unable to attend in person also gathered to watch in Jewish Care homes and on personal devices.

The special service was held to pray, reflect, and mourn in solidarity with Jewish Care staff who have friends and family overseas who are or have been, severely impacted by COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer Bill Appleby thanked the Jewish Care staff who, during the height of the pandemic in Melbourne, put the needs of elders, clients, and the wider Jewish community ahead of their own and offered his support for those personally affected by COVID-19.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a richly diverse workforce, with staff hailing from across the world. We know that many of you here today have friends and family living overseas who are, or have been, severely affected by the pandemic. Some may be currently battling the illness, whilst others, we know, have sadly passed away.

We hope that – whatever your faith, whatever your circumstance – you take comfort in today’s service and find strength in the knowledge that your Jewish Care family is with you in your times of uncertainty, sadness, and grief,” said Appleby.

Following a minute’s silence, staff and faith leaders from the Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, and Sikh communities recited a non-denominational, coronavirus-specific prayer. Seven Jewish Care staff also lit candles; one for each of the seven continents.

Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, Senior Rabbi at St Kilda Shule, spoke of the importance of the Multifaith Service, saying; “We must always be mindful of those two core values that are so central to each of our beliefs; the sanctity of human life and the need to show empathy and care for those around us, whether near or far.

Today is a symbol, but it is a critically important symbol, of our desire to sanctify, value, and cherish life, but also to be mindful of those who have survived the loss of loved ones whose lives were taken away cruelly by this pandemic; to think about them, to pray for them, to reflect on them, and most importantly, to do whatever we can do to ease their burden – now and into the future.”

 

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