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Chesed: Caring Community

The Chesed (Loving-Kindness) Committee coordinates our congregation’s response to a member’s life cycle event such as a birth or adoption, illness, or death. We facilitate gestures of Chesed such as preparing or buying meals, grocery shopping, providing transportation for medical appointments, and visiting members who are ill.

If you have a chesed need or are interested in joining the Chesed Committee, please contact the Chesed Coordinators at

Committee chair: Gail Pressberg 
Members: Abby Cohen, Beth Green, Chad Pytel, DB Reiff, Dianne Lior, Elaine Landes, Ellen Pashall, Ellie Goldberg, Fran Malino, Gail Pressberg, Judith Havens, Judy Hersh, Laura Katz, Lisa Hirsh, Lisa Keshet, Melanie Adler, Meryl Epstein, Valerie Graf

Rabbinic Care

Rabbi Toba is available to talk about any spiritual, religious, or personal issues that you might want to discuss. To schedule an appointment, please contact Rabbi Toba (confidentially) at Rabbi Toba does not check email on Shabbat (Friday evening through Saturday evening) or on Mondays (her day off). For congregants experiencing financial difficulties, help is available through the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. This fund is completely confidential. For pastoral support while Rabbi Toba is away, please contact to get in touch with “on call” rabbis. 


Dorshei Tzedek has produced a brochure (available here) about Jewish mourning practices and resources at CDT and in the local community.

Additional authors: Corinne Lofchie, Dianne Lior, and Elaine Landes

Get Involved: Lotsa Helping Hands

To coordinate the community’s chesed needs, we are using the Lotsa Helping Hands website.

We ask that all Dorshei Tzedek members create a login to Lotsa Helping Hands by clicking on this link. Please fill out the right-hand side of the form where it says ‘Interested in becoming a member of this community?’. Click on ‘Continue’ and then ‘Send Email’ on the next page. Once a chesed coordinator approves your request, you will receive an email with instructions for signing in. Thank you for taking the time to be involved with chesed.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact

Chesed Inspiration

These articles describe the feelings that sometimes get in the way of participating in Chesed, as a giver and as a receiver. We encourage you to read these articles as part of our ongoing effort to build connections for a caring community. We hope these articles will inspire you to participate in Chesed.

A Small Pot of Violets
“We’ve all felt it; that moment’s hesitation before we ring the bell. Here’s why you need to do it anyway, ” writes Dorshei Tzedek member Nancy Gertz. (LivFun, page 30, Autumn, 2015)

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing
One of the barriers to participating in Chesed is the feeling that we don’t know what to say or we fear that we might say the wrong thing. A couple of years ago we shared this article by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman (Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2013). “It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It’s the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.”

Accepting Meals from Strangers as Caregivers
Linda Matchan describes how a health crisis brings donations of food that teach humility and gratitude — and provides a lesson for those who want to help others. (Boston Globe, March 25, 2014)

When The Time Comes: Tips For How To Visit The Dying
As my father-in-law lay in his deathbed after a brief illness, people wanted to say goodbye. In those last days, we learned some valuable lessons.” Rebecca Steinitz writes on the WBUR Cognoscenti blog (April, 2016).

How to Help a Friend Who’s Going Through Something Horrible, Alex Ronan

Chesed Articles and Q&A

What Do the Shiva and Chesed Committees Do?

Chesed Creates A Caring Community

Voices of Chesed

You Never Know When You’ll Be on the Receiving End

Chesed Committee: A Matchmaker

Collaboration. Sometimes more than one volunteer fills a Chesed request.

Will you be my neighbor?


Q & A I’m not a cook…What should I do?

Q & A: What types of Chesed does Congregation Dorshei Tzedek provide?

Q & A: What about a family’s allergies?

Q & A: Gluten Free? What does it mean when someone requests a gluten-free meal?

Q & A: What about returning food containers?

Chesed-Related Books

There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Dr. Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784