The Chai Center was formed to provide programming, support services, and spiritual enrichment to enhance each individual’s needs. The brainchild of Rabbi Hart and Mendy, the Chai Center works to remind us that it is a mitzvah to take care of ourselves.
From Caring Community services to enrichment and support programs, the Chai Center nurtures our community, provides lifelong learning opportunities, and fulfills acts of loving kindness. The Chai Center strives to touch on important topics and issues meaningful to all ages.
The “silent angels” of the Caring Community support the sick through delivering meals, transportation to medical appointments, get well notes, and Misheberach blessings. They celebrate births and other simchas with greetings and gifts on behalf of the community. Each year before the High Holy Days, they prepare and deliver remembrance bags for yahrzeits.
The Chai Center helps fund grief support services for both adults and children, inside and outside our community, through the Healing Hearts program in cooperation with Jewish Child & Family Services, as well as RAINBOWS.
Programs sponsored by the Chai Center run throughout the year. This past year, the Chai Center ran:
- Families Helping Families – annual shopping event at Aldi where school families shop together to stock the Kingswood Food Pantry.
- Jewish Meditation and Mindfulness with Cantor Simon – 6 sessions in the late fall
- Nourishing your Relationship with Rabbi and Mendy – annual relationship advice utilizing Jewish thought and practice
- Honor Thy Father and Mother – panel session about dealing with aging parents, their needs, and the impact on your day-to-day life
- Cooked and served dinner at Lurie's Children's hospital
- A Shabbaton, in cooperation with Lifelong Jewish Learning
- A Healthy Eating and Exercise program with cooperation with the Chai Guys Brotherhood
- The Race to Nowhere program for religious school parents and children
A couple of years ago, the Chai Center helped create the Hineini: I am here to make a difference initiative which is a vital part of our culture.
This summer, the Chai Center Garden also planted and is maintaining a garden of fruits and vegetables to help stock the Kingswood Food Pantry. As I pull into my parking space each morning and look at how the garden is flourishing, it reminds me that we have a great resource to continue our own spiritual and personal growth here at Temple Chai. For more information on how to get involved with the Chai Center, contact co-chairs Traci Kogan or Pat Nisenholz, firstname.lastname@example.org