Reflections on the Bikur Cholim Conference

Posted on November 14, 2010

Today I had the pleasure of presenting on Mitzvah Clowning at the 23rd Annual Bikur Cholim Conference. My session went well and I had a larger group than anticipated but that’s not why I am writing about it.

I feel like everyone knows about Bikur Cholim. Every community has a program that helps provide rides, food and support to patients and their families. Schools teach about it and when someone is sick they often call the student together to see how they are feeling and to wish them a refuah shlemah, a speedy recovery. Hospitals have programs to visit patients and help them as necessary but I feel like we in the organized Jewish community do not give Bikur Cholim the attention, resources and support that it deserves. We all want these services, especially when someone we know and love needs them but how many of us volunteer in our local Bikur Cholim activities? How many of us include Bikur Cholim in our philanthropic giving? How many of us thank and properly acknowledge the volunteers who make all of this happen? Today I met people who dedicate themselves on a daily basis to help those in need of healing. I was inspired by their dedication, knowledge and commitment. I hope that we can all learn from the members of our local Bikur Cholim groups and that we can find a way to help them help others.

I would like to thank Rechel Schoenfeld for inviting me and all her work and dedication on the conference and in facilitating Bikur Cholim year round.

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