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Creating Caring Communities Through Bikkur Holim

Creating Caring Communities through Bikkur Holim

A Self-Guided Study Curriculum

Introduction: What brought you here, and why do you want to learn about bikkur holim? How do our own life stories influence us?

Unit 1—Bikkur Holim as Mitzvah: People’s life stories and curiosity about their Jewish heritage often influence their decision to learn more about and do bikkur holim.

Unit 2—Volunteers in Jewish Communities: Volunteers are the backbone of every congregation. To understand why people volunteer is to understand how to nurture and retain them.

Unit 3—What’s in a Name?: What is the scope of your work? What would you want it to be? There are pros and cons to almost any name chosen.

Unit 4—Getting to the Source: The Talmudic foundation of bikkur holim is Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 39b–40a.

Unit 5—Etiquette of the Visit: What do I say? What do I do? Get more comfortable in your role as a volunteer by considering the practical issues of decorum.

Unit 6—Systems in Families, Congregations, and Communities: The waypeople react and behave is influenced by their own family dynamics. This unit will help you to become aware of the basics of family systems theory and how it might impact you.

Unit 7—Confidentiality, Boundaries, and Self-Care: Bikkur holim volunteers are advised to keep these key concepts and best practices in mind.

Unit 8—Shema Koli: Communication Skills: Meeting people where they are means trying to understand their suffering and acknowledging their experience of suffering. 

Unit 9—Praying for Healing: Prayer can be a powerful tool for help, yet many volunteers find it uncomfortable. This unit explores the types of prayer volunteers can use and addresses common concerns and misconceptions.

Unit 10—Volunteer Organizing and Mentoring: Tips and insights into gaining and maintaining volunteers.

Glossary

This curriculum was made possible by funds granted by The Covenant Foundation.
The statements made and views expressed, however, are solely the responsibility of the authors.