Bikur Cholim

The purpose of the Bikur Cholim committee is to provide comfort and support to people that are ill, homebound, isolated and/or otherwise in distress. Bikur Cholim can include such activities as visiting people in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes or in private homes. It may also include taking people who are ill or impaired on errands or field trips and providing telephone contact and reassurance.

Committee members communicate the needs of members to the congregation through the weekly announcements. The committee has also initiated programs such as Tips on Visiting the Sick and Community Resources for the Elderly. In addition, the committee also maintains the Misheberach List and suggests policies regarding this list.

The Bikur Cholim committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss policies and how to best meet the needs of our congregation. There is also an “extended committee” which is a group of volunteers who are contacted if there are specific issues and needs to address (frequent rides, meals, etc.). If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact the CBTBI office and someone from the committee will call you back.

Support Groups

The primary purpose of the Bikur Cholim committee is to assist in meeting the needs of congregants who are sick, homebound, or vulnerable. To accomplish this we communicate the needs of these members to the rest of the congregation. In dealing with these issues, we have discovered that even when a person appears “healed,” they continue to have issues. The purpose of a support group is for people with similar issues to come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. Therefore our committee decided to write this article to increase awareness of support groups.

Benefits of Support Groups

  • Realization that you are not alone — This often brings a feeling of relief.
  • Freedom to express your feelings — It is very therapeutic to find that others in the group will listen without judgment.
  • Learning helpful information — Support groups offer practical tips and resources.
  • Improving social skills — Support groups provide a safe place to be comfortable.
  • Gaining hope — Some members of the group will be “further along” than others and offer hope.
  • Increasing self-awareness — As you learn ways to cope, you will gain better understanding of yourself.
  • Helping others — Helping others usually makes you feel better about yourself.
  • Affordability – Most groups are not expensive and many of them are free.

Finding Support Groups

When we began to research support groups, we found so many that it would be impossible to list them. There are support groups for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, chronic pain, grieving, Parkinson disease, sexual abuse, breast feeding and more. You can find listings of support groups under any local hospital (Virtua, Jefferson/Kennedy). You can also google the name of the support group you are looking for. You can also ask a member of the Bikur Cholim committee if you have any questions. Several members of our committee have taken advantage of support groups and have found them helpful. Good luck in finding any support that you may need.

— Bikur Cholim Committee

The Many Faces of CBT-BI