Impact of the Hannah Meyer Project

“Hello COA friends and members,

I have been volunteering for COA for many, many years both through the Hannah Meyer Project and concerts at the COA Centre. I started attending the Wentworth Regis in Rose Bay long before the Shabbat candle lighting program began at COA.

My own father, of blessed memory, was a resident there when it was still called the Rose Bay Private Hospital, where I visited him daily to help him put on tefillin and would also visit the other Jewish residents.

When he passed away 30 years ago, I took it upon myself to keep up the visits with the Jewish residents. Eventually one of those residents was Mrs Hannah Meyer who also used to run the Shabbat program for COA at Vaucluse Nursing Home. COA gave her  the distinction of naming the Shabbat program in her honour.

As you all know, COA volunteers attend these homes weekly for a 30 minute Shabbat experience. Never underestimate this time you have with the residents!

A few years ago a wonderful woman named Mrs Debbie Bennetts came to live at the Regis. She was a traditional Jew and when she found out that we had a Shabbat program she came without fail. She loved the songs, the candle lighting, the challah and kiddush. She told her twin sister Diana that this Shabbat program had rekindled her Jewish neshama. When she came to Regis all her family knew that when her time was up she wanted to  be cremated.

When Debbie became very sick she looked at her sister and told her “my time here at Regis has been so special, every Friday my neshama enjoys the Shabbat and I feel so spiritual. Please, my dear Diana when I go, please  make sure I have a proper Jewish burial !!” All because of a Shabbat program that all residents, Jewish or Non-Jewish can attend.

What an honour it was for me to officiate at Debbie’s matzeva (stone unveiling). Truly an Eshet Chayil and her son Sam merited to say Kaddish there as well.

Uncle Velvel, COA Volunteer”

For anyone who is inspired to join in Shabbat candle lighting please see the advert below and call Ranmalie to become part of the volunteer group delivering the Hannah Meyer Project.

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