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Created in the Image of G-d

מוגבל, in Hebrew, means limited.  The individuals who live at Israel Elwyn are labeled by this term.  But, they are not defined by this word.  Who amongst us is not מוגבל, limited?  Yet, are we not all whole, precious, worthwhile souls, regardless of our skills, abilities, goals, ambitions, competence, talents, awards, degrees, achievements?  Do we all not deserve dignity, respect, honor because we are human beings, created in the image of God?  This is the lesson Israel Elwyn teaches.

To volunteer at Israel Elwyn is to better understand the sanctity of the human condition. .  The opportunity is unique, singular and without precedent in most people’s experience.  To volunteer at Israel Elwyn is an opportunity to love man, because God loves man.  And, when we love who God loves, we are closer to God.  And, when we act on God’s behalf, we act to repair the world.


Israel Elwyn is home.  We are their special guests.  Israel Elwyn does not need our hands.  The residents, and staff, welcome our hearts.  We are valued for how we get to know one another as individuals.  As such, we behave with common courtesy.  We honor and respect our hosts.  Our goals are not task oriented.  We have the opportunity to join the community by providing “withness and witness.”   We are invited to be present, be interested, be aware, be open, be attuned, be together.  Sit, listen, watch the passing parade, walk, talk, hum, sing, if so inclined, hang out, hang in, participate, get acquainted…..and, quite soon, say goodbye.  In this brief time, we are given the chance to be as valuable, blessed, and human as our hosts.

Correct.  Those of us who share this experience will receive much more than we will be able to give.

Richard Kaufman, Volunteer & Study 2015

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