Chaverim groups have been well-established in many of the larger Jewish communities in the United States, but now those same supportive volunteer services will be available — for free — in Cleveland’s Jewish communities of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Beachwood and Wickliffe.
Launching in January 2012, Chaverim (the Hebrew word for “friends”) will be offering free services ranging from roadside assistance for disabled vehicles to completing a minyan for someone sitting shiva.
Pesach Elbaum, one of the co-directors of the Chaverim of Cleveland group, was involved in Chicago’s Chaverim. “When I lived in Chicago, I saw how necessary and welcome these services were, and I wanted to bring those same opportunities to my hometown of Cleveland,” said Elbaum.
According to Tzvi Turner, Elbaum’s co-director, more services can be expected to come aboard over time. “We hope to be able to offer more services than similar groups in other cities, for the simple reason that we’re a smaller community.”
The group currently has 15 volunteers signed up and ready to help, but could always use more. Turner added, “Helping others when they’re in trouble is a big mitzvah, so we hope more people will at least consider volunteering.”
All services are subject to availability. The phone number to call when you need Chaverim is 216-455-0202. Post it on your fridge, and enter it into your cell phone contact list!