Recession brings rise in calls to shul helpline
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When Rebecca Brummer took on the role of Borehamwood Synagogue’s community care co-ordinator eight months ago, her workload mostly concerned the welfare of sick or elderly members of the community. Now the majority of callers to the congregation’s Careline are seeking advice on coping with redundancy and unemployment and debt and home repossession.
To deal with the demand, Mrs Brummer has enlisted the expertise of specialists within the shul’s membership to join her network of community care volunteers. Two are financial services consultants, others can draw on personal experiences — people who, as Mrs Brummer puts it, “have been through hell and come out at the other end”.
At the suggestion of Borehamwood minister Rabbi Naftali Brawer, the shul’s website is soon to offer a direct link to Jewish Care’s Employment Resource Centre. Another link on the website will allow Borehamwood members with jobs to offer to bring them to the ERC’s attention.