Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue
Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue

Gemilut Chesed Fund

Gemilut Chesed Fund
One of the lesser known of our communal activities is the Gemilut Chesed Fund or the GH Fund for short.

In common with many other shuls we have a small fund to help our fellow members and their families during difficult times.

As a broadly financially comfortable community it is only right and proper that we have our door open to those within the community who are less fortunate than most.

Many people will be surprised to know that we have members living in affordable housing or dependent on benefits. Others are in a position where, through illness or the need to care for close relatives, they struggle to make ends meet.

Members such as these within our community need a helping hand from time to time. Stanmore shul is blessed with an excellent community spirit and if financial help is sought this can be provided.

We liaise closely with our wonderful Community Care. The GH Fund does not attempt to duplicate their work or the provision made by major communal organisations such as Jewish Care. The GH Fund is a relatively small resource providing purely financial assistance.

The GH Fund is supervised carefully and sensitively by two members of the community. It is operated extremely discreetly in order to minimise the risk of embarrassment and ensure as few people as possible know the identity of recipients.

These calls for help can take various forms. Examples include:

  • Providing funds before Pesach or Rosh Hashanah as the yomtovim can put some households under financial strain
  • Funding special therapy or educational assistance for a child during a difficult period
  • Assistance towards the purchase of costly medical prescriptions not available on the NHS
  • Covering burial fees
  • Helping families meet the costs of children's participation in youth schemes

We are normally the last port of call after people have sought help from their family and friends - we listen, we advise and, if appropriate, we give or lend.

The GH Fund has been running now for well over 20 years and it is perhaps time its very low profile was raised so that the wider community becomes aware of this fund.

This is not just in order that members include our GH Fund as part of their charitable giving but equally if not more importantly, so that if people become aware of need they know to suggest that we are approached.

We should all be proud of the community's willingness to provide financial help in appropriate cases.

If anyone would like to know more or to make us aware of deserving cases please contact the Shul office.

If you would like to support the fund please make your donation online at [Appeals & Donations] - or send a cheque in favour of Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue GH Fund to the Shul office.