Jewish Care CEO zooms in behind the scenes with South Hampstead Shul

10 May 2020

Members of the South Hampstead Synagogue community joined a Zoom meeting to hear from Jewish Care Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, who shared his experiences during the Covid-19 crisis from Jewish Care’s perspective, as part of shul’s Behind the Scenes virtual programme. 

The talk covered a range of topics with Daniel Carmel-Brown sharing information on key issues relating to care homes and social care from the cost of Covid-19 crisis to the organisation and the acquisition of PPE.

Hosting the meeting was Rabbi Eli Levin, who invited members of the community to ask questions which included topics such as how the organisation is supporting residents, relatives and staff, the mental health effects of the virus, how the organisation plans to go forward to organise relative visits to care homes after lockdown, the future of community centres until a vaccine is found and testing.

Daniel Carmel-Brown explained, “We don’t have all the answers yet. We work with the most vulnerable people and will be very cautious about how we approach the next phase but we are looking at how this will all be done.”

On testing, Daniel responded, “Though there have been announcements that tests will be widely available across care homes, to date, only a few tests have been made available to us, despite our on-going requests and pressure to the authorities to receive them. It is something that we are very concerned about and we will continue to pursue this. We are working with the umbrella bodies in social care to campaign for more tests. Our aim is to be able to test all residents and staff.”

He also praised the Jewish Care “angels, our wonderful staff in care, nursing, management, administrators, maintenance and hospitality, who put the care and wellbeing of our residents above their families and own. We are so very grateful to them.”

Other topics included how Jewish Care is continuing to celebrate festivals and shabbat in the absence of volunteers physically being able to go into the home.

As Daniel explained, “Like the rest of the community we are doing things differently. Our volunteering has shifted to virtual experiences so when it comes to prayer, we are linking with shuls who are sharing their Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdallah services. We are celebrating festivals with care home residents so that prayer can continue. It has always been central to us and will continue to be.”

Rabbi Eli Levin says, “Amongst our many virtual programmes keeping the South Hampstead community together, our ‘Behind the Scenes’ series provides the opportunity to gain inside knowledge on key issues relating to current times.

“It was important, insightful and reassuring to go behind the scenes with Daniel and the Jewish Care team, to hear about their journey over the last couple of months.

“Jewish Care is a truly remarkable organisation, one to be proud of and support.”

Daniel Carmel-Brown added, “I’d like to thank the Chair of South Hampstead Synagogue, Laurence Gold and Rabbi Eli Levin for inviting us to give the talk to the members about life behind the scenes at Jewish Care.

“During these challenging times it’s never been more important for us to communicate regularly, not just with our residents, clients, relatives, staff and volunteers but also with the wider community and shuls too, so they feel connected to us, understand what’s happening and how they can support us.”

Laurence Gold, a member of South Hampstead Synagogue, said, “Hearing about the amazing work that Jewish Care does explained so clearly by Daniel Carmel-Brown is so important and helps to lower barriers between these many communities that make up the large family that is British Jewry.”