Loaves of Love Delivers Sense of Community and Tradition to Whitney Place Sharon
Jeremy Zizmor of Dorchester, MA, started Sharon’s Loaves of Love project after being inspired by a similar project happening in his brother’s town of Stamford, CT.
The Stamford community launched “Making a Mitzvah Moment” (mitzvah meaning good deed); to create more community support for residents who were not able to go out during the pandemic for groceries and other necessities. The volunteers in Stamford quickly realized the people who needed the most support in their community were seniors.
Zizmor, who grew up in Sharon, was familiar with the community and felt the town would benefit from a similar endeavor. He decided to launch challah bread deliveries to Jewish residents who were unable to go out and participate in the weekly Sabbath tradition. The challah deliveries also come with personalized notes of encouragement and love. As the project began, Zizmor reached out to his acquaintances in the town, one friend being a geriatric care manager. She immediately placed him in touch with Community Sales Director Jodi Tolman at Whitney Place in Sharon.
Tolman was “ecstatic” about the project and reached out to the residents at Whitney Place to gauge their interest in challah bread deliveries. The response was overwhelming: of the 21 Jewish people living at Whitney Place, 19 wanted to receive the bread. Zizmor says, “Their positive response was validating; the fact the recipients were so excited for the outside connection was all we needed.”
“The traditional Jewish Shabbat dinner can vary, but there are usually three components which are the same: lighting of two Shabbat candles, drinking wine, and eating the challah bread,” says Tolman. To Zizmor, the challah bread “represents the spirit of connection” and wants the deliveries to remind recipients they are “still a part of this community.” Zizmor also sees the challah bread deliveries help seniors and others maintain some normalcy and “keep a Jewish tradition alive when the in-person world is off-limits.”
“The volunteers are the project, not me—I just had the idea,” Zizmor insists. “When I reached out within the community two weeks ago, volunteers came pouring in; there’s a real thirst for this kind of community involvement and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Zizmor hopes Sharon’s Loaves of Love project can serve as a template for other communities to use. “We’re not the creators of this endeavor, I know other towns have done similar things.”
While making deliveries to Whitney Place at Sharon is an exciting step in the project, Zizmor also wants to reach other seniors in the community who would be interested in and might benefit from the deliveries as well.
Please reach out to Jeremy Zizmor at (617) 733-9926 to participate in Sharon’s Loaves of Love.