Why I Give Back: Michele

For the Giving Back issue of the Jewish Living Delaware Magazine, several of our volunteers reflected on why they give back and the impact that volunteering has had on them and the lives of those they serve. Michele Weiner shares her thoughts below.

In his book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Gary Chapman presents five ways through which we can choose to express love in all kinds of relationships: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, and acts of service. The secret is to match the language or the way of expressing love to fit the occasion or the mission, or the needs of the loved one.

In my relationships with others who are beyond or outside of my personal sphere, it feels good and right to choose the language of service. Making the conscious choice to love through assisting others who need and want assistance along their life journeys and then engaging in acts of volunteerism ennobles my soul. The choice and the action demonstrate what it means to be created in the image of G-d. As we, the Jewish nation, enslaved in Egypt and living as strangers in a strange land, were redeemed through G-d’s choice, we, too, can make the choice to assist others as they take their journeys to greater freedom and prosperity.

In the Torah we are instructed and commanded multiple times to care for strangers and refugees since we were once strangers, and, certainly more than once, were refugees. The Torah asks me to learn to feel and express empathy through acts of service for those who are estranged and in need. I am asked, I am commanded, to speak this language of love.

I have chosen to support JFS Delaware in its efforts to resettle refugees because I am able to play a small part in JFS’s mission to welcome the stranger and because it is an opportunity for me to expand my capacity to love others unconditionally through the language of service.

If you would like to volunteer with JFS Delaware and make a difference in the lives of those we serve, click here. You can also donate to JFS Delaware here. To view the Give Back article in Jewish Living Delaware, click here.