Overwhelming to the point of embarrasment

Just what is it about the Jewish community of Perth that makes living here so fulfilling?  And what exactly is it that makes “Carmel School so special” as the song goes?

Put very simply, people care for each other in a very sincere and genuine way.

When someone is in need of help the network goes into overdrive.  Home help, meals, daily chores, childminding, shopping, anything you can think of will be taken care of during a time of need if the right word is sent out to the right people. 

Families arrive into the community to find lists of invites, to have strangers knock on their door with a freshly prepared kugel, and to enough helpful advice to really assist with a change of culture.

People who have a family illness or crisis also get social support from a variety of sources.  When the word goes around to mobilise, a well organised network of contacts swings into action.

Recently, following a bereavement, a small message went out through the school community to assist with providing meals during the Shiva.  As I dropped around a small contribution as part of a roster, I was told that “the community has been fantastic and this really helps more than you can imagine, but it has also been overwhelming, actually to the point of embarrasment”.

That comment probably best sums up just why it is that the Perth Jewish community is a fantastic example of all the virtues of self suffficiency, caring, chessed and compassion that are so necessary.  When a time of need arises, your Jewish neighbours are a tower of strength and support.  

This trait, a proper sign of true Jewish communal living, is one of our greatest strengths.  Long may this continue.