Life Cycle Support

Brises, Baby Namings and Weddings

Some of the most joyous occasions at Ansche Chesed are those on which we can celebrate together and share in each other’s joy. Please contact Rabbi Kalmanofsky if you would like him to officiate at a bris, baby naming or wedding (, 212-865-0600 ext. 210).

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

As your child nears bar/bat mitzvah age we will work with you to plan an event that feels right for your family and helps you and your child feel a deep connection to our community. Planning includes educational guidance, such as how to find the right bar/bat mitzvah tutor for your child; religious guidance about how to make the process meaningful and how to enhance your child’s Jewish identity; and practical guidance about like catering and the like.

When you are ready, please take a look at the Ansche Chesed Bar and Bat Mitzvah Guide. It will answer many of your questions and help reduce the understandable stress associated with having your child become a bar or bat mitzvah.

To discuss the religious and educational part of the bar/bat mitzvah process, please contact Rabbi Kalmanofsky (, 212-865-0600 ext. 210). To discuss practical matters like catering, please contact Martin Sivorinovsky ( | 212.865.0600 x 216).

Bikkur Cholim/Visiting the Sick

The Chesed committee helps care for Ansche Chesed members who are ill or have been hospitalized. We visit them; telephone and send them cards; provide meals, especially for Shabbat; shop for them; and escort them to doctors’ appointments.

If you would like to participate in this mitzvah, or if you know of an Ansche Chesed member who is ill or has been hospitalized, please contact

Read an account by Ansche Chesed member Eileen Gordon of a friendship created through Bikur Cholim

Resources: In the resources listed below you will find suggestions of what to do when visiting those who are sick or injured.

What Matters

Ansche Chesed is pleased to announce it has joined with other New York synagogues and communal organizations in an initiative called What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life. This effort aims to heighten awareness around the importance of completing advance care directives, and enable individuals to thoughtfully consider and document their end of life preferences, with opportunities to engage Jewish values as part of the process. Confidential conversations are conducted by trained and certified Ansche Chesed facilitators, who are available to answer important questions and help walk you through the process, clarifying your goals and wishes for future healthcare and related choices in case you are unable to speak for yourself.

We look forward to working with you on this important initiative. Should you wish to schedule a conversation, please eMail,, or leave a message at (212)865.0600 x201, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

For Older Adults: DOROT

Ansche Chesed has partnered with DOROT, a nonprofit that has fostered friendship and respect among generations for decades by providing food, housing, companionship, education and cultural enrichment to thousands of elderly New Yorkers and their caregivers. A dedicated DOROT social worker, is available to provide support and information to older individuals and caregivers in the Ansche Chesed community.

DOROT can help with:

  • Home Visits
  • Information and Referrals
  • Telephone Reassurance
  • Short-Term Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Escorts too Medical Appointments
  • Holiday Visits
  • Package Deliveries
  • Ansche Chesed Intergenerational Programming
  • Caregiver Support

Death and Bereavement

In the Event of a Death: If someone you love has died and you would like Rabbi Kalmanofsky to offer a eulogy or officiate at the funeral, please contact him at 212-865-0600 ext. 210 on weekdays and 646-641-9064 on weeknights and weekends. If the death has occurred on Shabbat, you or a friend can find him at Ansche Chesed, where he can be informed of the death so that he can contact you as soon as Shabbat ends. 

Chevre Kaddisha (Caring for the Dead) and Menachim Aveilim (Supporting Mourners): We believe that is it the duty of our community to care for those who have died and to comfort those left behind. An extensive network of volunteers provides support of all kinds to members, and to the families of members, who have lost loved ones.

Our Chevra Kadisha performs tahara, the ritual purification of the met, or physical remains of the dead. Members serve as shomrim, watching over the met for the full period before the funeral so that it is not alone before its final journey. Having members perform these mitzvot treats the body of the deceased with the love, dignity and respect it deserves.

After the funeral, we organize shivah minyanim at the homes of mourners so that they can say kaddish and have a steady stream of visitors to comfort them. Our volunteers also prepare meals for mourners during the shivah period.

This comprehensive support for those who have suffered a loss eases the mourning period and helps mourners reenter the Ansche Chesed community and return to daily life. Any Ansche Chesed member can sit shmirah (watch over the body before the funeral), be part of a shivah minyan, or help with a meal. We welcome your participation.

Please contact us if you would like to learn about volunteering. To help with tahara (preparing the body), contact David Fishman (men) at or Elisheva Urbas (women) To help with shmirah, shivah meals or to learn about participating in shivah minyanim, contact Renee Barocas at

Ansche Chesed Cemetery: Ansche Chesed owns cemetery plots in Riverside Cemetery in Saddlebrook, New Jersey. To discuss purchasing a plot or for more information, contact Administrative Director Martin Sivorinovsky (, 212.865.0600 ext. 216).