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Gordon Lederman z”l Memorial Chesed Day

By Lisi Levisohn

On Sunday afternoon, March 18, we honored the memory and legacy of our dear member Gordon Lederman with our annual memorial chesed program.  Gordon was passionate about acts of chesed and looking out for others. He ran an annual chesed weekend at KMS, which always included a speaker to help us learn, think and be inspired about chesed, and a Sunday program where we came together to contribute and participate in impactful activities to help others.  To honor his memory and continue his legacy, KMS holds a special chesed program every spring. This Sivan will mark Gordon’s 5th yahrzeit.

The Youth Beit Midrash was filled with helpers and doers of all ages, working together. Our activities included: making comfort blankets for children at Holy Cross Hospital; making Shabbat care packages for Bikur Cholim with beautiful challah covers and beaded napkin rings; gathering stuffed animals for Teddy Bear Brigade to comfort children after natural disasters, trauma, or in poverty around the world; drawing thank you cards for rescue workers; creating sock puppets for Operation Smile (used for comfort, preparation for surgery, and in speech therapy); donating professional clothing for a Wider Circle; donating food for the Kosher Food Pantry; donating children’s clothing for the local Gemach; and donating books, toys and baby supplies to Stepping Stones Shelter.

We received some nice thank you notes for our donations:

Jessi Courier, Manager of the Professional Development Center at A Wider Circle:

I just wanted to reach out and say once again how much we appreciate Kemp Mill Synagogue hosting a professional clothing drive to benefit A Wider Circle.  The items you all collected will greatly impact our clients in their job search. 

Holy Cross Hospital Pediatric Staff:

We had a special book-reading by Kemp Mill resident Aviva Werner, the author of Gila’s Gemach. This book  tells the story of a girl who learns how we pass things along to share and help each other, and decides to take her wagon and start her own Gemach.

Check out this slideshow  from the day!

That evening, we gathered for an incredibly moving experience to hear speaker Sherri Mandell, who lost her son to terrorism near their home in Israel when he was 13. Sherri later established the Kobi Mandell Foundation, as well as authored The Blessings of a Broken Heart and The Road to Resilience, from Chaos to Celebration.  

To open the program, Lisa Lederman, Gordon’s wife, spoke beautifully about Gordon’s passion for and commitment to chesed, social action and security. Sherri then spoke about creating kindness, and the healing and strength that can grow out of compassion.
Thank you to the many people who contributed to sponsor this year’s program and who made donations to the Gordon Lederman Memorial Chesed Fund to help fund future chesed programming.

Tue, September 22 2020 4 Tishrei 5781