This has been quite a year for all of us. Never before has there been a time when community need was as great. And with the support of the Cleveland Jewish community, Bikur Cholim rallied to rise to the challenge. Our outreach efforts grew to an all-time high, and thanks to you, we were able to meet this unprecedented demand.

Today, we’re looking ahead – embracing our newly returned freedom to leave our homes, gather with extended family and friends, and begin to re-embrace life as we know it.

This summer, our Beyond the Front Steps Project celebrates this spirit by offering families and friends a unique opportunity to get a free, professional portrait taken in exchange for their support of Bikur Cholim. The initiative is a take off from last year’s Front Steps Project. It honors the perseverance, resiliency and determination Bikur Cholim and the community showed during the challenges we all faced last year.

Round-the-clock, 365 days a year, Bikur Cholim is here for our Jewish neighbors in medical crisis, whether they be in Cleveland, throughout the United States or abroad. What makes us unique is our focus on the individual and ability to tailor our services to the needs of patients and their families. We are at the bedside providing comfort. We are available – day or night – when a patient arrives at the hospital. Our medical equipment gemach loans hospital beds, wheelchairs and other medical supplies.

Our staff and team of volunteers work tirelessly to advocate for patients, helping them navigate the intricacies of the health care system. We provide transportation, translation services and serve hot kosher meals through our hospitality suites at the major Cleveland hospitals. Our five homes in Cleveland provide shelter for out-of-town families. And, for parents managing an illness who need child care, we’ve got that covered, too. And these initiatives, which are only a fraction of what we do, are all for free.

While the effects of the pandemic are waning, there are still many of us who are suffering and in medical crisis. So, our work continues, and with the community’s generous support, we are prepared and ready. It is the ultimate act of chesed – the mitzvah of bikur cholim (literally visiting the sick) – with all the nuances of care and concern that this concept embraces.

At Bikur Cholim, we’re ready to move beyond the front steps. Are you? Please join us. The challenge is real. The solution is ours.

To make a donation or schedule a photo session, visit

Rabbi Alan Joseph is the executive director of Bikur Cholim of Cleveland.

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