Ohr L’Neshama is a new Jewish support group for women and their families who have unfortunately experienced miscarriages, stillbirths and infant loss.

Briana Simon, originally from the USA first came up with the idea of Ohr L’Neshama when sadly her pregnancy ended at 16 weeks. She turned to a close friend who guided her to Renee Schurder.

Briana Simon commented “When I lost my baby last year I felt my world turn upside down. I felt broken. When I eventually fell in touch with Renee, she made the world of difference.”
Renee Schurder, a popular woman in the Jewish community is known for her outstanding amount of kindness and is the founder of Yad La’em; a support group for young mothers.

Renee Schurder said “Ohr L’Neshama is here to help mums going through these difficult challenges and to know they are not alone. When a mother is facing such a vulnerable challenge in her life, we want to aid with the basic necessities for her and her family to give them a chance to continue with their day to day errands. Whether it be the shopping, cooking or taking care of their children, we are here for them, giving them time to come to term with their loss”.

Briana Simon further explained how she felt she got the emotional and physical support required and she wanted to replicate this service to other women who regrettably have to deal with this but have no one to turn to.

“This is why I came up with the idea of creating Ohr L’Neshama; we want to offer a helping hand to assist with the domestic needs of grieving families allowing them to focus on the path to recovery” said Briana.

Sara Benbassat, an active member of Ohr L’Neshama, tragically lost her baby at full term after giving birth 15 year ago. She explained “When my baby passed away I felt completely alone and had no idea where to turn for support, if an organisation such as this existed 10 years ago, it would have lifted some of the pain”

Sara, who works for Jami will be one of the women who will assist in peer support and the buddy system. This system pairs a woman up with a grieving woman who has also experienced a loss. This will enable a woman to talk to someone she can relate to and someone that can empathise with her.

Ohr L’Neshama aims to offer emotional support, practical guidance, domestic requirements and access to counselling. They would like to work alongside other charity groups who deal with these issues but most importantly their role is not to only offer the emotional help but to offer the physical help which no other charity offers in the UK.

Ohr L’Neshama which translates as ‘a light to the soul’ has already made a difference in the small amount of time they have been operating for. Although they hope that no one should be in need for their services, they are mindful that women and their families should know they are there if these things G-d forbid happen.

Alongside, the women in the group, Rabbi Meir Rappaport will be the main rabbinical guidance on board, with other rabbonim, midwives, therapists, Misaskim and the Chevra Kaddisha on call when needed.

Briana Simon further commented “I’m really thankful to G-d for giving me the support I needed to get through my personal tragedy and the strength to provide similar support to others in their time of need. “

If you or you know someone who would benefit from their service or you would like to become a volunteer please contact Renee on 07886 483 463.