By Melinda Lejman
As the world continues to respond to the seemingly endless crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Memphis community is in no shortage of volunteers performing acts of service and loving-kindness. While we are not physically within the walls of Temple, the foundational values of Reform Judaism are expressed through our members who show up to serve at all times, but especially in a time of need.
One such role model is Temple member Dory Wolf Sims, daughter of Brenda and Rodney Wolf, who has volunteered her time as a registered nurse to administer COVID vaccines at the Pipkin Building in Memphis. “The minute I heard about being able to do this, I jumped on it,” shared Dory.
“I love volunteer work, especially in the medical field. This opportunity was exciting to me in particular because it makes me feel like I am, in a small way, a part of history. Being able to use my skills has been super rewarding, especially with the population of people that we started vaccinating.”
Many of Dory’s patients waited for hours in a seemingly endless line of cars to receive a vaccination, but when they got to Dory, they were nothing but grateful. “It was unbelievable to see these people coming out and waiting in line for hours and hours, and then they get up to the vaccine site and have no complaints. These are people in their seventies and eighties who have been in line for five, six, seven hours…it’s an amazing thing to see. It’s been an incredible experience.”
Dory grew up at Beth Sholom but spent a lot of time at Temple in her childhood. “My best friend, Tricia Woodman, went to Temple and I would tag along with her to Wednesday night school. Then, I got my family to join Temple because I loved it so much,” shared Dory. “Three of my kids have been bar or bat mitzvah-ed at Temple and we’ve had kids enrolled in the ELC, too.”
Dory has plans to travel in the future and volunteer for service organizations that are like Doctors Without Borders. “My dream is to travel and provide medical care as a volunteer, but being able to help the Memphis community — my home — during this pandemic is an extraordinary thing,” said Dory. “Being able to perform a mitzvah is what I love to do.”