Mitzvot from the Heart: Rachel Perera

Rachel Perera decided to volunteer with Shaare Emeth’s monthly Room at the Inn program, which helps homeless women and families. Here, she plays with a young guest of the program. 

Rachel Perera, Congregation Shaare Emeth

For her mitzvah project, Rachel Perera decided to help the homeless. Debbie Bram, Shaare Emeth’s Director of Jewish Life and Learning, told Rachel about the congregation’s monthly Room at the Inn program, welcoming people who are homeless for a meal, activities for children and a place to stay for the night. 

Rachel took Bram’s suggestion to heart and volunteered several times at Shaare Emeth’s Room at the Inn night. She found it to be a memorable and moving experience. Rachel greeted the homeless guests at the doors of the temple, leading them to a dinner she and other volunteers had prepared. She helped watch the children attending, playing games and led activities with them, so that parents could relax and have some alone time.

Rachel, daughter of Beth and Jaime Perera, lives in Wildwood with her siblings Jonathan and Jacob. She is an eighth-grade student at Rockwood Valley. 

“Rachel has always cared a lot about people and especially children,” said her mom. “She always wants to help with the less fortunate. She wishes that they will grow up and be able to follow their dreams.” 

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Leaders of Shaare Emeth’s Room at the Inn program “loved the idea” of Rachel’s mitzvah project, Beth Perera noted. Shaare Emeth is one of more than 60 congregations of different faiths that take part in Room at the Inn. 

“I am very proud of Rachel,” she said. “She has a heart of gold and always wants to help others. Rachel learned after weeks of helping these beautiful, sweet children how thankful she was for all that she had.”