About Cholim List Manager©

(For an introduction to basic concepts, Click Here).

To jump directly to "How it works", Click Here.

In 2007, when I began serving as Gabbai Rishon of the Washington Heights Congregation ("The Bridge Shul"), I "inherited" a bimah that was sprawling with little (and not-so-little) sheets of paper that contained one or more names to be included in the Misheberach L'cholim.

After a couple of months in my new role, I noticed that while members of my Shul were adding more names to the list when their friends and relatives got sick, few (if any) ever updated me when a choleh recovered (or passed away) and no longer belonged on the list, and we had therefore been davening for people who didn't need a Refuah. For all I knew, some of the names had been there for months or even years. But since most of the sheets of paper didn't identify who submitted the name of the choleh (or when he/she submitted it), I had no way of knowing for sure.






Eventually, our list of cholim grew to include more people than were actually present in Shul on Shabbat morning (or so it seemed sometimes). So we instituted a rule that every month, on Rosh Chodesh, we would wipe the slate clean and all names of cholim had to be re-submitted.

This immediately made our cholim list current and we were able to keep it that way for a while. But eventually, some members forgot to renew their list each month (and sometimes they went a FEW months between renewals). And since some of them had submitted rather lengthy lists, and most of those on the lists still belonged there, I felt it would be unfair to exclude an entire list of cholim from the Misheberach because one or two names on it didn't belong there anymore.

Necessity is often the mother of invention, so I got to thinking: "What if we empowered everyone to manage and maintain their list of cholim electronically, so that each Friday (or Erev Yom Tov) I could print out a Master List that I know is current (or at least reasonably so)?

Our budget for this was very limited, so we hired a web programmer via Elance.com to build such a system. The result is Cholim List Manager© which is hosted on this website, MisheberachLcholim.org. We went live at the end of 2009 with a very basic website and spent several months testing it out on ourselves. We've since added many more features and are now sharing it with the community at large.

Here's how Cholim List Manager© works:

1) Congregants enter their cholim one-by-one via the "Add-a-Choleh" Wizard, using the English alphabet. e.g. Moshe, Rivka, Sarah, Dovid, etc. (see the FAQ's regarding Hebrew input). Difficult-to-pronounce or ambiguously-spelled names (especially those in Yiddish) should be entered phonetically with the accented syllable in CAPS. e.g. Dah-VEED vs. DUH-vid vs. DOO-vid, Rah-CHEL vs. RUH-chul, mo-SHEH vs. MO-sheh vs. MOY-sheh, etc. If the Choleh is not Jewish, the mother's name defaults to Chava. If the Choleh IS Jewish and the mother's name is unknown, it will default to Sarah.

2) When a Choleh no longer belongs on the list, the Congregant can log in and remove the Choleh's name. Names will automatically drop off from a Congregant's list after 4 weeks unless manually renewed.

3) Every Wednesday morning (Eastern US Time), each congregant will receive an email that contains his/her current list of Cholim. The email will also show which Cholim are due to be removed during the next 7 days unless renewed. When Yom Tov comes out during the week, special emails will be sent out well before Yom Tov as well as later in the week before Shabbat, as appropriate.

4) On Friday (or Erev Yom Tov), the Gabbai will log in and "finalize" the list for the entire Shul and then print out the master list that contains everyone's Cholim. Once the list is finalized, Congregants who log in and go to the "Add-a-Choleh" Wizard will see a message that the list for that week has been finalized, so any names they submit will be included for the following week. This way, they'll know that they need to verbally inform the Gabbai of the additional Choleh for the current week.

5) Before printing, the Gabbai will be able to sort the list by any category (I personally sort by submitter so that when I say the Misheberach, people can hear all the names they submitted in one continuous sequence).

6) An individual whose Shul is not yet registered with Cholim List Manager© can register independently and maintain his/her own personal list. For those who privately say Tehillim for cholim on a regular basis, this can be a very useful tool for keeping track.

To sign up your Shul for Cholim List Manager©, please follow the instructions at this link. If your Shul has multiple Minyanim, please register each one separately and specify which one you are registering.

To sign up just yourself, either in connection with your Shul or independently, please Click here.

We're making the basic edition of Cholim List Manager© available to all Shuls and individuals at no charge. However, to cover our programming and maintenance costs, we welcome any and all tax-deductible contributions. With your support, Cholim List Manager©, will serve Klal Yisrael for many years to come.

Sincerely,

Yosef Rabinowitz
Gabbai Rishon
Washington Heights Congregation ("The Bridge Shul")