What is Gmach?
G’mach is an acronym for Gemilut Chasadim or Deeds of loving-kindness. G’Mach organizations are in many cities in the US. In San Diego G’Mach, also known as The Jewish Closet. We collect household goods including clothing for adults and children, furniture, baby supplies, children’s toys, hygiene products, kosher housewares, books, Judaica, linens and special occasion clothing such as weddings, and distribute these goods to Jewish households in need at no cost.
In 2009 two amazing women, Helene Bortz and Myrice Goldberg, established The Jewish Closet – G’Mach here in San Diego and have served thousands of local Jews through a 1328sq.ft warehouse located at 8811 Production Ave. off Miramar Road, San Diego. Starting with just some clothing, shoes, and wedding dresses, the founders quickly learned people needed more — money for food, clothing, and household items. Their effort grew rapidly over the 14 years and G’mach evolved into a well-established facility assisting those in all aspects of life. Recipients needed many different social services beyond physical household goods and Helene and Myrice worked tirelessly in finding solutions for their client’s emotional, medical, transportation and various other needs. Over time the client needs not only expanded but became more complex and in 2020, Helene in Myrice decided to retire to spend more time with their grandchildren and aging parents. They transferred all client case work to Kindness Initiative, and continued to fund a year’s financial commitment to particular families. Kindness Initiative, with their professional case managers, a support volunteer corps, offer a broad array of social service collaborations with local resources, and an effective client service model that emphasizes client dignity, caring and compassion.
In 2022, the two founders sought to relieve themselves of warehouse responsibilities as well, due to family matters, and entered into an agreement to transfer G’mach’s warehouse operations and furniture program to Kindness Initiative effective February 1, 2023.
Helene attributes her partnership with Myrice and their success over the years to Divine Providence and sees the hand of God in everything G’mach does all the time. The warehouse is treated as holy community space, providing those in need with a safe, confidential, and comfortable means of meeting their basic household needs as instructed in our Jewish texts.
For the past few years the warehouse operations have been run by Karen Lock supported by a group of volunteers. Karen has been appointed G’Mach Operations Director and continues to head operations of kindnessG’MACH – The Jewish Gift Closet, serving clients in a manner that would make the founders proud of their legacy.
Hours of operation
kindnessG’MACH is open Mondays from 10 AM-2 PM. and Thursdays from 10 AM-2 PM, as well as by appointment.
kindnessG’MACH needs volunteers who can commit to a regular, consistent schedule and who would be happy to unpack and sort donations as well as assist donors coming to drop off goods or clients shopping for items in the warehouse.
Thank you for all of your kindness and for moving heaven and earth to get me the help I needed.
G-d bless you for the huge amount that you do and the many lives and hearts you touch.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity and for being there for me when nobody else was.
When I found myself in a major bind and had no other way out, you were there for me. Without your help I most definitely would not have been able to overcome this crisis.
As a single mother of three, I would like to thank you for providing our community with a much-needed resource.
I had nowhere to turn for help. Helene and Myrice, at the G’mach, were so compassionate and helpful in so many ways. They restored my hope in humanity!