Oases in the Desert

How do we help seniors age in place, with dignity and compassion?

How do we reflect the values of a kind and caring community?  

One way is through our community chaplains, working with the elderly through our Joint Chaplaincy Committee. The Grotta Fund for Senior Care, an Advisory Council of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ helps us do this, along with much important work.

One of our chaplains sent a story recently about a home visit with a 95-year old woman in Jersey City, one of many locations in Hudson, Essex, Morris, and Union counties where we provide compassion and care. At the end of a lengthy session, her lovely client said, “Why, I've talked the whole time! You haven't said anything about yourself! You made me feel like I was in the desert and I found an oasis. The work you do is so important, and there is such a great need for it.”

Our chaplaincy program is critical. It shows a kind, caring, and compassionate side of who we are.
If we didn’t have a resource that helped with pastoral and spiritual care, in a variety of homes, facilities, and hospitals, we’d need to create one – fast. How fortunate that these oases exist.

Another of our community chaplains spent time recently with a 94-year old woman, EK. The chaplain noted, “Like most of the people I visit, EK asked what a community chaplain does and exactly what I do. When I finished my elevator speech she became thoughtful for a couple of seconds. Then she said, ‘What a wonderful job you have! You spend the day doing mitzvahs! By the end of it you must feel so filled up, so blessed.’”

“I couldn't agree with her more and said, ‘You are so right, and yet that's not even the half of it. The amount of religious and personal satisfaction I get from this job is almost impossible to put into words.’”

Our Chaplains, Bette Birnbaum and Rabbi Leana Moritt, have been supported by a grant from the Grotta Fund for Senior Care, to help us care for those who need us most, right in their homes.

With their work, they remind us of what’s important.

And they help us show the values of our community in the best light.

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