As we travel for Jewish Sacred Aging® and as we deal with consulting with congregations and families, one issue continues to be of most concern: caregiving. As we age, so many of us have been caregivers for our own parents, a spouse or, perhaps even for a child. Now, one of the growing, yet usually repressed realities, is the concern of who will care fo us as we age? Caregiving, as many of us know is a family systems issue now involving multi-generations. The impact of caregiving can last years and can impact the physical,, spiritual and emotional health of those involved. We continue to post articles on this life-stage on the Jewish Sacred Aging Facebook page and have devoted several of our Seekers of Meaning podcasts to this issue. Likewise, a growing number of congregations have begun to develop programs, seminars and workshops that specifically look at this issue (see two examples on this page from Washington Hebrew and Anshe Emet in N.J.) We continue to consult with congregations on developing these responses.
There is now an additional resource that we want to bring to your attention. The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, through a grant from Cigna, asked Jewish Sacred Aging® to create a “tool kit” for Jewish congregations on developing a congregation based program on caregiving. It is aimed at clergy, but is easily applicable for members of the congregation who wish to take up this challenge. You can access this resource at: https://www.thectac.org/supporting-caregivers-in-jewish-congregations/
Please take a look at this tool kit if you are thinking about developing a support program for caregivers that, as you will see, emerges from an understanding of our own sacred texts.
We would appreciate any comments to RabbiAddress@JewishSacredAging.com
Rabbi Richard F Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.