Gilchrist’s Jewish Care and Support Program
Gilchrist has changed the name of its Jewish hospice program to the Jewish Care and Support Program. We at Gilchrist recognize that myths associated with hospice can impose barriers to care and access to our many services, which include Elder Medical Care, Counseling & Support, Care Choices and more. The new program name more fully embraces the breadth of services we offer to our Jewish patients and families.
The Jewish Care and Support Program focuses on care with special consideration of the customs, rituals and laws around which Jewish patients and families have built meaningful lives. As part of our commitment to meeting the needs of our Jewish patients and families, Gilchrist has created the Honoring Holocaust Survivors and Their Families Program, now in its initial phase.
Honoring Survivors and Their Families
The impact of the Holocaust on survivors and subsequent generations is often profound. Like any trauma, experiences vary greatly as do the responses and feelings of each survivor and their loved ones. Gilchrist offers survivors and their families a unique way to honor and remember their experiences.
For families who are interested in honoring a loved one, the Jewish Care and Support program manager and the patient’s Gilchrist team—including the social worker and rabbinical chaplain—will explain ways to honor the patient’s heritage, survival and life story. Because each family’s understanding of the historical experience is unique, the way they choose to honor the survivor will also be unique.
Honoring survivors and their connection to this history need not be a ceremony. Below are a few of the possible ways families may choose to honor their loved ones. If the family wishes, a rabbi—either from the Gilchrist staff, the family’s synagogue or the family’s community—may participate or attend.
Gilchrist can provide a booklet of suggested prayers. You may choose other prayers that are important to you and your family. You may include your family rabbi or a Gilchrist rabbi to pray with you and your loved ones—once or over many visits.
You may select music that is meaningful and brings you joy, happiness and peace. The Gilchrist rabbi may sing with you. Additionally, Gilchrist has a music therapy team who may schedule times to play selected music and sing with you. These services may be offered in person or virtually.
Your social worker, Gilchrist rabbi, or Gilchrist Jewish volunteer may listen to your story with respect and compassion.
Generation to Generation
Family members may work with loved ones to complete pages in the Legacy Book. Family members may listen to your story about your experience during the Holocaust.
A Family Tribute
If you are interested, our Gilchrist rabbi or your own rabbi may work with you and your family to plan a Family Tribute that may include:
- Pinning (Gilchrist will provide a Tree of Life pin)
- Your selection of favorite music
- Your choice of prayers, poems and other written selections
- Sharing of special memories
- Your invitation list of family, friends and special people meaningful to you and your loved one
- Selecting a date and time to bring everyone together
Gilchrist’s trained, committed and compassionate Jewish volunteers can offer regular phone and virtual support. Based on your wishes and care plan, the volunteers will schedule their check-in calls or visits.
If you are caring for a Holocaust survivor or their family member, please reach out to us at Chaya Lasson, Jewish Care and Support Program Manager, at Classon@gilchristcares.org. Much appreciation for the care and support you give each day!