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Gilchrist’s Holocaust Survivors Program Fills Unique Need

September 2, 2022, Jewish Hospice

Gilchrist’s Holocaust Survivors Program Fills Unique Need

Each day, Gilchrist’s staff and volunteers work tirelessly to bring to life its vision—to provide counseling, support and care to anyone with a serious illness, so they may live life to the fullest. While Gilchrist cares for individuals of any faith background, the Jewish Care and Support program focuses on care with special consideration of the customs, rituals and laws around which Jewish patients and their families have built meaningful lives.

Gilchrist’s Commitment

As part of our commitment to meeting the needs of our Jewish patients and families, Gilchrist created the Honoring Holocaust Survivors and Their Families Program. This program truly highlights one of Gilchrist’s strengths—its interdisciplinary team. Nurses, social workers, chaplains, therapists, music therapists, volunteers and Gilchrist’s team of rabbis work together, along with the Associate Director of the Jewish Care and Support Program, to meet the unique and varied needs of Holocaust survivors and their families. Staff education and training provided by Gilchrist and Jewish Community Services are ongoing. 

Social workers and rabbis are available to provide support to not only the survivor themselves, but also the children, grandchildren and extended family of survivors, who have their own emotional and spiritual needs. Music therapists can work with families to use music to meet the social, emotional, physical, spiritual and cognitive needs of the patient and family. Gilchrist has trained, committed and compassionate Jewish volunteers that can offer regular phone and virtual support.

Unique Experience

Because each family’s experience is unique, the way they choose to honor the survivor will also be unique. Survivors may choose to work with their family and a Gilchrist staff member or volunteer to record their story of survival, courage and renewal, either of their experiences during the Holocaust or of rebuilding a new life and family. 

For those patients who are interested, our Gilchrist rabbi or the patient’s rabbi can work with the patient and their family to plan a Family Tribute that brings together special people meaningful to the patient. The tribute may include pinning with a Gilchrist Tree of Life pin, a selection of favorite music, the patient’s choice of prayers, poems and other written selections, and the sharing of special memories.

For more information on the Holocaust Survivors program or the Jewish Care and Support program, please email JewishHospice@gilchristcares.org or call 443.849.8317.

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