Jewish Disability Month: Care-Giving/Care-Receiving

Celebrating Jewish Disability
Awareness Month 2019

If it’s February, it must be Jewish Disability Awareness Month!

This year, Temple Sinai’s Access Committee has chosen “Care-giving and Care-receiving” as the theme — a challenge many congregants will need to address at some stage in their lives.

Care-giving can be a good opportunity for a rewarding, educational and self-fulfilling job with flexible hours. There are also disadvantages: it can be exhausting and feel all-consuming. Many care-givers feel underpaid, overworked and overwhelmed.

Similarly, there are advantages and disadvantages to care-receiving. The biggest advantage, of course, is that it can be life-preserving, offering a path to true independence, giving a person freedom to have time and energy to do things s/he really wants and/or needs to do, and bringing peace-of-mind to supportive family members. Care-receivers and care-givers can develop rich partnerships and long-lasting relationships with one another... On the other hand, care-receiving can be expensive. And for someone new to finding a care-giver, the experience can trigger one’s vulnerability and, at first, feel intrusive and burdensome when embarking on searching for an individual to assist meeting personal needs.

Several events will take place this month to create a platform that will address a variety of aspects involved with
care-giving / care-receiving.

■    On Saturday, February 9th at 10:30am, Neil Jacobson shares his thoughts on how that week’s Torah portion, Terumah, offers a way for us to view care-giving/care-receiving at the Shabbat Morning Minyan.

■    During the Shabbat Mizmor Shir! evening service on Friday, February 15th at 7:30pm, Helen Smiler presents a provocative teaser followed by a panel moderated by Rabbi Ruth Adar at the Oneg, featuring Sara Klein, Luciana Perez, and Denise Sherer Jacobson sharing their personal experiences.

■    On Sunday, February 24th at 10:00am, the Access Committee will host a Conversation at Temple Sinai for the community to continue the very meaningful and purposeful discussion. Join Rabbi Mates-Muchin and Neil Jacobson as they facilitate a Conversation around this significant and purposeful discussion. Share your experiences, hopes, fears, and questions with our community. RSVP to Neil Jacobson at [email protected].

The Access Committee is compiling a Care-Giving/Care-Receiving Resource Page with links to websites to find and fund attendants/care-givers. It will also have links to blogs and articles on both care-giving and care-receiving. If you have information that should be included, please email it to [email protected].

Additional links:

Neil Jacobsen's commentary on Care-giving and Care-receiving (Terumah, February 9, 2019)

Rabbi Ruth Adar "Hiding My Disability Kept Me from My Fullest Life" (February 7, 2019)