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June 29, 1984 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 Friday, June 29, 1984



Need for Jewish hospice seen



Local News Editor

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"The Jewish community
provides agencies which
meet the needs of Jews for
education, for health care,
for social service — the need
to provide hospice care
under Jewish auspices is no
less important."
Rabbi Irwin Groner,
spiritual leader of Cong.
Shaarey Zedek and domes-
tic affairs committee
chairman of the Synagogue
Council of America, told
The Jewish News this week
why he saw a need for a hos-
pice operated under Jewish
communal auspices.
Rabbi Groner said the ,
need is multifaceted.
"When we provide cure,
that service is essentially
not religious. It operates in-
dependently of religion and
faith. The hospice provides
a program of care for termi-
nally ill patients when
curative measures are no
longer possible. In provid-
ing that care, religion and
faith are integral compo-
First, he said, the hospice,
under Jewish auspices, can
answer questions of faith.
Among these: what is the
meaning of my life, what
will happen to me after
death, what will happen to
my family, in what way will
my existence and my life
endure here on earth. In a
hospice not under Jewish
auspices these questions
can be answered by anyone,
but in a Jewish hospice,
they can be answered
Secondly, he said, is the
matter of "clinical applica-
tion of Jewish values to the
dying." Rabbi Groner said
that just as there is a
Halachah for certain
Jewish celebrations, so is
there a Halachah for the
caring of the dying. He said
its components include: "in-
forming the patient of his
condition, the way in which
we are to visit the sick and
the manner in which we en-
able the patient to find sol-
ace, comfort and forgive-
ness." But, he said, an issue
arises out of this: "Judaism
affirms the requirement to
prolong life, is there also a
requirement to prolong suf-

Thirdly, Rabbi Groner
said a hospice under Jewish
auspices will be responsive
to the needs of a Jewish
patient, because it can pro-
vide kosher food as well as
the other accoutrements of a
Jewish lifestyle and tradi-
tion, citing Shabbat obser-
vance in particular.
Finally, he said the hos-
pice provides an environ-
ment "in which family,
community and faith be-
came a support system to
overcome the sense of lonel-
iness and abandonment the
dying often fedi' ,

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Rabbi Irwin Groner, left, was joined at the National
Conference on Hospice for the Jewish Community by
Detroiters Allen Juris, Madalyn Rosen and Robert A.
Steinberg, president of the Jewish Home for Aged.

Asked how he became in-
terested in the hospice
movement, Rabbi Groner
said it came out of personal
experience as a rabbi. As
part of the mitzvah of visit-
ing the sick, Rabbi Groner
came in contact with many
terminally ill patients and
their families, and saw how
the families struggle. But
for the Jewish patient, hos-
pitals and the Hospice of
Southeastern Michigan jsut
weren't fulfilling the reli-
gious needs.
"There needs to be a bet-
ter approach — one that can
improve the quality of life
when the quantity of life
can't be extended."

He said he plans to bring
to the attention of the
Jewish community, the
need for a hospice under
Jewish auspices, and said
he hopes that a communal
advisory committee, formed
under the aegis of the
Jewish Welfare Federation
can be established. He said
the members of such a
committee should include
representatives from Sinai
Hospital, the Jewish Home
for Aged, Jewish Family
Service, the synagogue
community, Federation as
well as medical and social
service professionals.
•And what can the Jewish
community at large do?
Fifst, he said, is understand
the need for such a service.
Secondly, at the outset,
funding is needed from pri-
vate donations. Thirdly, is
the dire need for volunteers.
But, ultimately, he said
"the Jewish community
must assign the important
priority to support an initial
hospice program."
Rabbi Groner has just re-
turned from the first Na-
tional Conference on Hos-
pice for the Jewish Commu-
nity, during which leaders
of the hospice movement in
U.S.. Jewish communities
gathered to encourage the
formation of hospices under
Jewish auspices and pro-
vide information and re-
'sofiiiesf ' ti

4 . . , .


WP 41. t







Jewish communities
which already have hospice
programs include those in
Los Angeles, Calif.; the
Bronx, Brooklyn and Syra-
cuse, N.Y.; Philadelphia,
Pa.; Cleveland, Ohio;
Chicago, Ill.; and Rockland,
Rabbi Groner said the av-
erage stay of a hospice
patient is about six months,
but support is provided for
the family up to one year fol-
lowing the death of their
loved love.

Parley explores
plight of Jewish

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Jewish world has not taken
education seriously enough,
and it should adopt a more
organized approach to the
issue, Morton L. Mandel,
chairman of the World
Leadership Conference for
Jewish Education, said Fri-
day. The three-day confer-
ence was held in Jerusalem
last week.
Mandel, 63, a business-
man from Cleveland, has
been involved in Jewish
education for the past 30
years. In recent years, he
said, he has come to the con-
clusion that Jewish educa-
tion is not taken seriously
enough, and that not
enough children receive a
serious Jewish education.
The key to improving the
situation, according to
Mandel, is "to enlarge the
quality and the quantity of
Jewish education." This can .
be achieved by better
understanding of the needs,
by careful Planning, and by
appropriate funds, the said.
Mandel carefully noted
that funds are placed last,
because even existing funds
for Jewish education are not
spent wisely. "In the U.S.
we spend $400 million a
year on Jewish education,

but we are not getting our

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