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July 12, 2002 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-12

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When • • •

Becoming Sensitized

From the pages of the Jewish News
for this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.


Hospice workers learn about the special needs of Holocaust survivors.

Special to the Jewish News


our presence here is a testimony to the profes-
sionalism and commitment of hospice profes-
sionals," David Techner told an audience of
approximately 150 social workers, medical staff,
caregivers and volunteers gathered at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
They were attending a June 26 program on the special
needs of terminally ill Holocaust survivors and their fami-
lies, organized by Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network
(JHCN). Techner serves as the agency's president.
The day was intended to sensitize the group of hospice
workers to the psychology of patients who survived the
horror of the Holocaust and now face end-of-life issues.
The participants toured the adjacent Holocaust
Memorial Center, had lunch and heard from a panel of
speakers. "The goal was consciousness-raising," said Rabbi
E.B. "Bunny" Freedman, JHCN director.
According to his estimate, at least two-thirds of the after-
noon's participants were not Jewish. Ten metro-area hos-
pices were represented.
Panelist Dr. Henry Krystal, psychiatrist,
author and expert on massive psychic
trauma, addressed the psychological issues
that affect survivors. These include post-
traumatic stress and lifelong emotional
damage, which results in the inability of
some survivors to .mourn.
"They are haunted by the horror of
ideas and feelings that cannot be remem-
bered nor forgotten," Dr. Krystal said.
Dr. Charles
"We need to help Holocaust survivors
grieve effectively and heal their shattered
selves through love."
Psychologist Dr. Charles Silow, director of the Detroit
Medical Center Sinai-Grace Program for Holocaust
Survivors as well as president of CHAIM (Children of
Holocaust-survivors Association In Michigan), spoke about
the impact of hospice on the children of Holocaust sur-
vivor patients and the intensity of the emotions involved.
Dr. Silow explained how children of survivors were often
overprotected and raised by anxious, depressed and panicky
mothers who had looming fears of death and disaster.
Often, there was role reversal, with the children parenting
the parents, helping them negotiate a new country, new
language and new way of life.
"The survivors are now fighting an enemy that can't be
ina and death," said Dr. Silow. The children
defeated: aging
can't stop the process or undo their parents' pain and suf-
fering and, as a result, "can drive caregivers crazy with
demands and trying to help their parents," he said.
Dr. Silow cited several cases to illustrate how hospice can

help reconcile strained parent-child relationships.
"It is important to respect the Holocaust survivors and to
understand what they've gone through," he told the audi-
ence. "They are strong, intense people and can be difficult.
You have a tremendous role to play; your love, your con-
cern and your caring mean so much."
Other panelists included Barbara Cohen, Rabbi Hershel
Klainberg and Marianne Wildstrom.
Cohen, the author of Hidden Children, now volunteers
with JHCN. She recounted some of her experience during
World War II, of being placed as a child with a Catholic
family in Germany and later being "kidnapped" by her
mother. She spoke of her guilt-ridden life, being raised by a
depressive, suicidal mother and of how hospice helped her
deal with her mother's difficult end-of-
life issues.
Speaker Rabbi Klainberg, on staff at
JHCN, is a chaplain at Menorah House
in Southfield and Marvin & Betty
Danto Family Health Care Center in
West Bloomfield. He also is a child of
survivors, who was born in the Bergen-
Belsen Displaced Persons camp at the
of the war.
Dr. Henry
are victors who triumphed
over the Nazis and rebuilt their lives," the
rabbi said. His plea for caregivers is to
"be aware of what these people have suffered.
The last speaker was Marianne Wildstrom, who works with
Jewish Family Service's indemnification program. She gave a
synopsis of her family's escape during the war and explained
the European compensation program for survivors.
Participant reaction to the afternoon program was over-
whelmingly positive. For those who previously had little
understanding of the Holocaust and its effects, the infor-
mation gained was enlightening.
One participant on her evaluation form expressed apprecia-
tion for being given an "understanding of the residual effects
of Holocaust trauma, especially in family and parenting."
Said a staff member from Lighthouse Hospice in
Southfield: "What I've heard and learned today has forever
changed my life and made me see life in a whole new
The event was co-sponsored by the Ira and Rose
Kaufman Fund and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer
Institute, Jewish Family Service, Maimonides Society and
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit.
Hospices represented at the conference included Henry
Ford Hospice, Detroit; Angela Hospice, Livonia; Odyssey
Hospice, Southfield; Arbor Hospice, Ann Arbor; Karmanos
Hospice, Southfield; Hospice of Michigan, Detroit; St.
John's Hospice, Detroit; Heartland Hospice, Southfield;
Lighthouse Hospice, Southfield; and Beaumont Hospice,


Mark and Risa Finn become the
500th family to buy a home under
the Neighborhood Project, an inter-
est-free loan program of the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
The Anti-Defamation League is
protesting the hiring of a security
service affiliated with Black Muslim
leader Louis Farrakhan to patrol a
public housing project in Los

King Solomon's Mines and Pillars
in Timna Valley Park are reopened
to visitors in Israel.
The Ontario Human Rights
Commission has ordered a local mat-
tress-manufacturing firm to restore
the job of an Orthodox Jew dis-
missed for refusing to work


Israeli concert pianist David Bar-
Illan offers to "reimburse" the
Soviet Union so Soviet Jewish
dancer Valery Panov could leave the
Traverse City's Temple Beth El,
one of Michigan's oldest syna-
gogues, will start its first regular
services in more than 10 years.


Irving Katz's book The Jewish

Soldier from Michigan in the Civil
War is translated into Hebrew by
Bernard Isaacs; Detroit Historical
Museum hosts a special exhibit.


Detroiter.Byron Krieger represents
U. S. in fencing at the Summer
Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
Former Detroiter Lt. Myron
Duskin receives the Bronze Star for
training Puerto Rican troops.

1942 .

Plans for the building of a Jewish
Hospital in Detroit are presented at
the Jewish Community Center.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle, archivis4
i Leo M Franklin Aithives,
the Rabb
Temple Beth El



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