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Sharing new thoughts on aging.

Philosophy & spirituality

Hebrew SeniorLife Celebrates Black History Month

February 20, 2018

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As Americans we are all connected to the rich history of our nation, and Black History Month gives us the opportunity to honor the particular contributions African Americans have made to our uniquely American culture. We celebrate their achievements and recognize their central role in U.S. history. 

Music Close to Heart Brings Joy to HRC Patients

Inclusive Friday evening services at HRC engage patients in song

February 13, 2018

Hali DiecidueSenior Staff Chaplain at Hebrew SeniorLife, has a simple motto, ‘serve G-d with joy.’ That motto has lead Diecidue to add a unique introduction to her Friday nondenominational Sa

Training Providers of Geriatric Health Care to be Spiritual Generalists

An interview with Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

December 13, 2017

Rev. Mary Martha Thiel is the director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. In her role, she trains program participants of all faiths to provide spiritual guidance to senior residents and patients at Hebrew SeniorLife and beyond.

Our Clinical Pastoral Education Program Has International Reach

A Q&A with CPE Student Annabelle Herciger- Tenzer, who joins the program from Israel

August 2, 2017

Annabelle Herciger- Tenzer in Bali, Indonesia

It’s the summer of 2017 and a new group of students has arrived on Hebrew SeniorLife’s Boston campus. They are part of HSL’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, and all are eager to learn about spiritual care as it relates to aging, illnesses of aging, family caregivers, bioethical decision-making, dying, and bereavement and share their newfound knowledge with their local communities.

Why I Marched in the Boston Pride Parade

Hebrew SeniorLife residents and staff share their experiences from the Boston Pride Parade

June 21, 2017

Hebrew SeniorLife staff, residents, and supporters at Boston Pride Parade 2017

On Saturday, June 10th, Hebrew SeniorLife was proud to celebrate inclusivity and equality by participating in the Boston Pride Parade. About 30 HSL staff, their family members, and seniors marched under beautiful blue skies and with spirits high.

Bringing Meaning to Passover and Easter for Us All

Hebrew SeniorLife’s Director of Spiritual Care on seeking justice in the face of oppression

April 13, 2017

Bringing Meaning to Passover and Easter for Us All

April 4th marked 49 years since Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. During his lifetime, Dr. King was pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, and I had the honor of hearing the current Ebenezer Baptist pastor, Dr. Raphael Warnock, speak in Memphis at the American Jewish Aging Services Conference earlier this month.

Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders

One-of-a-kind program educates chaplains to provide culturally competent care

January 18, 2017

Hebrew SeniorLife is actively working to create an informed, welcoming, and inclusive community for LGBT seniors.

When it comes to LGBT elders, “most 90-year-olds have lived silent hidden lives.” This is one of the reasons that Rev. Mary Martha Thiel created a one-of-a-kind chaplaincy education unit, Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders. It’s part of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program she directs at Hebrew SeniorLife. “We’re not aware of any other CPE program with a unit focused just on the needs of the elder LGBT community,” says Mary Martha.

Honoring Our Commitment to Diversity

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Chaplain attends Haitian church service

December 30, 2016

Rabbi Sara, fourth from left, stands beside clergy and congregants of the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Everett, MA

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center has a large Haitian American staff that largely provide front line nursing care and food services for our residents and patients. Over the years I have gotten to know many of these staff members and shared good and challenging times together. I have not, however, learned enough about Haitian culture and religions, and so I jumped at the opportunity to be a visitor at a local Haitian Church.

Opening Our Hearts and Bringing Goodness Back to the World

Reflections from Hebrew SeniorLife Director of Religious and Chaplaincy Services for the Jewish High Holy Days

October 6, 2016

A photo taken on Rabbi Sara’s trip to Germany. Credit: Braham David/The Boston Globe

On July 2, 2016 we lost Elie Wiesel, world-renowned survivor of Auschwitz, author, and voice of conscience. A week later, I went to Germany with a group of Boston-area rabbis, sponsored by the Boston German Consulate. While I blogged recently about that trip, I continue to process the experience and also to hear the reflections of my fellow travelers.

Fostering Humanity: Honoring Survivors of the Holocaust in our Care at Hebrew SeniorLife

August 10, 2016

Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, seventh from left, in Germany with fellow trip participants.

There are a number of survivors of the Holocaust and victims of Nazi persecution among the many seniors who live and are cared for throughout HSL.

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