Creative Thinking and Innovative Solutions Help JFS Reach Clients

Rabbi Lynn Liberman

JFS Community Chaplain Rabbi Lynn Liberman, BCC, is responsible for addressing the spiritual needs of those who seek her help. Each year, she leads Seders just before Passover and celebrations to prepare for the High Holy days before Rosh Hashanah to congregate living centers throughout the Twin Cities, attended largely by seniors, many who live alone.

This year, Rabbi Liberman and Volunteer Engagement Specialist Margie Solomon were not able to deliver Passover for All bags directly to their clients. Instead, they worked with the management of living centers to ensure bags were delivered safely. Rabbi Lynn followed up with phone calls, and received many calls of thanks, giving her the opportunity to visit remotely, encourage, support and share favorite Passover traditions and memories. “While I was on the phone with one gentleman who now has to stay in his room, even for meals,” said Rabbi Liberman, “he told me he is optimistic. When I asked why, he explained that he grew up during the polio epidemic, watching many of his friends suffer, and believed that we would get through this as well.”

“But there are those who don’t have access to a phone,” explained Rabbi Liberman. “I can’t check in on them and share Passover wishes. I hope the Passover for All bags are something they can take heart in.”

Rabbi Liberman is very excited to announce the launch of tele-chaplaincy, similar to the tele-health model our Counseling department is now using. The ability to do this, though, depends on the client, some of whom can no longer use a telephone. “But I can listen to them, pray with them,” said Rabbi Liberman. “For my clients with dementia, I can show them pictures and sing with them too. Maybe it will connect for them.”