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Fostering Judaic Values

Fostering Judaic ValuesIt is important for me to show that the responsibility for imparting the Judaic Philosophy is equal among Jewish and non-Jewish staff at Reena.

I have been working at Reena for 7 years as a Direct Support Supervisor. A turning point for me was when I was invited to a Seder at a Reena Home years ago. After the Passover Seder, I went home and attended my own church service. Sitting in that church I realized the link between my faith and Judaism. I had never looked at the religions side by side before. Knowing how much I valued my own customs motivated me to want to make a difference in helping to foster the customs of others.

It was about doing what was best for the people supported by Reena. Helping them do what was culturally important to them but could not do on their own. I began taking a more active role in ensuring that the Judaic programming was happening. The expectations were always clear, but now it was from a deeper understanding. It became more than just policy that we needed to follow and practice; it was part of who we are as an agency. I became more actively involved and ensured my staff team did the same.

This past Rosh Hashanah we enjoyed beautiful High Holiday crafts that were made by the individuals and our team arranged for someone to blow the Shofar at a Reena Home. The awareness of the importance of Judaic practices has impacted the individuals so significantly.

One individual attends religious classes with the Rabbi twice per week. In the beginning his attendance was not as consistent but when staff understood how significant these classes were to him they made it a top priority. The individual is now very successful with his classes and the staff team want to go with him and offer support. We were also able to find an apartment building that conducted Sabbath services so the individual could walk there on Saturdays.

The more I know the more I want to instill not only to my own staff team but to Reena as a whole. Reena is a Jewish agency. It is important for me to show that the responsibility for imparting the Judaic philosophy is equal among Jewish and non-Jewish staff and it is important for me to see that happen.

The end result has proved to be so positive and rewarding for the individuals that we support.