Winter 2010

Growing Together“Growing Together” Fortifies Women at Beit Natan’s Winter Retreat

Large doses of laughter, relaxation, pampering and plain fun was the order of the day for the 80 women who participated in Beit Natan’s winter retreat for cancer patients, held at the Nir Etzion Hotel on the Carmel coast in January. The three-day retreat, whose theme was “Growing Together”, fortified the women, who are in various stages of the disease. The participants, who represented a broad cross-section of Israeli society – secular, ultra-Orthodox, traditional, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, immigrants and veteran Israelis – hailed from all over the country. “When I attended my first retreat, I was scared. I did not want to be part of this club,” recalled one woman. “But this time, I literally counted the days to the retreat. It has given me so much strength and love. I feel like I’m floating on a magic carpet.” The therapeutic and recreational program ensured that everyone received the “spiritual medicine” of camaraderie, medical knowledge, self-awareness and new coping skills, relaxation, and good nutritional food necessary to assist them in their journey to recovery. Dr. Ora Rosengarten, Oncologist at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, spoke to the women on “How to Communicate with your Physician”. Alongside Beit Natan's professional staff, workshops were given by Idit Kubelsky – Breathing therapy, Yael Lolkin, Michal Azrielli, Judy Kutler- Laughter therapy and Chana Rachtman –Movement therapy. In the evening, comedienne Noya Mendel put the participants in stitches during her standup comedy routine “Humor – The Spice of Life”. Odeliya Berlin and her friend Tzvia kept the women dancing and singing until midnight with their lively and lovely musical talents. Thanks to all those who donated their services free of charge: Noya Mandel, Odelya Barlin & Tzvia, Yael Lolkin, Hadassa Shar – Oncology nurse from Ichilov and Yisrael Fisher – Paramedic. Special thanks to B&D for the t-shirts, Mr. Fishbein for the towels, "Dr. Fisher" and "Ahava" for their products. The retreat was sponsored by the Myra Reinhart Family Foundation, the Boca Raton Art Lovers event, and other anonymous donors.

Beit Natan Hosts Leading Cancer Researcher

Beit Natan Hosts Leading Cancer Researcher

Beit Natan was honored to host world-renowned cancer researcher, Dr. Auro Del Giglio, who spoke on “An Overview of Breast Cancer Research – A Brazilian Cancer Center Experience”, to Beit Natan staff in December 2009. Dr, Del Giglio – the coordinator of the Oncology Program at the Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in São Paulo – also shared his research findings with Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s Oncology Institute, under the directorship of Prof. Alberto Gabizon. Dr. Del Giglio recently became a member of Beit Natan’s Medical Advisory Board. During his visit, a special brunch organized by Beit Natan was held in his honor.

 

Tomchim (“Caregiving”) Volunteer Training

Tomchim (Home Hospice Care) Volunteer Training Course

The diverse group of 28 volunteers who completed the two-month Tomchim Home Hospice Visitation Program Training Course in January had one unifying objective: to learn how to provide the best spiritual care and comfort for terminally ill patients. “Everyone came with a desire to give to others. Either they had experienced loss and wanted to give back, or they wanted to learn more in order to give,” noted Chaya Heller, director of Beit Natan. Participants in the Jerusalem training course, held in cooperation with Yad Sarah and Tishkofet, included seven men and 21 women, ranging in age from 28 to 76. “It was a beautifully diverse group – religious and secular, men and women, veteran Israelis and immigrants, and others,” Heller said. The Tomchim Home Hospice Visitation Program is made possible by a generous grant from the UJA-Federation of New York’s “Spiritual Care Program”. In an effort to expand Tomchim’s home hospice services nationally, a new training course will be held in the Spring in Northern Israel, in conjunction with local partner organizations from the area. New volunteers are welcome to join the training program, which will meet once a week for three hours, over a two-month period. The volunteer training and supervision sessions incorporate Jewish sources to understand the end-of-life process. The Jerusalem course included a session by Dr. Ayal Goldberg, a physician at the Galillee Hospice, who discussed the views of various biblical figures toward dying. Rabbi Mordechai Neugershal also spoke on “The Jewish Approach to Life and Death”. “Many veteran Israelis were fascinated with the infusion of Jewish sources,” Heller said. “The very act of visiting the sick is a spiritual act, one which has its own power and impact. The fact that Tomchim volunteers are well trained and prepared for this role, and experience personal growth and satisfaction as a result of their involvement, reflects Judaism’s ‘down to earth’ spirituality.”

Boca Raton “Art Lovers”Tour a great success

Boca Raton “Art Lovers”Tour a great success

A special ART LOVERS fundraising tour of Miami Art District was held on Wednesday February 3, 2010. 70 people from the Boca Raton Friends of Beit Natan went down to Miami for the day to visit 3 unusual Art Galleries. Visited first was the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery where the owner guided the participants through the collection. The focus of this gallery is Art created by women, as well as artists not in the main stream. The second gallery visited housed 20th Century Masterpieces, such as Picasso, Botero, and others The third Gallery featured Art created by Spanish speaking artists from Miami and South America. Dahlia Morgan, former Director of the Museum and the Art Education Program at Florida International University,Miami accompanied and guided the group. Luncheon was held at a lovely cafe in the district. Over the past 7 years this ART TOUR has raised close to $1000,00 for the Retreat for Recovery Program. Beit Natan is grateful to the Boca Raton Friends of Beit Natan.A special thanks go to Joy Schreiber and Eleanor Dover for heading the ART TOUR Program, and to the contributors whose tremendous generosity plays a crucial role in helping women with cancer on their journey to healing.

 Mother & Daughter Art Therapy Event

Mother & Daughter Art Therapy Event

Women coping with cancer, and their teenage daughters, came together during Hanukkah for a special art therapy session led by Danit Shemesh. The participants wrote about their expectations and feelings, which were then addressed in each family art project. “Danit asked us why we drew the things we did. The interaction was amazing. There was a lot of togetherness,” said one woman. “My illness has been very scary for my 19-year-old daughter. She felt alone, and she didn’t want to talk to anyone about it,” she added. “Beit Natan’s mother-daughter events have really helped my daughter open up. She’s become good friends with another girl in the group, and it has made a big difference for her. Now she realizes that she’s not the only one going through this.”