As members of Temple Emanu-El, we are blessed to share moments of personal celebration and joy as well as times of struggle and sorrow, together as a congregational family. Emanu-El Cares invites members to lend support, through a variety of meaningful opportunities, to fellow congregants.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
Struggling to build a family? Currently pursuing infertility treatments, donor egg or sperm? Considering adoption? Looking to connect with others on a similar journey? We invite you and your loved ones to join RESOLVE’s Upper East Side General Infertility Peer-Led Support Group. Monthly meetings are held at no cost. Participation and regular attendance are voluntary. To RSVP for a meeting, or contact the volunteer support group leaders, please email us at . Feel supported, empowered and less isolated. Join us and see that you are not alone.
In mid-November, HIAS welcomed a man from Jamaica to the United States as a new citizen. Emanu-El, under the leadership of Steven Portnoy, has partnered with Congregation Rodeph Shalom for the second time to help a newly arrived immigrant settle into his next chapter as an American. If you wish to help, volunteers will be needed in the new year to accompany him to appointments and to show him around the city.
HIAS began as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. A quote from their blog tells us that no matter how far we have come, the obligation to welcome the stranger endures. It reads: “We used to take refugees because they were Jewish; now we take them because we are Jewish.”
Please contact Rabbi Amy Ehrlich to learn more at or 212-744-1400, ext 206
Emanu-El Cares partners with CancerCare
Emanu-El Cares is a resource for temple members through life’s journey, celebrating whenever possible and supporting when necessary. If you are dealing with cancer, we encourage you to take advantage of the resources offered by CancerCare, such as free counseling by professional oncology social workers for patients and caregivers; support groups to help you cope and connect with others; education workshops to become informed about cancer related issues. CancerCare may also help defray the cost of treatment, such as co-pays, transportation to doctors and hospitals, for those who qualify financially.
To learn more: www.cancercare.org
For all of CancerCare‘s free services: call 800-813-HOPE (4673).
To speak with the clergy: contact Rabbi Amy Ehrlich at (212) 744-1400, ext 206 or email .
To read a very personal account, from the shock of a diagnosis to the comfort found in a support group, read the essay written by Stephen Fields.
Are you caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s Disease?
Be part of a support group which offers informal sharing and coping, supportive listening, emotional support from fellow caregivers, guidance from trained support group leaders.
The group will meet at Emanu-El every other week, beginning in late January. If you are interested, please contact or Rabbi Amy Ehrlich at
For additional Alzheimer’s resources, contact CaringKind NYC’s 24 hour Help Line at (646) 744-2900.
Caring Conversations About End of Life Planning
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A HEALTH CARE PROXY?
If you are ill or incapacitated, who will speak for you in the event you cannot
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER SIGNED A HEALTH CARE PROXY:
A Health Care Proxy which names your Health Care Agent means someone who knows what is important to you will pursue the kind of medical treatment you’d want to have and not the treatment you’d want to avoid. A trained facilitator will explain how simple Advance Care Planning can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind — right now and if “that day” ever comes.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE A HEALTH CARE PROXY:
Do you know where your Health Care Proxy is? Have you looked at your Health Care Proxy recently? Have there been any changes in your health? Are you still comfortable with the person you named as your Health Care Agent? If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, it might be time for you alone, or with your appointed Health Care Agent, to speak to a trained facilitator.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- At what age should I start thinking about Advance Care Planning? Do I need to be sick first?
You may prepare a Health Care Proxy at the age of 18 or older. You should start thinking about what your wishes might be if you are unable to communicate or express them during a health crisis. You should also consider whom you would trust to carry out your wishes under such circumstances. Serious events can happen unexpectedly. It is best to plan ahead.
- When does a Health Care Proxy go into effect? How long does it stay in effect? Can I change my Health Care Proxy if my wishes change?
The Health Care Proxy goes into effect when the form is completed and signed by you before two witnesses who must also sign the document. Your Health Care Proxy remains in effect indefinitely. You may revise your Health Care Proxy at any time if your wishes or health care conditions change. In that case you will need to execute a new Health Care Proxy in the same manner as you did before. Your most recent Health Care Proxy will be honored.
- Do I need to hire an attorney or a Notary Public?
You do not need an attorney or Notary Public. The two-page New York State form is easy to complete. All you need to do is to sign the completed Health Care Proxy form before two witnesses who must also sign the form. Each witness must be over the age of 18. Your Health Care Agent and your Alternate Health Care Agent cannot be witnesses. During Covid-19 you may arrange for witnessing remotely.
- How will my Health Care Agent know what I want?
Having an open and frank discussion about your wishes with your Health Care Agent is the best way of putting him or her in a position to serve your interests. If your Health Care Agent doesn’t know your wishes, he or she is legally required to act in your best interests. It is an enormous responsibility to try to determine what is in someone else’s best interests. Don’t put your Health Care Agent in that position. Tell your Health Care Agent what medical treatment you would want.
- What if my Health Care Agent and my Alternate Health Care Agent are not reachable when needed?
It is best to select a Health Care Agent and Alternate Health Care Agent who are now available and will be so in the future, preferable living in the U.S. If neither are available when needed, your wishes for health care treatment as stated on your Health Care Proxy form or on a document known as a Living Will will give guidance, but will not be binding.
- What if I am separated, but not yet divorced. Can my husband still be my Health Care Agent?
If you have named your spouse as your Health Care Agent and you later become divorced or legally separated, your former spouse can no longer be your Health Care Agent by law, unless you state otherwise. If you would like your former spouse to remain your Health Care Agent, you may note this on your current Health Care Proxy form and date it or complete a new Health Care Proxy form naming your former spouse.
- How often do I need to communicate with my Health Care Agent to see if they are still willing and able to serve?
You should communicate with your Health Care Agent as often as you wish. Advance Care Planning is a process; it is not a one-time event.
- Who decides if I am capable of making my own medical decisions?
Your Health Care Agent will start making decisions for you when your doctor determines that you are not able to make health care decisions for yourself.
To discuss any of these questions in more depth, contact the “What Matters” Committee at . A trained facilitator will e-mail you a NYS Health Care Proxy form and call to help you plan a health care directive.