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Defining “Jewish values” for senior care

Posted: June 26, 2013

I am just leaving a national board retreat for the Association of Jewish Aging Services.  I was flattered to be asked to join the board of this forward-thinking, activist organization.  At this retreat, among other things we struggled with a definition of “Jewish values” as it applies to our collective agencies.  Many of us have significant or even majority non-Jewish residents and all of us are open without reservation or preference to people of all faiths.  Yet we have a strong consensus that we are all defined by “Jewish values”.

My sub-group tried to articulate what that means.  Here are some of our ideas:

  • Commitment to the highest quality—all of our residents are our proverbial “mothers and fathers” from the 5th commandment;
  • Drive to attain knowledge about how to do our work better;
  • Desire to share that knowledge widely and broadly;
  • Openness to innovation, new ways of doing business; and
  • Commitment to caring for whomever walks through our doors with joy.

These seems pretty much in line with work at JCHE.

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