As lockdown continues and the days seems to blend into each other, many of the senior members of our community are even more isolated and alone than usual.
Our team continually keep in touch with as many of our members via phone and email, and we know that there are many others that also keep in touch with each other on their own, but often this is just not enough. Each one of us has the capacity to help making people feel less alone by showing compassion and empathy.
Compassion is a quiet, unassuming ‘being there’ for someone else when they are experiencing a difficult time. It is the ability to listen with all of our attention to someone else, without judging, without interruption and without thinking of what we are going to say next. It is absorbing what they are saying, trying to understand as far as possible what they are experiencing at the time, and showing them that you understand, with warmth, love and very little comment. Just listening is often enough.
Compassion encompasses a love of life and of humanity, a genuine concern and respect for all others, no matter what their background or circumstances. In essence, it is a humility about oneself and one’s own place in this magical thing we call life , and a feeling of kindness towards others and the ability to completely and selflessly transport oneself into someone else’s life experience, to adopt their frame of reference, without being tempted to give advice or solve that person’s problem for them. It is allowing them the space and time to find solutions to their own difficulties, and facilitating the process for them, simply by showing them you care. And although you are not going through what they are at the time, you understand them.
Everyone knows empathy is import, but recognising it in real life can be a challenge.
Showing empathy is an important way to build strong relationships and be a good friend. Ultimately, people feel less alone when they know others understand their perspective, and that’s what empathy is all about. Part of being empathetic is reserving judgement, so you set aside what you think should happen and focus on feelings instead. Listening attentively, reserving judgement, and setting aside what you think should happen whilst focusing on the feelings of the person you are with instead.
Being empathetic can take different forms, and is often confused with Sympathy. When you are being empathetic, you are doing more than feeling sorry for another person; you are actually trying to imagine the situation from that person’s point of view.
There are three different types of empathy, and it’s possible to have more than one type at a time:
Emotional empathy is when you feel something because someone else does. You may have noticed this when you cried watching a very sad scene in a movie.
Cognitive empathy involves thinking more than feeling, cognitive empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. When you talk to a friend about something that is bothering you and feel understood by that person, it’s often because your friend was using cognitive empathy.
Compassionate empathy is any kind of empathy that leads to action. When you see someone in need and offer that person some food or money, that is compassionate empathy.
During this excessively hard and isolating times we can all certainly show compassion and empathy to whoever needs to be held.
One of the way’s the CJSA team and our wonderful band of volunteers have shown compassion is the way in which our Shabbat Meals have been organised and delivered. At the time of writing this article, 1184 Shabbat meals have been delivered. Special thanks to Berkies and Merle Rubin for initiating this much appreciated and enjoyed initiative.
Please note that we will be providing an extra special Rosh Hashanah meal delivered to your home as we know that many will most probably not be able to enjoy the usual family celebrations that are the norm when heralding the New Year.
We take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Happy and Healthy New Year, an easy and meaningful Fast and may the year 5781 be one where there is health, happiness and the opportunity to rekindle warm and loving relationships with those we love.
Diana Sochen, Executive Director CJSA
CJSA is working hard to bring you amazing entertainment while you stay at home during lockdown. Follow us on Facebook and look out for our email newsletters advertising upcoming events.
Social and Personal
Our Social and Personal Column is much shortened at this time but we share in the joy of those who have had any celebratory occasions and feel the pain of our members who have endured any losses:-
Ella Blumenthal – great grandson
Sadie Graziani – great grandchild
Ernest and Estelle Kaplan – great grandson
Barbara Kahn – grandson
Miriam Lichterman – great grandson
Judy Resnick – great granddaughter
Jessie Trackman – great granddaughter
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Wineberg – granddaughter
Becky Joffe – grandson
Ella Blumenthal – 99th birthday
Welcome to new members:
Eric and Sandra Cohen, Barbara Kahn, Darryl Kaimowitz, Marlene Lyons and Patricia Swelling
Ethne Abromowitz on the passing of her mother
Marge Gurwitz on the passing of her sister
Darryl Kaimowitz on the passing of his brother
Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691, email@example.com
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691, firstname.lastname@example.org
CJSA on Facebook
Sea Point: 021 434 9691
Milnerton: Hajiera Safidien–Maloon 021 555 1736
S/Suburbs: Monique Nieuwenhuys 021 761 7960
W/Coast: Stacey Melmed 074 405 5186
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