Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Grief support through a Jewish lens

Cyndie Ellman lost her husband in July and attended grief counseling with a lovely woman who was unaware of her faith and "just didn't get it." She then tried a secular grief support group run by one of the hospices, and again "they just didn't get it." Her third try was a charm. Ellman is currently participating in a Grief Support Group co-sponsored by the Jewish Pavilion and VITAS Hospice. The magic formula" was in the facilitator.

"Rabbi Maurice Kaprow gets it... he provides support from a Jewish perspective and that made all the difference in the world," said Ellman. She finally feels "humanoid" again. After each session, she has a feeling of relaxation instead of feelings of dread.

Ellman is also thrilled that Cascade Heights hosted the program, because she lives there and cannot get to meetings out of her building. She also loves the other programs that the Jewish Pavilion hosts in her community: Shabbat Services, High Holiday services and Passover seders. She was so moved by the Jewish Pavilion Yom Kippor service she attended that she felt like it was tailored entirely to her needs. She hopes that the next Jewish Pavilion/VITA Hospice Group will be at Cascade Heights so she can rejoin.

Robert Braun (Robby) lost his wife in February. He too tried an individual therapist and a Hospice Grief Support Group and still felt bereft. When he joined the Jewish Pavilion Grief Support Group with Rabbi Kaprow he felt comfortable on day one. He is especially appreciative of the Jewish lens that the rabbi put on the conversations. He is pleased that Rabbi Kaprow shares some of his own experiences, which he finds very helpful as a widower.

Braun explained that "the group totally helped me. It made a big difference. I plan to attend the next group with my daughter."

For more information about grief support call the Jewish Pavilion at 407-678-9363 or Jewish Family Services 407-644-7593. The two organizations alternate seasonally so that grief support is offered four times a year. Both offer grief support through a Jewish lens.


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