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July 20, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 20, 2012

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 20, 201 ? Cancer survivors are finding understanding they need Call us Today 407 478, 5469. Caring for you in your home or facility part-time or 24 hours 7 days a week. We always provide a C.N.A. Laundry Range of MOtion Exercises Walking Assistance Companion Services Light housekeeping Meal prep and clean-up Medication Reminders Errands & Transportation i % ,. ! a Alzheimer's & Dementia Care Bathing[TransferringFrolleting Get 10 Callus TODAY for details,., !+W&6 " , "'2 e'   .   .: ---,C+.-,,' ftate of It AHCA 111111 # NR 30211467 State ot F[,. INCA License # 231112 tnsumd an bonded ," ,, "" ,, ,, , "?': , " "" " -i '- '> T "' : ' .- PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS QUESTION: WHY CHOOSE OHEV AS YOUR SPIRITUAL HOME? ". ANSWER: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS 3 TIMES TO LEARN WHY... A Taste of Ohev Brunch will be held on Sunday morning, August 5th at 10:30 am Using a menu theme, all of Ohev's delicious programs and activities including our Religious School, all Adult and Youth (of all ages/USY) events will whet your appetite. A light brunch will be served with an opportunity to win $360 off first year dues. Meet the Teacher AND a Family Funday for COS families & Prospective Families, August 12th. Meet the teachers 11:30-12:30 and stick around for Bar B Q lunch and fun! Tell your friends. Cruise Over to Ohev on Wednesday evening, August 15th at 7 pm From the Captain's cocktail party to visiting Ohev's Ports of Call, you'll have the answer Why Ohev! (with an opportunity to win $360 off first year dues) Enjoy Shabbat dinner with the Ohev family on Friday evening, August 24th at 6 pm Inspiring Shabbat services and inviting Oneg to follow. C O N (:; R [ (2; AT I O N OHEVSHALOM Please RSVP to each event by calling the Ohev office at 407.298.4650 613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland, FL 32751 R-Mission David Pelcovitz, professor of psychology and education at Yeshiva University's Azrieli Gradu- ate School, speaks June 3 about the challenges of remission at the R-Mission inaugural event. By Charlotte Anthony NEW YORK (JTA)--Roni Bibring was 15 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Four years later, her treatment completed, she says her biggest challenge--having lost touch with many of her friends--is making new friends who understand what she's been through. "Most people don't even realize that they've completely lost touch with you and that's the thing you need the most," said Bibring, of Englewood, N.J. "They think because you don't text them every day that you don't want them in your life, but you might not even be conscious," adding that "You could be asleep for days in a row." Through R-Mission, a sup- port network for Jewish can- cer survivors that held its inaugural event in New York last month, Bibring is finding people who do understand. "I have a lot of scars, and they would never judge me for it because they probably have similar things on their body, too," said Bibring, who is featured on the group's website. "Just not having to be judged and to have friends that understand why you look a certain way is the best part." Cheryl Greenberger said her work as a psychologist at Chai Lifeline, which provides support and a camp for Jewish children with life-threatening illnesses, spurred her to create R-Missionmas in remission-- as a Chai Lifeline program. "What people were asking for and looking for was a way to connect with other people who could relate to them and understand them in a way that even close family members and close friends couldn't relate to them," Greenberger said. The group's website, r-mis-, includes a discussion forum open only to those who have registered, as well as a resource section with links to everything from cancer research foundations to sup- port groups to organizations that give scholarships to young people who have had cancer. Although events will be held inNewYork, Greenbergpoints out that the discussion forum can reach a global audience. More than 100 people already have registered, many of them from outside the United States. An online community, she says, gives "people the oppor- tunity to really be open and honest with the questions they R-Mission R-Mission members, from left: Robin Burger, Roni Bibring and Yonina Teitelbaum at R-Mission's inaugural event. hadwithout publicly announc- ing themselves." Bibring says she is glad to meet people who have had experiences similar to hers. "All of us went through the same thing," she said. "They understand what you are go- ing through and they are not going to ditch you. They are there for you when you aren't feeling well." Melanie Kwestel, Chai Life- line's director of commu- nications, anticipates that R-Mission will draw its initial members from Chai Lifeline. But she says the goal "is to reach people of all types of cancer beyond just pediatric -cancer, and with onlineadver- rising we can reach a bigger audience." For now, the majority of those involved in R-Mission are Orthodox, but through online advertising and word of mouth, officials hope to reach Jews across the denominations. David Pelcovitz, a professor of psychology and education at Yeshiva University's Azriel Graduate School and a mem- ber of the R-Mission advisory committee, said a stigma long surrounded cancer. In Yid- dish, cancer was referred to as "yenem machla," an affliction from the other world. "It was almost too dread a reality to even face and name," Pelcovitz said. 'We ve come a long way since then, and this is another example of being able to openly discuss, openly support and to openly name the monster." The stigma, however, re- mains and it is most prevalent in the Orthodox community, Kwestel said, pointing in par- ticular to a culture in which matchmakers are common. Before the couples meet, they learn much about one another's background. "There are people Who aren't going to date someone who had cancer, but it's just not acceptable in the non-. Orthodox community to say that," Kwestel said. Unlike Sharsheret, a flon- profit founded a decade ago to focus on young Jewish women who have or were treated for breast and ovarian cancer, R-Mission is the first Jewish organization dedicated to con- necting Jewish survivors with all types of cancer, according to Greenberger. Kwestel says that many who have survived cancer are see king a sense of community. "Sometimes people say I'm not religious, I don't do Shab- bos, I don't do kosher but I'm Jewish," she said. "There's still this feeling of affiliation and there is a feeling that in any kind of traumatic situation, we look back to our families and community." Bibring says that she is ex- cited that R-Mission has been working closely with survivors to ascertain their needs. "It's like we are building our own organization by the means that we have. I think it's awesome; it's the best thing you can ask for," she said. "Dif- ferent people have different needs, so it's nice that they are asking us." Greenberger wants R-Mis- sion to be a program "for survivors by survivors." "I hope that we will develop a strong community where no one will feel alone anymore when they complete treat- ment, and that people will feel like there is a place they can go where people understand them," she said. "We really want to empower survivors."