Finding New Connections to Compassion
— Dr. Mickey Schindler
Over the past year and a half, we all retreated inwards. New connections were rare.
But during this time, we met David, a man in his early 60’s experiencing significant cognitive decline, living alone and unable to take care of his basic needs. His caregiver, Sarah, contacted us, as she too is getting older and struggling to take care of David but is deeply committed to his wellbeing.
Sarah is not David’s relative, but is acutely aware that he has no one else in the world to look after him. Her sense of compassion is not an isolated act of kindness — dozens of individuals reached out to MARVA during this period out of concern for neighbors, acquaintances and strangers who needed help. We are inspired by their dedication and initiative.
Recently, we met via Zoom with social workers and other professionals working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in East Jerusalem, as part of MARVA’s efforts to reach diverse populations in communities across Israel. Not only did this take place during the pandemic, but also amid spiraling tensions around the time of the war in May. Being part of this group of diverse individuals — Jews, Christians and Muslims — all united by common vision to help elderly residents of East Jerusalem was remarkable and motivates us to seek further connections across Israel.