are on campus weekly sharing mindfulness tips and spirituality, respectively. Each has generously adjusted their usual activities to meet in groups with residents and staff, so they have a safe space to share, and help process the trauma of recent world events. Residents and staff, be sure to check the Weekly Activities calendar if you are interested in attending a session with David and/or Rabbi Barry.
“We’re all family,” said Molko, who was formerly senior services director at Jewish Family and Child Service, and now works for JFCS on special projects. “Regardless of who you are, where you come from, who you pray to, we’re all one family, and humanity has been stained and hurt. As a community, we owe each other the patience, time, and energy to recognize that we’ve all been hurt.
“I can only imagine, knowing some of the experiences people here have endured, that the trauma of the last week has been incredibly overwhelming.
“These kinds of events have a way of permeating in ways that we perhaps don’t realize. So, I’m hoping we can have the opportunity to breathe a little bit. Often times, having the opportunity to express what you are feeling, regardless of whatever it is, gives us a way of relieving ourselves so we can breathe free again.
“In communication, we connect, and that’s really what this is all about: our ability to be a family and to come together at a time like this.
“None of us can predict what will happen, but as human beings we try to look for something hopeful,” said Molko. “I can only pray that these events shake things up to the extent that somehow the world comes together in a way that changes the status quo.”
Malko advised that from a mental health standpoint it’s best to limit the time spent watching what’s going on overseas because “each time that we view what’s going on, we’re re-traumatized” and that can add to the despair and powerlessness that people feel.
Jewish Community Chaplain Rabbi Barry agreed. “Sometimes, I think we have too much access to news. You can plant in front of your iPhone or computer and just keep going from site to site to site, and then two hours are gone and you don’t feel much better. You feel even more stressed out.”
Rabbi Barry requested folks make sure to take care of themselves: eating, sleeping, and spending time with one another. “There’s nothing wrong with doing something completely self-indulgent either,” he said. “Have fun, and find something to try to distract yourself for a little while.”
A resident shared that she considers Cedar Sinai Park residents and staff her family.
“Exactly,” said Rabbi Barry. “And during times of crisis, family takes care of family.”