Addresses the Challenges of the Sandwich Generation
This year, the 18th Annual Rebbetzins’ Conference was held on Wednesday, May 10, at the Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin in Brooklyn.
This conference is specifically designed for rebbetzins within the metropolitan area and is sponsored by The United Task Force on Children and Families at Risk, a consortium of 40 social service and mental health agencies that provide a myriad of services within the tri-state area.
Dr. Faye Zakheim and Dr. Marcel Biberfeld serve as co-chairs of the Task Force. Dr. Hindie M. Klein of OHEL serves on the Executive Board of the Task Force, and this year, once again, OHEL was one of the main co-sponsors of the event.
Other sponsors included The Jewish Board, MASK, the Orthodox Union, and Women’s League. As in previous years, the conference was sponsored in memory of Shlomo Eliezer ben HaRav Yaakov Zakheim a”h.
The conference theme this year was “MiDor L’Dor: Embracing the Challenges of the Sandwich Generation,” and the program proved inspirational, informative, and highly meaningful to the scores of rebbetzins who attended. Indeed, the program was opened to the public at the last minute, given the number of registration inquiries received from so many women interested in this compelling topic.
Audience participants were honored to receive divrei brachah by Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, mara d’asra of Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin. Rabbi Lieff graced the evening with his words of wisdom, noting the exceptional power of women to multi-task and be involved in so many things in and out of the home – “it means you are alive!”
Rebbetzin Esti Reisman spoke with sensitivity and authenticity about her experiences in caring for an elderly loved one, and shared how precious this experience is: “It is not a burden, but rather a privilege!”
The guest speaker was Ms. Harriet Blank, Director of Geriatric Services for OHEL and a noted gerontologist who lectures nationally. Harriet spoke about the trials, tribulations, challenges, and joys of being a caregiver. She touched on many themes, including how to set priorities and limits, how to best communicate with family members, helpful coping strategies, and enlisting family and community resources. A caregiver, who is a member of Ms. Blank’s Caregiver Support Group, joined the presentation and enlightened the audience with her personal experiences.
Once again, a very successful rebbetzins’ conference was experienced by all, thanks to excellent presenters and the efforts of The Task Force.