Gloria Lenhoff can sing in thirty languages. She has performed operatic arias and classical lieder with orchestras and chamber groups throughout the world. She has participated in High Holiday choirs and served as guest cantor or assistant cantor at synagogues in four states. But Gloria’s dazzling musical accomplishments do not stop her parents from worrying about her future.
While praying to God for help and solace, it struck me that there may be a different way to think about Alzheimer's. When Miriam's mind seems distant, the "person" I used to know is not really gone, but just gone from me, at those moments.
The painful truth is that we cannot always help another person - and if we expect to be able to change someone else in order for us to feel better, we may be setting ourselves up for double failure. What we can do is help ourselves by understanding our own feelings of powerlessness and getting the support we need to manage our emotional response.
In 2010, Eric Kershner, 17, a member and recent confirmand of Congregation Kol Ami (CKA) in Flower Mound, Texas, wanted to do an Eagle Scout project for his synagogue. Reviewing a list of potential congregational projects, he became intrigued with the idea of building a labyrinth that could become a permanent part of CKA life.