Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, longtime director of Spiritual Life at JGS Lifecare, has been named one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis of 2016 by The Forward.
Labelled one of “32 men & women who move us most,” Jacobson, 62, was lauded for her work in helping “seniors and their families spiritually during difficult transitions of aging.”
She was nominated for the honor by Marian Broder, a past chair of the board of the Jewish Nursing Home and chair of the Assisted Living Residence Committee.
“[Rabbi Jacobson] radiates empathy and compassion and provides strength and hope,” Broder said. “She is responsible for the spiritual well-being of residents of all faiths in long-term skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities and also in memory impaired, adult day health, home health and hospice programs. She meets with residents individually and determines what is important to them, then designs a program addressing their needs. She draws on her resources of prayer, conversation, spiritual readings, music, singing, guitar, upbeat group activities and holiday celebrations… She offers counseling related to the loss of home, independence and physical well-being. She helps with end-of-life planning. For hospice home care patients, she provides spiritual support.
She trains staff in Jewish values of caring. She harnesses the energies of trained volunteers and community clergy of all faiths to assist her. Devorah Jacobson is truly an inspirational rabbi.”
Rabbi Jacobson became the rabbi of JGS Lifecare in 2001. She leads Jewish programming, interfaith programming and the chaplaincy program for a wide range of lifecare services.
Rabbi Jacobson has also been part of the faculty for the Florence Melton School in both Springfield and Northampton teaching adult learners various classes in Jewish studies for over 10 years.
“It’s wonderful that Rabbi Jacobson has been recognized on a national level for her spiritual leadership. We are fortunate to have a rabbi of her caliber at JGS Lifecare,” said Martin Baicker, JGS Lifecare president and CEO.
“I am truly touched and honored by this recognition,” said Jacobson. “To be recognized for doing what you have a passion for and doing what gives you such joy and meaning is both humbling and heartening.”