Adding Blessings at the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing
JF&CS News Winter 2016
Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller, z"l*, knew what it was like to live with health challenges. Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma during her teen years left her prone to chronic medical issues as an adult. Her experience deepened her compassion for others, eventually drawing her to JF&CS first as a client of Jewish Healing Connections’ spiritual support group for people living with serious illness and people caring for others, and then as a longtime supporter.
After Betty Ann passed in August 2015, her husband of 35 years, Daniel Miller of Weston, honored her meaningful relationship with JF&CS with a generous gift and the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing was named in her memory. The newly named center was formally dedicated before a crowd of 80 people on September 27, 2016, the 18th anniversary of Jewish Healing Connections.
According to Founder and Director Marjorie U. Sokoll, the mission of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing is to help people feel a sense of connection when facing the challenges of illness, loss, or isolation by offering spiritual and communal supports to foster hope, comfort, and wholeness guided by Jewish tradition. It is the only comprehensive program to address these needs in Greater Boston.
“Betty Ann saw firsthand the impact of isolation and vulnerability when she was being treated,” said Miller, adding that it shaped her early life and then again as an adult with a chronic illness. After her positive experience with a spiritual support group at Jewish Healing Connections, she joined the Advisory Council and became very involved, lending her voice as someone living with chronic illness.
The Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing answers a heartfelt plea from Betty Ann’s poem “My God! Our God!” found in the program’s “Jewish Prayers, Psalms, and Readings”:
“Would You continue to bless me with Community who
pray for me, care for me and celebrate life with me?
Could You please add to my blessings?”
“Her interest was very personal,” Miller said, adding that it was an easy decision to support the program that has been developed over the years. “It is something that Betty Ann would be very proud of. The fact that her name is associated with the program is meaningful and important but really the work that Marjie and the team do is the most important thing. And that’s why I was happy to support it.”
“In her memory, the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing will continue to serve those who might otherwise not be served,” said Sokoll. “Betty Ann taught me so much by graciously sharing her personal experience of living with illness and I am so pleased that this program will bear her name through the generosity of her husband, Dan. Because of his support, her essence of kindness and compassion and commitment for those who are isolated and alone will continue."
*of blessed memory