Jewish Music for the Mind and Soul

A person living with dementia can spend her entire day being passive. She wakes up and is walked to the bathroom, dressed with help, fed and told where to go and what to do. For good reason, the physical safety is what is emphasized by those spending their time caring for a person living with dementia. But people with dementia have their own needs as well, including spiritual ones.

Music is a powerful way of accessing and igniting the souls of people with dementia. While the short term memory may be diminished, often music wakes up different parts of the brain. Music can captivate people living with dementia. They can sing, hum, and enjoy life in the present.

Jewish Music for the Mind and Soul brings together people living with dementia and their loved ones and caretakers. Rabbi Beth Janus uses Jewish songs and liturgy to connect with people at all stages of dementia. Songs are familiar, upbeat, and repetitive so that everyone can sing along, tap their feet, play an instrument or simply listen. Afterwards, participants socialize and eat together without any social expectations or pressure. This is a fantastic way for caregivers to take a break from caregiving and spend enjoyable time with their loved one.

“Dementia may steal the mind but it cannot encroach upon the soul.” Rabbi Cary Kozberg