“The Whole World Loved Robbie”

The following article was published in JHCN’s annual report to the community, September 2019.

“Uncle Robbie is the best.”

We love him dearly. He’s a treasured member of our family. Robbie lives with developmental disabilities and has always been an important part of our family’s gatherings, holidays and simchas. Robbie’s parents Ruthz’l and Manuelz’l Feldstein, his sisters Lois and Shirley, and their spouses Paul and Samz’l , have always dedicated themselves to giving Robbie the fullest life possible. In recent years, as Robbie’s health issues became more complex, we turned to The Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network (JHCN) for help and guidance. They love Robbie too. JHCN brings him incredible resources, offers sound advice to our extended family and walks with us on every step of this journey. I’ve learned JHCN supports everyone who needs their help in the same manner. They give all their heart and all their soul to every patient and family they serve, providing the love and kindness you would want for your mom and dad, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters. JHCN is a very special gift to us and to the entire Jewish community. I hope you will join me in supporting this vital community resource. With your help every person facing the end of life will receive this loving care when they need it most.
– Steven Katzman

I love my brother Robbie as though he were one of my own children. Born in 1947, he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when he was three months old. I was 17 and cared for him when my mother couldn’t. My parents took very good care of him. We’d take him to synagogue for events and out for dinner at his favorite restaurants. He liked that. He was very loving and liked to give kisses. As he got older, I would take him downtown to the Fox or the Fisher if there was a good movie for him. Robbie lived in a JARC home after my parents died. My husband Sam and I would pick him up on Sundays and take him out for pizza and ice cream, and I took him to his doctors’ and dentists’ visits. I’m very protective of him. As his health declines, I call to check on him several times a day. Robbie is loved and we are deeply grateful to JHCN. They advocate for him and bring wonderful music to his bedside. He gets superb care and they treat him like family.
– Shirley Gilbert


I am Robbie’s personal aide. I am by his side every day. The love I see from JHCN’s rabbis and social workers is beautiful, and the doctor they referred, Dr. Murad, loves Robbie just like they do. When Cantor Dan comes to play, I can tell Robbie feels the music as he moves to the beat. I sing along and I’m even learning some of the Hebrew words. JHCN’s visits are the best part of our week. – Lashonda King


Cantor Daniel Gross leads a music visit with Robbie’s family and JHCN staff.

Read Rabbi E.B. (Bunny) Freedman’s tribute to Robbie and his caregiving team by clicking here.

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