The Importance of Motherhood & Celebrating Mother’s Day

Motherhood Stands the Test of Time
Mother’s Day is just around the corner – Sunday, May 14, 2017 – so it’s a good time to reflect on the special relationships that anchor us through the growing years and mutually sustain us as we get older. When we’re young, we may not always appreciate our mothers’ suggestions, but as we age the relationship with our mothers change, and we may become more accepting of the wisdom and sound advice they can offer.

What Mothers Know
Mothers have different relationships with sons than with daughters, and while neither can be overlooked, there is certainly something unique about the mother-daughter bond. As Karen Natkow, CALA Resident Services Coordinator explains, “The mother-daughter relationship is unique because your mother always has a different perspective about you based on things she knows about you that others don’t.” Call it instinct, but mothers are pretty savvy when it comes to their daughters!

A Mother-Daughter Pair
You don’t have to look too far at Stein Assisted Living to find a mother-daughter pair who exemplify the special mother-daughter connection. Toby Ehrlich, CALA, LCSW, Director of Corporate Marketing for the Wilf Campus, is in a unique position to see her mom, 92-year-old Anne Brown, a resident at Stein Assisted Living. “My mom knows my voice, my walk, my expressions, even before they come out,” explains Ehrlich. “There is such a special trust and love that we share.”

Brown takes pride in having raised her daughters to become women with their own lives and careers. “It is marvelous having daughters!” she exclaims. “I’m so lucky to have such caring daughters and I hope their children will be as caring to them in the future as they are to me.” She adds wisely, “If you have a good relationship with your children when they are young, that helps keep the relationship strong when you are older.”

Embracing Changing Roles
There is a Jewish proverb, “What the daughter does, the mother did.” This rings true as mothers and daughters age and daughters may become mothers themselves. Once roles that were all too familiar seem to shift as parents face challenges of aging that may impede their independence. “Sometimes I think our roles have reversed because I’m telling my mom what she needs to do and watching out for her,” reflects Ehrlich. “This can be a difficult adjustment at first, but over time my mother and I have come to embrace it and are at peace with it.”

Both daughters agree that treating each other with respect and dignity are paramount in navigating the mother-daughter relationship. “As your mother gets older, do not make her feel inconsequential,” warns Natkow. “Overlook the things that bother you whenever possible,” adds Ehrlich, “and try to remember that, no matter what, both mother and daughter are coming from a place of love.”

Good advice for this Mother’s Day, whether you are a mother, daughter, and yes, even a son!

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers at The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus!

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, or visit us at www.wilfcampus.


Welcome Back Norman Linzer, Ph.D.!

Norman Linzer, Ph.D.

Dr. Norman Linzer, now emeritus, was the Samuel J. and Jean Sable Professor of Jewish Family Social Work at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University. He is a graduate of Yeshiva College and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. He received rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the New School for Social Research.
On the Wurzweiler faculty since 1966, he served as acting dean in 1989-90.

Dr. Linzer has received the Bernard Revel Memorial Award from Yeshiva University, the Samuel and Rose Hurowitz award from the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, and is listed in Who’s Who in World Jewry. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies in Jerusalem and taught at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.

Norman will be presenting “3 Ethics CEUs for Social Workers” on Friday, May 12th 9 AM – 12 PM. For further information click here.



Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work Practice (1999). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Ethical Dilemmas in Jewish Communal Service (1996). Hoboken, NJ:KTAV.

The Jewish Family: Authority and Tradition in Modern Perspective. (1984). NY: Human Sciences Press.

The Nature of Man in Judaism and Social Work (1978). NY: Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

The Jewish Family (1968). NY: Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.


Recent Articles

Sweifach, J, Linzer, N.  (2015)  Practice and ethics: Two sides of the same coin.
International Journal of Trauma Research and Practice.

Heft-LaPorte, H., Linzer, N. Sweifach, J. (2010). Sharing the trauma: Guidelines for therapist self-disclosure following a catastrophic event.  Best Practice in Mental Health: An International Journal.6 (2), 39-56.

Sweifach, J., Heft-LaPorte, H., Linzer, N. (2010) Social work responses to terrorism: Balancing ethics and responsibility. Journal of International Social Work. 53 (6), 822-835.

Linzer, N., Sweifach, J. LaPorte, H. (2008).Triage and ethics: Social workers on the front line  Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 18  (2), 184-203..

Linzer, N., Heft, LaPorte, H., Sweifach, J. (2009). Beneficence versus justice: Serving clients in a post 9/11 era . Journal of Values and Ethics  Being reviewed.

The Lonely Man of Faith: Implications for social work practice. (2007-8) Journal of Jewish Communal Service 83 (2/3), 186-204

Spirituality and ethics in long-term care (2006) Journal of Spirituality and Religion in Social Work- Social Thought.

 Linzer, N., Conboy, A. and Ain, E. (2004) Confidentiality: An ethical dilemma of Israeli social workers. Journal of Spirituality and Religion in Social Work – Social Thought 23 (3), 85-108.

An ethical dilemma in elder abuse (2004). Journal of Gerontological Social Work 43 (2/3), 165-174.

Linzer, N., Conboy, A. & Ain, E. Ethical dilemmas of Israeli social workers. (2003). Journal of International Social Work 46 (1), 7-21.

An ethical dilemma in volunteer-professional relationships.(2003). Social Thought 22 (4), 37-52.

An ethical dilemma in home care. (2002).  Journal of Gerontological Social Work 37 (2), 23-34.


2013-6 –  Ethics seminars in agencies

  1. JCC of Tenafly – 4/8/13
  2. Herzog Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel – 11/18/13
  3. Miami Board of Rabbis – 12/11/13
  4. JFS of Naples, FL – (2) Staff and Board – 12/12/13
  5. Montgomery County Adult Services, Rockville, MD – 2/24/14
  6. Freedom Home and Health Care, Hackensack, NJ – 2/25/14
  7. Lincoln Hospital, Bronx, NY – 2/26/14
  8. Jewish Community Council of Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY – 2/28/14
  9. Jerusalem municipality of Social Welfare – May, 2014 – Brian Auslander
  10. Michael Ann Russell JCC, North Miami Beach – June 3, 2014 10:30-12
  11. JFS of Boca Raton, Danielle Hartman, June 3, 2014
  12. Wilf Campus, Somerset NJ – June 13, 2014 (three hour)
  13. Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (Nov. 2013)
  14. Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (Nov. 2014)
  15. Pibly (Bronx) – Noel Miller – Dec. 2014
  16. Jerusalem Municipality of Social Welfare – March 23, 2015
  17. Jerusalem Municipality of Social Welfare – April 20, 2015
  18. Jewish Child Care Association – Bronx Office – Lisa Costello – June 15, 2015
  19. Long Island Jewish Hospital – Social work department – Athena Motal – June 18, 2015
  20. Ohel Children’s Home – July 7, 2015 – Three hours – Arlene Etengoff
  21. Hudson Guild – July 16, 2015 – Three hours – Lee Ann Scaduto
  22. Jewish Child Care Association – Brooklyn Office – July 21, 2015
  23. Jewish Child Care Association – Queens office – Sandy Katz – September 10, 2015
  24. Jewish Child and Family Services – Chicago, Il – September 30, 2015
  25. VIP Management  – Lake Worth, FL – Feb. 4, 2016
  26. JCCA – Bronx office – Cy Orfield – March 17, 2016
  27. JCCA – Brooklyn office – Cy Orfield – March 19, 2016
  28. Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island – Eli Lock – March 28, 2016
  29. NYU Cancer Center – Bill McDermott – April 7, 2016

Dr. Linzer has lectured widely and published numerous articles on Jewish identity, the Jewish family and community, the aged, Jewish education,  and social work ethics. His last book applies models of values classification and ethical decision making to cases in a variety of subjects. He has taught Jewish social philosophy, ideology, and values and ethics at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. During his 2005 sabbatical, he conducted a research project on “The impact of 9/11 on social work practice and ethics,” In his 2012 sabbatical in Israel, the theme of the research was “Ethical issues in working with traumatized populations.”

Giving Up The Keys: Tips to Help Seniors Decide When It’s Time To Stop Driving

Just about every parent has heard the words, “Mom, Dad, can I have the car keys?!” Cars and driving are a means of independence, and while parents often hand over the keys with trepidation to their teenagers, they know that it is a rite of passage and an important step in growing up. This is precisely why “Mom, Dad, can I have the car keys?” becomes such a difficult thing for family members to ask of elderly loved ones.

Safety Behind the Wheel

There is no set age when a person is no longer safe behind the wheel and many people can drive safely well into old age. But some underlying medical conditions or medications may cause driving issues. According to AARP Driver Safety, most people want to continue driving for as long as possible, but for many a time will come when they must limit or stop driving, either temporarily or permanently, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Look for the Warning Signs

Does your loved one have difficulty concentrating while driving? Have you noticed frequent close calls, misjudgments or slower than necessary responses in unexpected situations? Or, are they getting lost, especially in familiar locations, or having trouble seeing signals and road signs? If so, it may be time for your loved one to suspend driving.

If you’ve noticed that a senior’s driving has grown inconsistent and careless, you can be most helpful by voicing concerns and starting a caring conversation. Sometimes there are tangible things to help bring up the topic: “How are you doing with your driving? I noticed there are a lot of dents and scrapes on the car lately…” Or, if you know they’ve received a warning from a police officer you may want to ask about it by saying, “Are you finding driving a little difficult to manage?” The key is, it’s important not to wait – because impaired driving can be a matter of life and death.

Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat

While taking the keys away may be a necessary step, try and see things from the driver’s vantage point. Giving up driving may be another reminder for loved ones of their growing loss of independence and their inability to take care of themselves. Giving up the car keys affects their daily life including where they go, who they see and where they live.

It is a difficult realization that the risks of continuing to drive outweigh the benefits. Helping a senior to imagine a future without a car requires understanding and support. Help out when you can and explore other transportation options including local senior transportation options, carpools or car services so that life without a car is not a recipe for isolation and boredom.

If your loved ones is looking for transportation for medical appointments or would like to attend  a simcha  within Somerset and Middlesex counties please contact Wilf Transport at 732-649-3502 for all inquiries.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, or visit us at

Welcome Tammy (Tzippy) Russ-Fishbane, LCSW

Stein Hospice is pleased to welcome Tammy (Tzippy) Russ-Fishbane, LCSW, who joined the team at Stein Hospice in October, 2016. In her role as Clinical Liaison and with her background as a clinical social worker, Tammy educates and informs healthcare professionals about the mission and values of Stein Hospice and counsels hospice patients and their families.

Tammy began her social work career in 2002, working in the ICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. Since then she has served in various healthcare settings, helping patients and families navigate the practical and emotional complexities of aging and caregiving. Most recently, Tammy was the Director of Social Services at Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield, CT.

Tammy has a BA in Jewish History from Stern College, Yeshiva University, NY, and an MSW from Hunter College, NY.  She is an active member of the Jewish community in Highland Park, NJ, where she lives with her husband and three children.