I was Director of Volunteers [at the Jewish Convalescent Nursing Home] and it gave me a opportunity to be close to the geriatric population. And I tried to bring in Jewish customs and rituals, like before a holiday, so I would speak to the staff who were mostly African-Americans to tell them before a holiday what they can expect of a holiday... how the responses should be and what the customs would be so they would have a little understanding of what the religion is.
I one time slept Yom Kippur, I stayed in the nursing home because they had salmonella (an outbreak) and they weren't allowed to -- the synagogue was set up -- but they couldn't go and I discussed it with Rabbi Weinberg [my husband] and he thought I should do the way I feel. I felt I wanted to be there with them.
I had to wear a gown and mask before going in each room but I did whatever they wanted me to, to learn with them, to daven with them... [There were] 52 rooms and I went in (and you have to change each time, you have to change the gown) but whatever they wanted, whether they wanted to say Yizkor or they wanted to have a particular prayer, so that's what I did. I must say I was bone tired but it was such a wonderful feeling -- they would have been alone without their family, without their home people and they would have just been lying there.