In spending time with his mother in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Eliezer Sobel recognized something astounding. Although she had seemingly lost all of her language skills several years earlier, he discovered that she still enjoyed gazing at pictures in magazines and actually reading the headlines aloud! He searched for a simple picture book with easy-to-read captions in big print, but learned that while there are over 20,000 books for caregivers, there are virtually no books written for dementia patients. L’Chaim: Pictures to Evoke Memories of Jewish Life is an effort to remedy this situation. Created for Jewish elders suffering with memory loss, each page stands alone, requiring no memory to enjoy the rich images. Over 30 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, with nearly 500,000 new cases diagnosed yearly. L’Chaim is intended to stimulate reminiscence and provide tender moments of connection with our loved ones who suffer from memory-related illnesses.
Eliezer Sobel is the author of Minyan: Ten Jewish Men in a World That Is Heartbroken, which won the prestigious Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel. He also wrote the memoir The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures.