Margo Traines, MA, OTR/L
[Occupational therapy] promised to be a profession that would enable me to perform the Jewish commandments of Tzeddakah (Charity), Gemulat Chassidim (Kindness), Bikor HaCholim (Visiting the Sick), Honor Our Parents, and Making the Mundane Holy, as well as support my family and myself, be interesting to study, allow me to travel, and allow me to evolve as a person.
It has not always been easy. Working for agencies and in some hospitals, I encountered supervisors who were a drain on my psyche and soul, who asked me to compromise what was best for the patient, to compromise my ethics and my integrity. But in the last analysis, if we can stand strong and make sure our voice is heard above all those now claiming to do what we do, there is no other profession as uniquely prepared to help people age well and remain functional and independent in their home as we are.
Jennifer Tamar Fromm, MS, OTR/L, CCRC
Growing up in a Jewish religious home has instilled certain values in me, such as constantly striving to be a better person and always being there to assist others in need. My upbringing has definitely influenced my decision in the career path that I have chosen as an occupational therapist
I have always enjoyed working with people, and although [this may seem] strange to some, I reap enjoyment from helping others. When deciding on which profession to enter, my love of healthcare coupled with my religious values and beliefs led me to the OT profession. To this day, I am grateful that I am able to spend every day working in an enjoyable occupation that comes so naturally to me.
Peggy L. Gurock, OTR
My becoming an occupational therapist was a dream come true.
It started when I was a young child. My mother’s sister died in childbirth and the baby that she gave birth to had cerebral palsy. My uncle, a young father with two other children, could not care for the baby and she was initially taken to my home for a few months where I bonded with her. She later was put in a special home for handicapped children and died by the age of 2.
At the young age of 6, I decided that I would like to spend my life helping children like my cousin.
I am also a person who likes to work with her hands and am always making something using needles, such as knitting, crocheting, embroidering, needlepointing, or sewing. As a young adult I went to a career counseling service and occupational therapy was suggested as a good profession for me since it would train me to be able to work with children and use my artistic creativity at the same time.
Four decades later, I continue to enjoy working with children and engaging in needle crafts.