web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Clown Therapist Who Sees No Borders

Reuven clown therapy6

Photo Credit: Tazpit News Agency

Reuven Singer can often be seen wearing two very different uniforms that seem worlds apart.

The 33-year-old father, who lives in Karnei Shomron in northwestern Samaria, dons his bullet-proof vest and carries his M16 to protect his community in an event of a terrorist attack, as a volunteer in his neighborhood security watch team. But Singer’s other uniform – a far jollier one – consists of a red rubber nose, clown shoes, and a colorful tie and crazy hat that he wears during clown therapy sessions at a Tel Aviv hospital.

The religious settler travels once a week to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), where he works to uplift patients, through jokes, laughter and improvisation.

“A hospital is not a fun place,” Singer tells Tazpit News Agency. You want the patients to feel more comfortable.

“I’ve worked with children and parents who are hysterical before blood infusions, check-ups, or surgery. My job is to relax the parents and help the child overcome the pain and tension. That helps the staff and doctors too. Once you give the parent and child a chance to smile and breathe more easily, it helps everyone,” Singer told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

Singer, who has been volunteering as clown therapist for three years, has worked with many different sectors of Israeli society including Palestinian children from Gaza who have been brought into Israel for treatment. “You don’t look at the person before you – I don’t see an Arab, Eritrean, Russian, or whatever ethnicity person is – all I see is the pain.”

“To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s an Arab child or a Jewish child – I want to help bring that person out of the pain and give him or her some positive energy,” Singer explains.

“Sometimes, I throw in a word in Russian or Arabic during a joke and the smile in return is worth everything.”

Singer has found himself in situations where rocks have been thrown at his vehicle on his way home to Samaria from the hospital.

“Palestinians throwing rocks at my vehicle won’t stop me,” he says. “I believe that when Arab patients see me, it will give them a chance to see that a religious settler is not a monster and maybe in turn it will make them stop throwing rocks.”

Singer’s day job is aerial photography but he says that it’s his volunteer work that is most meaningful. “I volunteer in two very different professions, but both save lives in different ways.”

He describes a unique Purim two years ago in Karnei Shomron when he dressed up in the clown costume he usually donned for clown therapy session. Suddenly in the middle of the Purim seuda (festive holiday meal) the community was alerted to a potential terror threat.

“Here I was, dressed as a clown with a red rubber nose, and I had to go out with my M16 for a security check,” he says. “That was truly a bizarre experience.”

Today an estimated number of 320 clown therapists operate across Israel. Following a chance meeting with a clown therapist who treated Singer’s daughter when she was hospitalized five years ago, Singer decided to take a six-month clown therapy course where he learned how to be a medical clown himself.

“I go to the hospital every week and act as a clown to make someone feel better. I want to change a child’s reality for good and this is how I do it.”

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “The Clown Therapist Who Sees No Borders”

  1. Isaac Taposh says:

    PL. take the GD side not the world, or devel.

  2. love the idea – terrorist “i was shot at by a clown” lol

  3. הוא נראה מפחיד….

  4. Diann Holloway says:

    “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s an Arab child or a Jewish child – I want to help bring that person out of the pain and give him or her some positive energy,” I AGREE

  5. “You don’t look at the person before you – I don’t see an Arab, Eritrean, Russian, or whatever ethnicity person is – all I see is the pain.”

    He may be a clown as a volunteer, but being a good guy is what he does full-time. Mr. Singer, the world could use a parade or a compact car full of clowns like you. Each smile you squeeze from a scary or painful moment does a world of good in itself though. Few people can fill a clown's big, floppy shoes, but even less can fill the shoes of a good man. I'm glad for those that do fill them.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress; Natan Grossman (Germany); Samuel Beller (US); Florence Sprung (US); Manny Buchman (US); Mascha Schainberg (South Africa); Marcel Tuchman (US); Rose Schindler (US); Jonny Pekats (US); Henry Korman (Germany); Ronald Lauder; Mordechai Ronen (Canada); Joseph Madrowitz (US); Edgar Wildfeuer (Argentina).

Fifteen Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, returned this morning, Monday January 26, to the infamous death camp, Auschwitz, some for the first time.

Dr. Omri Emodi (left) with a baby Vietnamese patient.

During this year’s Operation Smile campaign in Vietnam, two Israeli doctors joined 300 delegation members from 18 countries.

The Israel firm, AORA, will be the first to provide solar-biogas hybrid power solutions for rural communities in Ethiopia.

“It was a very difficult scene inside the supermarket. It was as if time stood still, with shopping carts full of food in preparation for Shabbat in the cashier aisles and deliveries waiting to be sent to customers…”

In Jerusalem, on a cold rainy night, nearly 100 people gathered together at the French consulate to pay homage to the victims of the deadly terror attack.

“There is a lot of symbolism in the fact that this concert takes place in Paris, in this period of rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in France and Western Europe.”

The Israeli president and the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III both spoke at the annual event.

During the past five years, education accessibility for Bedouins has undergone a major transformation, with high schools being built in the tribal districts themselves. Today around 90% of high school-age Bedouins are now being educated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-clown-therapist-who-sees-no-borders/2014/03/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: