About the Author
Harris “Hershey” Rosen, a graduate of Harvard, has focused on controlling chaos since 1954. First, as Financial Control Officer in the U.S. Army, where he received a Letter of Commendation for improvement to its worldwide accounting system. Next, on to satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth, he ran a candy company for 40 years, developing a system for locating ANY item housed in five factories, covering 600,000 sq. ft. Following “retirement,” Hershey went on to become a mediator and settled over 200 disputes for the State of Rhode Island and The Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island. He was also asked to team-teach management courses at the University of Rhode Island, where he enthusiastically challenged the text book with real-life experience, to the delight and edification of the students. Always passionate about assisting others, Hershey has been the director or trustee of numerous boards and organizations. He has most recently written Creating a Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living! to help others protect their spouses (and families) from the intense stress that will occur if one does not share knowledge critical to a functioning home.
Hershey, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, can now relax (ha!) with his beloved wife, Myrna, and enjoy visits with their combined five children and ten grandchildren. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website also: www.survivrorinfomation.com
An act of love
Reprinted from The Jewish Voice, August 30, 2013,
By Rabbi Jim Rosenberg
Harris Rosen's book offers invaluable advice for couples and families
Harris N. Rosen – “Hershey” to many of us - is known and respected throughout Rhode Island for his numerous acts of charity. Just recently, Rosen has again demonstrated his community-mindedness by self-publishing an invaluable self-help hook, “Creating A Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living!” The book is available locally at Books on the Square, 471 Angel Street in Providence. Rosen, who, from 1903-1906, held the high profile position of president of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island (one of the precursor agencies of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island,) states in the book's concluding chapter, "My purpose has been to prompt a family's current financial and house 'manager' to commit to writing all the things in his or her head that a survivor or executor needs to know. I particularly hope that this book has deepened your concern about the future life of your partner"
What acts his work apart from similar "how-to" books concerned with putting our affairs in order is that Rosen realizes that one size most definitely does not fit all; he emphasizes the obvious fact that every family is idiosyncratic, that every family has its unique needs, values, priorities. Therefore, rather than presenting readers with ready-made charts and lists into which they must force-feed their particular facts and figures, he encourages each family to tailor-make its own guide for the surviving spouse, partner, children and grandchildren; and he does an excellent of showing us how to create such a guide.
Rosen 's book is crammed with useful information that most individuals are likely to need as they face inevitable end-of-life issues: funeral arrangements, detailed instructions as to what must be addressed shortly after the death of a loved one, additional required tasks in the weeks and months that follow, financial data, insurance considerations, continuing home maintenance concerns - just for starters.
His book also contains considerable information that will not necessarily apply to all readers. For example, Rosen devotes about 40 pages to downsizing. I am happy to report that my wife Sandy and I downsized more than six years ago, so I could breathe a sigh of relief as I read what he had to say about this onerous task of moving to smaller digs. However, if you have not yet downsized, you could save yours considerable time and energy reviewing the 40 pages devoted to the subject.
In terms of my own family situation, Rosen's hook has been most helpful in prompting Sandy –and me to first locate our important documents and then write down clear instructions as to precisely where they are located. He reminds readers that it is not enough to write that our will is located in the file cabinet in our den, nor is it sufficient to indicate that our will can be found in the top drawer of that file cabinet. Rather we need to state that our will is located in the very front of the top drawer in the file cabinet in our den.
Rosen has had decades of experience In figuring out where things are. When he was president of School House Candy, then a candy manufacturer with 600,000 square feet of space spread over five factories, he had to be super-organized to be able to locate every single item in a vast stock. Inspired by his book, Sandy and I have taken all summer simply to begin to bring the documents In our 1,750 square feet of condo space into some semblance of rational order.
Some readers of “Creating a Guide" might feel that the book contains our much information. My brother Bill, for example, questions whether it is necessary to leave our survivors a list of paint colors in case touch-up work is needed in their residence. Rosen comments that “matching colors can be tricky” and one should “include the paint manufacturer and color name and/or number.” Both my brother and I feel that this is an excessive level of detail, but my wife insists that this is useful data and something she wouldn’t have thought of without Rosen’s advice.
It is no exaggeration to state that this book is, at its heart, an act of love. By insisting that we leave clear, precise, easy-to-follow instructions to our survivors, Rosen is urging us to demonstrate with our deeds that our care, concern and protection survives our death.
None of us lives forever. As we approach our High Holy Days, our Days of Awe, a central question of our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper liturgy beats in our hearts and stirs in our minds: “Mi yih’yeh u-mi yamut?,” which means “Who shall live and who shall die?”
To make life easier for those who survive our death is an act of love that binds us in our death with those who live after us
James B. Rosenberg (email@example.com) is rabbi emeritus at Temple Habonim, the Reform synagogue in Barrington.
To purchase individual copies: Books on the Square in Providence
For 25 or more copies, contact Harris 'Hershey" Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even More Praise for The Guide
Creating a Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living!
Information You Must Pass On
by Harris (Hershey) N. Rosen
Creating a Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living! is a must-have book for every family. Rosen’s extensive research puts resources at your fingertips! By following his clear step-by-step instructions, you’ll eventually leave your loved ones the best last gift!
When the record keeper, financial manager or person responsible for the nitty-gritty functioning of your household dies, will the smooth execution of the essential tasks come to a screeching halt?
GET ORGANIZED NOW!
You probably can’t plan how you’ll die, but you can ease the burden of your spouse tremendously, If you are the keeper of financial records, if you pay the bills, if you maintain the house, think what it would mean if your spouse:
• Can’t find some of the financial records
• Doesn’t know what to do about investments
• Can’t get into your computer to address important financial or business issues
• Doesn’t know your funeral wishes
• Is burdened by the amount of stuff to sift through and decide what to keep
• Is overwhelmed by living in a big house without you and hasn't considered downsizing
There is an alternative: A book entitled, Creating a Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living! Information You Must Pass On. It helps you support your spouse so these details will not add to the burden of grief.
FOR THE GUIDE
FROM SENIOR DIGEST
The book addresses why people should compile a guide and offers tips on putting one together. [It offers}..."helpful skills for writing a guide and [information] on locating documents and making and using charts and tables."
Senior Digest, December 2013