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Jacobo Goldstein: Helping to remember

For many years, Jacobo Goldstein has had all eyes, and ears, on him. A former White House Correspondent from the Carter administration to Bush Jr., he has been actively involved in journalism for 40 years and he is still going strong.

“I’ll die with my boots on,” he says.

CNN, Univision radio, WQBA in Miami, and a daily column for “The Tribune” in Honduras, are just a few of the current projects the bilingual Honduran is working on. And he is exuberant to be working for Honduras.

“My love for Honduras dies with me,” he says.

Whether based in Honduras or America, Goldstein’s passion for journalism glows brighter than the North Star.

“I love my profession. I live it. I realize the responsibility of being an honest journalist,” Goldstein says.

His passion may be journalism, but his love was his wife.

In 1998, Goldstein’s wife developed Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. She was not only his rock, but his producer as well as photographer. She accompanied him on his various foreign trips during his time at the White House.

In 2005, after several different trials with different facilities, Goldstein brought his wife here to Florida Atlantic University's Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center.

“It had just been recently expanded at the time,” he says.

The center is designed to help individuals who suffer such terrible illnesses and their families through a comprehensive array of personalized services, compassionate and innovative programs, research and education.

The adult center involves them in activities such as yoga, outdoor recreation, and Goldstein’s most important, painting.

“I never get tired of looking at it,” Goldstein says of his wife’s painting that is framed in the Memory and Wellness Center.

His wife’s passion for painting has led to three other paintings that also hang in the center, a place where Goldstein and his wife both loved.

“It’s a wonderful place,” he says as the manager of the center moves tables around the room. “This is what I love about this place, everyone pitches in.”

Wonderful perhaps, is an understatement.

“I don’t think there’s a place like this in the U.S.,” he says.

After an 11-year battle with the disease, his wife was confined to a wheelchair and could no longer attend the events at the Memory and Wellness Center. She died in March 2009.

But Goldstein still visits the center weekly and uses his gift of public speaking to inform the guests of current events. He speaks at the Memory and Wellness Center regularly.

All eyes, and ears, are on Jacobo Goldstein and today may be no different. But the location and emotions have changed.

Twenty-two individuals, several affected by the same disease that has changed his wife, have a steady gaze on Goldstein. It’s a comfortable room filled with couches, instead of a stuffy White House conference area. They listen intently as he speaks.

On a recent day, he talked about President Hoover and the depression, golden parachutes, the bailout bill and the Bush Administration, and the new president.

“We certainly need a lot of things to happen,” he tells the group. “Because, this planet is better than no planet.”

Of his weekly current events lectures, he says, “It’s my way of paying back to the people here. “I have a special bond with a lot of them.”

He treats all the individuals with respect elders and encourages them to ask questions.

“I try to get them involved. Try to get people to talk who normally do not,” he says.

And Goldstein enjoys his visits immensely.

“I get such a kick by talking to a small group [like this], if I can reach them. And they enjoy it too. It’s very touching when they applaud at the end.”

And they do applaud, loudly, and with a look of gratitude in their eyes.

Goldstein is still a busy man, even after the White House. But part of his new job is helping.

He helps those at the Memory and Wellness Center learn. He helps those who cannot remember to remember. And he helps for his wife, for all those afflicted by the disease. He wants them to stay strong.

“The most important thing of a human being is not allow them to lose their dignity,” he says.

He helps them maintain their dignity.

All eyes, and ears, are always on Jacobo Goldstein.




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