Jewish Holiday Reflections

Since the completion of the Jewish holidays, I have been reflecting on how very special they were. I have been lucky to be with Menorah Manor for 28 years, and I am still amazed and inspired every day by how much thought and care goes into everything here, including the Jewish holidays.

In preparation for the holidays, Rabbi Aaron Lever, our director of spiritual care, lead an in-service for employees, where he discussed the meaning of each holiday, spiritually and culturally. The employees are taught the proper way to greet our Jewish residents (i.e.; L’shana tova!) and our dietary department prepares apples and honey to hand out at the completion of the in-service.

On the eve of each holiday, there is a palpable feeling of anticipation throughout the Samson Nursing Center and Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence. The tables are set with white tablecloths and there are fresh flowers on the tables. Delicious smells of homemade chicken soup, matzah balls, brisket and chicken fill the air. Residents wish each other a good holiday; employees join in as well.

Beautiful religious services are held in the synagogue located in the nursing center, where residents gather in their holiday clothing, and family members arrive to be with their loved ones. Residents receive aliyot (honors) and proudly recite the blessings; one resident from the former Soviet Union had his very first aliya, a very emotional moment for all.

Immediately following Yom Kippur, two beautiful Sukkahs were built – one at the nursing center and the other at our assisted living residence. Our residents decorated them, and during the holiday enjoyed shaking the lulav and etrog and eating refreshments in the Sukkahs.

Simchat Torah was also a joyous celebration! Residents using walkers and many in wheelchairs participated in a parade, while volunteers danced with the Torahs. Children from the Congregation B’nai Israel Preschool joined in the fun.
The holidays at Menorah Manor were joyous and filled with meaning, tradition and hope.

To me, this is the biggest gift we can give to our residents.

- Judy Ludin, CFRE
Chief Development Officer