COVID-19 Update #6

March 24, 2020

Dear Family and Friends:                          

We are extremely grateful for all of your cooperation during this very challenging time.

Menorah Manor Offers Neshama Program

This article originally appeared in the Tampa Bay Times on March 10, 2020. It was written by Tampa Bay Times reporter Waveny Ann Moore.

Her mother’s death was imminent, and Judy Hulvey had a decision to make: Should she move the 88-year-old former preschool director from Menorah Manor’s Alzheimer’s wing to the nursing center’s new Neshama suite?

Neshama means spirit, soul or breath in Hebrew. At Menorah Manor, it’s a special place to die, enfolded by loved ones. Hulvey’s mother was the first to use the suite, which was converted from a semi-private room.

Puree Dining Program Promotes Dignity and Well-Being of Residents

The puree dining program at Menorah Manor provides residents on a puree diet with high-quality, appetizing, and enjoyable meals. The program was created in 2014, after Menorah Manor’s dining staff saw an opportunity to enhance the dining service while preserving resident dignity.

Menorah Manor’s puree specialist, Julian Vann, ensures that the pureed meals are delicious, nutritious and visually appealing.

Viewing Jewish Eldercare from the Other Side of the Bedrail

My dear sweet mother, Marietta Drucker, passed away peacefully on August 18, 2019, at the age of 91. She lived the last 8 months of her life in the Marion and Bernard Samson Nursing Center, where I have been an employee for 29 years. I really thought I knew everything about Menorah Manor, but when Mom moved here, I realized there were many things I did not know – or fully appreciate.

Post Passover Ponderings

Many weeks before Passover, it is apparent that something important is happening on the Menorah Manor campus. Our director of spiritual care, Rabbi Aaron Lever meets with the dietary staff to review the Kosher for Passover food orders for the holiday – no small task, as there are close to 200 residents and 260 employees to provide food for. Also, since there are two Seders held at the Nursing Center and at Toby Weinman Assisted Living Residence, there are many small details to review.

Menorah Manor Brings Virtual Reality to Residents

Menorah Manor held its first-ever Virtual Reality Week, which brought exciting and exotic experiences to its residents and adult day center participants. With the help of innovative virtual reality equipment provided by, Menorah Manor’s seniors chose from ten different experiences to enjoy throughout the week.

Experiences included exploring the Great Wall of China, hiking Yosemite National Park, racing a car, and traveling to space.

Menorah Manor Establishes Security Enhancement Fund

Every Friday night, Jews around the world prepare for the Sabbath; they cook delicious foods, set beautiful tables and gather with family and loved ones to welcome the Sabbath. Candles are lit, prayers are said and the traditional greeting is “Shabbat Shalom,” a wish for a peaceful Sabbath. Last week, when the Jews in Pittsburgh wished each other a Shabbat Shalom, never in their wildest dreams would they have thought they would be attending the funerals this week for their brethren, their parents, their wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, dear friends.

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.

A High Holiday Message from Rabbi Lever

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins recounts the following story of the Buddha in his book Moments of Transcendence: Inspirational Readings for Rosh Hashanah:

The Buddha’s disciples turned to him one day and asked: “Are you a god?”
“No, I am not a god,” he answered.
“Then are you an angel?” they asked.
“No,” answered the Buddha, “I am not an angel.”
“Are you a prophet?”
“No, I am not a prophet.”
“Then,” they continue to press him, “Who are you?”
To this the Buddha replied, “I am awake.”