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.”

The Joy of Teaching Chair Yoga at Menorah Manor

I am so blessed to work in a setting where I have the opportunity to do meaningful work. As the chief development officer for Menorah Manor, a not for profit nursing center, I oversee the work of our Foundation, which raises funds to benefit the seniors who reside in our communities. I love seeing the generous dollars from our donors being put to good use as I walk through the halls every day, and see firsthand the lives of our residents being enriched through philanthropy.

Ten Tips for Talking to Loved Ones with Dementia

Recognize that they have a disease. Remember that your loved one is not intentionally trying to make your interaction with them difficult.

Avoid distractions. Find a quiet place to talk with your loved one. You can also attend a program together. This is helpful, if you are struggling to maintain a conversation.

Speak slowly, clearly, in a calm voice. Use short sentences and provide your loved one time to absorb the information. Sometimes information has to repeated several times for them to understand it.