[by Robin Ungar]
On Sunday, July 29, Carole Snyder and Sara Yamin held an open house for volunteers in the Jewish Family & Career Services’ Shabbos Friends program, which reaches out to Jewish seniors in local assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Once a month, volunteers take electric candles, grape juice and challah and celebrate Shabbat with the Jewish residents who would otherwise have no celebration.
Attendees spoke of their experiences with the Shabbos Friends and talked about ways to improve the program to meet the needs of more long-term-care residents. Jonathan Ziskind, Four Courts Shabbos Friend, reported feeling grateful and honored to serve there. Sunrise Shabbos Friend, Jan Glaubinger, was one of the first Shabbos Friends and said she loves going to Sunrise, and the residents really light up when they see her.
Lisa Goldberg said that at Treyton Oak Towers, her grandmother, Selma Rothstein, calls other residents and invites them to come to the service.
Goldberg looks forward to going and loves to see the looks on the residents’ faces. She likes to add current events, stories or holiday talk to her kiddush.
Evelyn Figa enjoys Belmont Village residents and goes in to visit them even when not on “duty.” Figa and Goldberg both remarked that the relationships one builds as a Shabbos Friend are not only with residents but with facility staff and family members too!
Jerry Fleischer will take over as the Shabbos Friend at Twinbrook.
New subs, Sandie Meeron, Susan Allen and Robin Ungar were on hand to hear from the veterans how things are done and why volunteers enjoy the mitzvah so much.
JFCS Executive Director, Judy Freundlich Tiell, expressed her thanks to all Shabbos Friends volunteers for helping keep the JFCS and Jewish connection with seniors who may otherwise have little or no Jewish programming where they live.
If you are interested in becoming a Shabbos Friend, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Toebbe, at 452-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.