JFCS Volunteers Reach Out to Jewish Seniors

[Archived from September 25, 2009]

Sometimes it takes just a small effort to make someone’s day brighter.

Two days before the beginning of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, 12 volunteers from Jewish Family & Career Services delivered specially designed “Apples and Honey” gifts with one message in mind – YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN.

For many Jewish seniors living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, it can be very difficult, lonely and isolating during the High Holiday season. Jewish holidays are often treated just like any other day. “Other religious holidays get celebrated. Easter and Christmas decorations are typically hung throughout the building, but Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are never mentioned,” said one resident. “Sometimes it feels like I am the only Jew on the planet,” said another senior.

Volunteers found residents to be surprised, delighted and touched that they were visited by other Louisville Jews. Faces lit up with happiness and appreciation, and several seniors said that they felt so special to be remembered at this time of year. One JFCS volunteer shared that a senior resident had said, “With every bite of this apple dipped in honey, I will be thinking of you.”  Another senior resident shared “just knowing someone else cares means so much to me.”

Several volunteers shared with JFCS staff that this particular volunteer experience meant so much to them. “Reaching out and spending time with these seniors was rewarding, heartfelt and uplifting,” said one volunteer. “I can’t wait to do it again,” shared another volunteer. “JFCS continues to provide opportunities for me to connect to others, to touch other peoples’ lives and to enrich my own life as well,” stated another volunteer. “A few minutes of my time during one particular day meant so much to someone else,” shared a volunteer.

JFCS Volunteers included: Judy Borinstein, Ruth Silon, Bonnie Bizer, Stephi Wolff, Lois Marcus, Shelley Rifkin, Lowell Katz, Alana Cohen, Linda Goodman, Sheilah Abramson-Miles and Beth and Daniel Halperin.

To volunteer with the next outreach call: Shelley Kahn, Volunteer Coordinator at JFCS, at 452-6341 or email: skahn@jfcslouisville.org.

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