Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
By Jo Strausz Rosen

As this challenging year draws to a close, we are grateful to each of you for reaching out and contributing in innumerable caring ways to our residents and staff at Jewish Senior Life. We look forward to the warmth of our menorahs in the cold of winter and strike the match that kindles the Shamash, lighting the darkness with hope.
Like the Shamash, we should continue to lead by example, kindling the flames of friendship, compassion, generosity and love… continuing the mitzvah of illuminating the darkness and spreading hope and joy for everyone. We stand together as Jews with gentiles to ignite the light of freedom, praying for peace and good health for ourselves, our communities and for the world. May the flame that is you, help to light the flames in us all. Although we cannot celebrate together this year, let’s plan to light the paths of return to each other in the New Year, when the time is right.

If you’re reading this, you know that Chanukah began the evening of December 10th at sundown with the first candle. We filled our eblast this week with multiple Chanukah websites for you and your families to enjoy together. What are your favorite traditions while celebrating this ancient holiday? Send us your photos and we can publish them in our eblast next week!
The Maccabeats are back with a Hanukkah bop! It’s a cover of this year’s biggest earworm, BTS’ “Dynamite,” called “Candlelight”.
By Rebecca Kerzner

I grew up with the ultimate outdoor menorah. My father’s creation was roughly four feet tall, and built out of wood. Every year, I can vividly remember lighting our little menorahs and then coming outside with my family to light the big majestic menorah. When my father first started becoming more Torah-observant, he built the menorah after learning about the concept of pirsumei nisa — publicizing the Hanukkah miracle. He felt the biggest honor would be to make a big outdoor menorah that would proudly show his Jewish identity and one that the whole neighborhood could admire. So he got to work, and his creation glows triumphantly outside my house in Houston, Texas every year.
Find beautiful last minute Chanukah gifts at our JSL Boutique, like our variety of colorful gloves! Find these and many other wonderful gifts at:

By Lior Zaltzman

Wow. Who knew “Maoz Tzur,” the Hanukkah classic also known as “Rock of Ages,” could make us cry?
Well, this new version of the song, recorded by actor, singer, and yes, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. (that’s Aaron Burr, sir!) and his Jewish wife, fellow Broadway actor Nicolette Robinson, certainly has got me misty-eyed.
To get in the holiday spirit, some of our beloved Meer residents shared their favorite Chanukah memories. Enjoy!

"We were camping in Florida one Hanukah and we decided to light our Hanukah candles outside of our trailer, on the picnic table. As we started, we hear a voice "wait for us". Within a few minutes we had a crowd of several Jewish families gathered to help us light the candles, say the prayers and in unison sing the songs for Hanukah."
Eleanor & Phil Smith

"At the age of twelve to fourteen, my favorite record by Guy Mitchell, 'My Truly, Truly Fair' wrapped in a huge box of several layers of boxes and paper! I loved it! Last Chanukah with my two grandsons Zachary and Ethan, who were 20 and 23, came here and made latkes from scratch. I only peeled potatoes! What a wonderful evening it was!"
Barbara Reider

"Although I have many pleasant memories of celebrating Chanukah as a child with my grandparents, parents and three sisters, my more recent pleasant memories were of the time I spent volunteering at Doherty School in West Bloomfield. I worked with children from kindergarten to second grade and every Chanukah, I would bring them dreidels, teach them how to play the game, and read them the story of why Chanukah was celebrated. Children of all races, religions and nationalities were in these classes and shared in the joy of the holiday!"
Ilene Rubin

"We celebrated with candles, latkes and exchange of gifts. I was the youngest in the family. I began delivering the Free Press at eight years old, and it was always a time for good tips, especially on 12th street, the cream of Michigan."
Sam Reider
Are you a JSL volunteer who wants to reconnect? Please join us Mondays at 11:00 AM where we will discuss the latest JSL news, recipes, creative home exercise, and Netflix suggestions. If you have some topics or ideas for the group to discuss, send them to us. Until we can invite you back to do what you do best at JSL, let’s spend some time together and heal our loneliness. See you on Zoom or call in so we can hear your voice!
This Monday is our last meeting until Jan 4th!

Meeting ID: 949 2936 8991
Passcode: 257970

Or call in: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 949 2936 8991
Passcode: 257970

Looking forward to reconnecting!

In friendship, 
Leslie Katz
200 Holocaust Survivors of Metro Detroit received these lovely Chanukah gift bags from CHAIM and the Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families. Thank you for making their holidays a little bit brighter!
Our Oak Park staff celebrated the beginning of Chanukah with their rendition of "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel"!

To see more stories like this, visit "Keeping Our Community Connected: Stories From Residents, Staff and Volunteers" on our website.
By Alyse Whitney

Lighting the menorah and playing dreidel is fun and all, but the best part of Hanukkah is the food. By that, we mostly mean eating so many latkes that you basically become a potato, and chasing it with some brisket, doughnuts, and Manischewitz. (Not necessarily in that order.) But to round out your holiday feast, we also have some salads, appetizers, and lox of other ideas. Challah back, y'all.
Follow JSL on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for the most up to date and inspiring JSL content. Leave a like while you're there too!
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, JSL Community Chaplain
The Story of the Chanukah Lights

I often hear people use the expression, “You see what I mean?!”

I wonder, how can I see what you mean? Seeing is visual, while meaning is intellectual.

The Chanukah lights may provide the answer:

A wise man once said, “We are to listen to the story that the Chanukah candles are telling.” How can one listen to candles? If we sensitize ourselves enough, we can indeed read into the flames, the meaning and message that the Chanukah candles tell.

We can listen to the Chanukah candles by carefully gazing and absorbing. We can hear the resounding messages of hope, joy, victory and triumph. These tell the story of the tiny flame within our souls that flickers and exudes warmth and light. Through the love and harmony that we share with others, our flame will shine ever brighter to illuminate our surroundings.

Allow yourself to spend a few precious moments with your Chanukah candles. Discover your inner light, find peace, and give it away.

It’s your candle! Light it! Share it!
Be inspired. Call Shabbat Shalom by Phone
Dial Toll free: 605-313-4107
Access code: 270368# (Reference number not needed)
Dial # to hear the most recent recorded message

Rabbi Dovid S. Polter Jewish Community Chaplaincy Program
Jewish Senior Life 
248-592-5039 • dpolter@jslmi.org
This newsletter was created by Jo Rosen and Amanda Martlock

We’re human, prone to mistakes, so if we erred in our newsletter, please forgive us!
Shabbat Shalom
Nancy Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer
Jennie Klepinger, Chief Financial Officer
Barbra Giles, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives
Dianne Azzopardi, Executive Director, Human Resources
Ron Colasanti, Executive Director, Dining Services
Gregg Leshman, Executive Director, Residential Operations
Jo Strausz Rosen, Executive Director, Development
People of all faiths and beliefs are welcome.
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