Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
By Jo Strausz Rosen
If you read the article below, “Hitting the Pandemic Wall,” you may agree that it seems to be getting harder to face the uncertainty of COVID-19 as we round the corner with our vaccination clinics. Sometimes dark and distressing feelings bubble up. It’s easy to worry and wonder and lose yourself in those feelings….
I say we fight against those dark places and find some light in which to dwell. Sure, it’s cccccold outside, but the days are getting longer, and the sun has shown her face several times in the last few weeks and I’m feeling hopeful that the vaccines are making their way into people’s arms and we are dealing with the hassle of it all.

Limit your news intake and give yourself a hug, maybe even a good cry. Now stop, distract, and move forward with determination, even hope! Insert slow deep breath here. Yes, we are living through another Michigan winter, and we’ll be masking, and social distancing for quite some time. But we will make it through! Go take a walk in the sunshine, find a great book or tune in to your favorite drama series and hunker down a bit longer. Call a friend from high school or a long-lost cousin and talk about the good old days… Turn on some music and dance, dance, dance… Listen to some comedy and laugh, laugh, laugh.

Let’s lean into each other and find some good things to do in our community that make a difference. Online lectures, concerts, cooking shows and soul quenching webinars… We’re all in this together. Share your ideas to combat the worry and stress and make a difference for yourself and those around you.
By Julia Ries

Within the past couple of weeks, many of us have been slammed with major pandemic fatigue. We’re burnt out. We’re expected to be productive at work or to parent (or often both) as though we haven’t been living in hell for the last year. The winter has been bleak and could potentially get bleaker. And even though the vaccines are bringing us some much-needed hope, our feelings of exhaustion and hopelessness are swallowing any positive emotions whole.

It makes sense. We’ve been at this for a year now, and our fight-or-flight system ― the emotional reaction to stress that has been otherwise energizing us throughout the pandemic ― is totally overloaded. When that happens, the constant flow of adrenaline starts to drain and apathy settles in. It seems that we’ve all gone over that tipping point.

Feeling emotionally zapped, especially in this stage of the coronavirus crisis, is very normal, mental health experts say.

If you find yourself stuck in a pandemic-fueled rut, first take a moment to pause and acknowledge your feelings. Go easy on yourself as you sit with these dismal emotions — the pandemic’s been brutal, and it’s time we all cut ourselves a break.
“God Bless America” is an anthem that has become a staple at political events and sports games, a song that symbolizes American pride and hope. With the recent inauguration, many of us are thinking of this frequently uttered phrase and these oft-sung words.

But as the cast of the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, led by director Joel Grey, reminds us, “God Bless America,” which was written by Irving Berlin, has very Jewish roots. In fact the company just released a moving rendition of the tune in one of the songwriter’s mother tongues: Yiddish.
Are you a JSL volunteer or community member who wants to connect? Please join Leslie Katz on Mondays at 11:00 AM where she will lead a discussion on the latest JSL news, recipes, creative home exercise, and Netflix suggestions!
Meeting ID: 949 2936 8991
Passcode: 257970

Or call in: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 949 2936 8991
Passcode: 257970
BEHIND THE MASK: Meet our Devoted JSL Family
DaJuan Avery of Ferndale drives ten minutes to the campus where he has been working for Jewish Senior Life almost 21 years. He is the Oak Park Campus Building Supervisor and serves as Assistant Administrator at Teitel. He enjoys coming to work and admits that being at work has gotten him through some tough personal times. DaJuan says he is inspired by his work and so proud to help the residents use the resources they have, to comfortably age in a clean and safe environment. He loves working for JSL and appreciates that we are constantly celebrating life, as remembered fondly when a former Administrator decorated his office for his 40th birthday.
DaJuan is the oldest of 4 boys and works hard to save by investing his money for what he hopes will be an early retirement one day. He tells everyone to “stay optimistic and believe that this frustrating time will pass.”
DaJuan enjoys vegetarian cooking, and his favorite food is chili. In his leisure time he sips a glass of Merlot while enjoying a Cuban cigar and listens to smooth jazz. He watches gangster and mafia dramas on TV and endlessly loves his two teenagers, who he says are “his joy.”
DaJuan is a positive person and so grateful to survive these times, COVID-19 negative. We are grateful to him for his devotion all these years and for all the good work he continues to do.
Looking for something new to keep you warm this winter? Check out this Olive Puffer Jacket with pockets! Find this and many other wonderful items at:

We are all for supporting the local restaurants in town, but sometimes it can be a lot of fun to try and recreate your favorite local eatery's classics. Just like you’ve probably tried making Chinese sesame chicken or egg rolls from the comfort of your own home, why not bake those classic black and white cookies, kokosh cake, or rugelach at home too?
Not only will you be able to have as many of those baked goods as you want ;) but you’ll also have a blast making them. Talk about a great snow day activity, too!
Enjoy and happy baking!
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Dr. Robert E. Matthews
2017 Eight Over Eighty Honoree

Bob was a generous family man who lived a life of helping others. In addition to practicing and teaching dentistry, Bob was inspired to create the Matthews Family Foundation to help improve the quality of life for Jewish seniors.

Beloved husband of Sandra Matthews. Dear father of Alan Brown and Michelle Brown. Loving pappa of Samuel Brown, Jenna Brown and Leah Brown. Devoted brother-in-law of Dr. Claude (Terry) Oster, Dr. Jerry Loomus and Irwin Fenster. Also survived by many loving cousins, nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.  
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, JSL Community Chaplain
To Carry Your Tune
I fondly recall a phone conversation I had with a senior resident. “Would you like to sing a song together?” I offered him. Half way through the song, he regretfully told me, “I can’t carry a tune.”

“I will carry it for you” I replied.

Now I realize what it is that we as clergy are asked to do. “To carry people’s tunes means to carry their messages, challenges and wishe and to intercede on their behalf.”

Metaphorically, “Through difficult times, I am here to help carry your load, your pain and struggle. I am here to chant the melodic mi shebairach and bear your tune. Burdens are never easy to carry alone. You maintain your songs and rhythms. Your tunes I will help carry in my daily thoughts and supplications.”
You sing your song; I will carry your tune.  
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
Jo Strausz Rosen, Executive Director, Development
Dianne Azzopardi, Executive Director, Human Resources
Ron Colasanti, Executive Director, Dining Services
People of all faiths and beliefs are welcome.
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