Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
Live With Purpose
Contact Jackie Rosender
248-444-2430 jrosender@jslmi.org
By Jo Strausz Rosen
Recently at a special ceremony at Anna & Meyer Prentis Apartments, the children of Rhoda Jonas, z”l dedicated the Bird Aviary, to which we affixed a plaque inscribed: “Rhoda's Perch - In Loving Memory of Rhoda Jonas who loved birds, nature, and family – 2021”

During Rhoda’s life at Margot and Warren Coville Apartments, she spent many hours watching the birds. The songs of the warblers were the background music to her days. Rhoda cherished the simple things. She loved her children, her grandchildren, her siblings and held a most special love for her great granddaughter. Rhoda left us May 3, 2021, and her daughters eulogized her beautifully. Marilyn said, “Spread your wings, sip the sweet nectar, and take flight.” During Rhoda’s springtime funeral, you could hear the sounds of lively birds singing and chirping. Rhoda found birdwatching an enjoyable and accessible activity at JSL.

A simple pursuit such as birdwatching can be a powerful aid in the journey to mental wellness. It can heal relationships and calm nerves, providing hours of pleasure and enjoyment in the exploration. Jewish Senior Life provides aviaries in every building. These mini communities are a delight to observe, and they bring people together in discussion. It is said that “The bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly.”

Health benefits associated with bird watching outdoors include the fresh air, a change of scenery, vitamin D from sunshine and the exercise of a good long walk. Going farther afield means more exploration and the opportunity to soak up nature’s surroundings, learning more about the landscape. But it’s those birds that offer us a view into their simple lives. Studying birds tests your brain. As you learn skills and soak up the subtle differences between species, you gain understanding about the way birds live in the trees and on the land, foraging for food, watching out for danger, and communicating with each other.

In the publication, Bioscience, there was a study on the positive correlation between the number of birds, trees, and shrubs that people could see and their mental health. The scientists discovered that people who can observe birds from their homes have a lower risk of depression, stress, and anxiety compared to people who live in less leafy areas with fewer birds. The impact was more profound when people watched birds in the afternoon, when there are more of them to watch. It’s a meditative pursuit that can reduce stress levels and encourage awareness. The presence of birds in and outside the home, like nature in general, shows great promise in preventing illness, improving urban life, and generally increasing happiness and contentment. Our green spaces at JSL and our avian residents offer the beauty of nature for all to enjoy.

LIVE, With Us.
Dining: Need volunteers to set dining room tables at Hechtman and Meer from 12-3pm Monday – Friday.
Dining: Need volunteers to roll silverware at Hechtman and Meer from 12-3pm Monday – Friday.
Dining: Need volunteers to pour beverages at Hechtman and Meer for dinner time service from 4-6pm Monday-Friday.
Dining: Need volunteers to pour beverages at Fleischman for dinner time service from 5-6pm every day.
BINGO: Need BINGO callers for evening activities.
Entertainment: Can you play an instrument or sing? Do you have 30-45 minutes of musical selections that you can offer residents? We have a beautiful piano to offer musical recitals to entertain residents.
Gift Shop: Looking for volunteers to help in our beautiful West Bloomfield boutiques Tuesday from 1-3pm and Wednesday from 11am-2pm.  
Contact Leslie Katz at 248-592-5062 or lkatz@jslmi.org
Sam Baker is just a year shy of his 100th birthday, but he is still young enough to follow new dreams. The 99-year-old Jewish World War II veteran is now working on his third kids’ book — a career that he started at the age of 95, when he published “The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm.”

“My daughter, Sally, along with my friend and author Linda Larson Schlitz, helped me to make my dream and goal of publishing books come true,” Baker, a former GPS salesman, told Kveller over e-mail.

Baker was recently featured in a moving ad for the design software Canva, in which he retells his life story to his grandchildren, using designs from the software and pictures from his life. Baker used the app to make materials to crowdfund his most recent book, “Oscar the Mouse,” released in September 2020 and inspired by a rat that Baker kept as a pet growing up in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Baker dedicated the book to his children, and to those working at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve lived a lot of lives and learned a lot of lessons along the way,” Baker says in the ad, as he creates an album of pictures full of weddings, family vacations and dinners, of Baker and his two kids, Sally and Michael, as well as pictures of Baker in his marines uniform.
Among the many recent Hollywood remakes of classic films, critics (and I!) are feeling very positive about the remake of the Oscar-winning 1961 movie musical “West Side Story.” Coming out on December 10, the film is star-studded, featuring Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort (who you may know from “Baby Driver” or “The Fault in Our Stars”) as its leads and the one and only Steven Spielberg as its director.

The musical — which takes place in 1950s NYC — is a modern take on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” including the conflict between the Polish and Puerto Rican communities of New York City’s Upper West Side.

But did you know that the show’s original script had a Jewish protagonist?
LIVE, With Us.
Contact Jackie Rosender
248-444-2430 jrosender@jslmi.org
Widely published poet and award-winning author and artist, Sophia Rivkin, 95, recently moved into the Prentis Apartments. Her awards include prizes from the MacGuffin, Rattle, and Comstock Review. Sophia was honored with the Judith Siegel-Pearson Award from Wayne State University where she received her degree in social work. In the 1960s she went back to WSU and earned a master’s degree in Humanities, Art, and Literature. Sophia is a published poet and writer, with two books to her credit. She has been an active member of the Workshop of Women Writers.

Sophia married her love, Dr. Joseph Rivkin, who established a busy pediatric practice in Mt. Clemens where they lived for many years. She stays in touch with her four children who live out of state. Sophia’s comfortable apartment features an Eero Saarinen dining set, a poetry library, a collection of her own colorful paintings and prints, and an inspiring plant-filled balcony with a view of the changing foliage. Sophia looks forward to attending speaker events, poetry discussions and creative writing classes once she settles in at Prentis. 
Sophia is just one of the amazing people who live at Jewish Senior Life’s West Bloomfield and Oak Park campuses. Because of your generous donations, they are thriving and continuing to find community, joy, and purpose at JSL.
Please join us as a sponsor or friend of JSL for our annual Lives Well Lived fundraiser!

Your support provides our residents:
  • Health & Wellness Programming
  • Diverse & Exciting Speakers
  • In-house Entertainment
  • Art Supplies
  • Large Print Books
  • Gardening Supplies
  • Seasonal Floral Arrangements
Looking for a fun and rewarding place to work? Look no further!

Jewish Senior Life is hiring servers for the Dining Rooms on the West Bloomfield Campus!

Flexible schedules and great hours!

Great opportunities for teens after school!

If interested, please call or email
Jodi Panter 248-592-1104 or jpanter@jslmi.org
Open-Faced Flounder Wraps with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

 1 pound flounder, cut into strips
 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt (or your favorite seasoned salt)
 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
 1/2 teaspoon Gefen Garlic Powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
 1 English cucumber, finely diced
 2 ripe but firm avocados, finely diced
 1 red onion, finely diced
 Juice of 4 limes (or about 8 tablespoons Heaven & Earth Lime Juice) 
 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, or 6 cubes Gefen Frozen Cilantro
 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
 Caesar or garlic-basil dressing, for drizzling
 2 Del Campo Tortillas, cut into quarters (or 4–6 6-inch wraps)

Prepare the Wraps with Salsa
1) Combine spices and toss with fish. Grease a frying pan with nonstick cooking spray (you can use some oil if you like).
2) Heat pan to medium-high. Add fish, cooking it two to three minutes per side.
3) Prepare the salsa: Combine all ingredients.
4) Add fish to the center of each wrap quarter. Top with salsa and drizzle with dressing.

This recipe is from kosher.com
This 15 minute chair exercise is great for beginners!
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, JSL Community Chaplain
Could a Game Be Serious?

A young child once came running to his father in tears. His father, an honorable sage asked him why he was crying. The child explained that he had been playing a game of hide-and-seek with his friends. He and all his friends were hiding. They remained in their hiding places for a long time, thinking that they had hid well, and that the person whose turn it was could not find them. But soon they got tired of waiting. They came out of their hiding places and discovered that they had been wrong. The one whose turn it was had left. He had played a trick on them! After they went into their hiding places, he went home instead of searching for them.

Upon hearing this story, the father also began to cry. His son asked him why he was crying. He replied that G‑d has the same complaint:

G‑d says, “I hide Myself from you in this physical world, but the purpose of My hiding is that you should come and search for Me. But instead of searching for Me, you go away and busy yourselves with other things.”

We need only search in our own lives to find something greater than ourselves.
Shabbat Shalom by Phone - Enjoy some inspiration
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
Not subscribed? Sign up today for uplifting news every Friday!
Shabbat Shalom
Nancy Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer
Kara Powers, 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
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!
People of all faiths and beliefs are welcome.
Share This Newsletter