Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
Income Based Affordable Housing
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May 23 - Eight Over Eighty
Our biggest event of the year! Help us celebrate our distinguished honorees by becoming a sponsor, purchasing an ad, and learn more about this virtual event at jslmi.org/8over80
May 21 - Older Americans Brunch
Help us honor our community elders who are 95 and older! Register, donate, and learn more about this virtual event by visiting jslmi.org/oab
By Jo Strausz Rosen
Look at faded photos of our Matriarchs. Look into their eyes, lined and tired. Many were recent immigrants from Europe. They devoted themselves to performing charitable acts in their community - clothing and feeding the poor, providing care and funds for orphans and widows, and seeing that every Jew had a proper burial. Imagine the women of 1910. Some had a staff to run their fine homes. Others toiled at jobs and attended to their husbands and children. They all made time to volunteer, stockings rolled down to their ankles, sleeves rolled up to their elbows, aprons on, organizing, cooking, cleaning, and hosting meals for the aged in need. They gave their own money and encouraged others to do so too, to purchase a large house near Eastern Market to house elderly Jews. I can picture the wives who worked alongside their husbands to restore and refurbish a new building adjacent to the first home because the needs continued. They suffered through the Great Depression, but determination motivated the community to keep funding the “Jewish Old Folks Home,” eventually affiliated with the Jewish Welfare Federation. Waiting lists grew and these homes for our ancestors provided a welcoming, comfortable environment to grow old together with one’s friends from the old country.

Picture our great grandmothers who lived near the synagogue and were active as observant Jews, teaching their children, koshering the meat, and keeping their faith alive. “In modern days, the work of women’s auxiliary continued through war time,” said Geri Margolis, Past President of the Auxiliary. She and others like Marcia Tanzman, Cynthia Steinbeck, Diane Scholnick, Jean Arkin, Rhea Bass, Carol Metzger, Evie Levine, Hannah Moss, Bea Breiner, Pearlena Bodzin, Elaine Beresh, Rosie Schlussel, Carole Aaron, Fannie Robinson, and her daughter Joanne Robinson volunteered their time and talent to provide JSL in any number of its past iterations, the love and care needed to support our older adults. We have honored philanthropic partners of JSL who came before us. Buildings were erected in their memory to care for our older adults. Their life affirming legacy began in 1907 and with your help, continues today.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we think of our Matriarchs, whose names grace our buildings, Freda Fleischman, Anna Prentis, Edith Blumberg, Lillian Hechtman, Harriet Teitel, Norma Jean Meer, and Dorothy Brown, all dedicated to making life better for their mamas and papas.

Back in the beginning, Anshe Chesed Shel Emeth, (“MEN of Sincere Kindness”) under the leadership of Jacob Levin, created the “Jewish Old Folks Home.” Let’s remember the women who rolled up their sleeves to comfort the bereaved, feed the hungry and provide a safe and welcoming place to live to ripe old age. May their memories be a blessing to their offspring, as they are to us all.
By Alison Schwartz

Twice a week, 94-year-old Sidney Sorkin sits in front of the computer at his home in West Bloomfield and is captivated by an engaging program he watches on Zoom. “Those are the very best days of the week for him,” says his daughter and care partner, Cyndi Sorkin. “He is interested, even animated, likes to talk to his friends who are similar in age to him, and we discovered he has a beautiful singing voice, too!”

The virtual program is offered by the Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program, a joint initiative between JVS Human Services and Jewish Senior Life, which aims to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the staff worried about how they would maintain a connection with this vulnerable group of seniors who could no longer be in-person at the centers run in Southfield and West Bloomfield. All the enjoyable activities, music, companionship, physical exercise, and outings came to a screeching halt, but the need for connections remained.
As we cross the one-year mark of COVID-19 being part of our lives, we also reach a point where each of us has had birthdays impacted by the pandemic. We don’t blame you if you get a bit sad thinking about Zoom-nights-in replacing girls’ nights out or Google hangouts taking over in-person ones. But what if we told you that it’s possible to have almost as much fun virtually as you would in person? Check out the suggestions below for creative ways to celebrate yourself and your loved ones from a distance!
AWARD WINNING Senior Independent Living!

Now Accepting Applications For 1 And 2 Bedroom Apartments
Contact Jackie Rosender at
248-444-2430 or jrosender@jslmi.org
BEHIND THE MASK: Meet our Devoted JSL Family
Ellyn Roberts ​lives in Waterford and has worked for JSL since 2011, coming in as a Social Work intern at Prentis, then in 2016, she was hired as Prentis Program Coordinator and now she is Prentis Assistant Administrator.
She loves her work with older adults and has forged strong bonds with the staff in Oak Park. She remembers a good day at work, “We surprised a bus full of residents with free tickets to the Detroit Princess Motown Cruise. Their excited faces made it seem like everyone on board won the lottery! Everyone had a great time!”

Her advice to us all is to just keep going, it will all be so worth it in the end!
Ellyn has been married to her Husband, Matt, an electrician, since 2014. They have a Calico Cat named Buttons and a Maltese Dog named Ruby. She loves to bake and shared a great hack for all cookie bakers - add a packet of instant pudding mix to your cookies, it will take them to a new level! She is also known for her cupcakes and her recipe for macaroni & cheese.
She watches YouTube videos about tiny houses and dreams about building a tiny house/camper on wheels to travel with her husband and pets all over the country. She really misses traveling. Last year, before COVID-19 she flew to Mexico City and is planning a trip to Japan in the future. She enjoys learning foreign languages.

Her greatest joy is spending time with her husband and friends, embarking in creative activities, and listening to music. In the summer, she spends a lot of time on the lake with friends. We’re happy you work at JSL, Ellyn!
Feel cozy while looking fabulous in this blue lace cardigan! Find this and many other wonderful items at:

Hilarious physical therapists, Bob & Brad, share the 3 best balance exercises you can do at home!
Strawberries and Cream Pie

Main ingredients
  • 2 boxes Gefen Vanilla Cookies
  • 1/4 cup chilled coconut oil
  • 16 ounces whipped topping
  • 1 package Gefen Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
  • 1 jar Tuscanini Strawberry Jam, divided
  • chocolate syrup or balsamic reduction (optional)

Prepare the Crust
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, finely crush the cookies. Add the coconut oil and process a bit more until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour the cookie mixture into a pie plate and press evenly along the bottom and up the sides, using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup.
  3. Place crust into the freezer while preparing the filling.

Prepare the Filling
  1. In a large bowl, whip the topping and instant pudding mix until soft peaks form. Add half a cup of the jam, reserving the rest to decorate the top. Mix well.
  2. Pour the cream mixture into the chilled crust and dollop the remaining jam in random spots all along the top. Dollop the chocolate syrup or balsamic reduction on top of the jam, if using.
  3. Use a skewer or toothpick to swirl the jam, creating a marble effect.
  4. Freeze until ready to serve.

This recipe is from kosher.com
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Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, JSL Community Chaplain
Rabbi, Check Your Identification

At each of my monthly programs at a senior facility, Mr. S. would ask me for my business card. I was intrigued but did not pay much attention to it. Only at his funeral service did I share what I felt was the depth of his frequent request for my business card.

We often find that people utter words of which they themselves are not fully aware of their ramification. I surmised that perhaps here too, there was something deeper than his seemingly simple words.

Mr. S. was questioning my personal growth within that month. Have I taken on a fresh, new and improved identification? Have I ascended the ladder of self- improvement? After all my business card serves as my form of ID.

Can we all speculate about our past in order to enhance a better future?

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.
Passover Seder Recording
Beginning Wednesday, March 24th please call the conference number and enjoy a half hour Passover Seder service filled with favorite melodies and insights.

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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