Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Join Us for The World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration

Join Us for The World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration
On Sunday, May 10, 2015, the Jewish Home will host the twenty-first annual World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration. The event will honor the Home's mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and even great-great-grandmothers on both the Grancell Village and Eisenberg Village campuses.

The Mother's Day Celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. Everyone can enjoy a festive brunch while listening — and dancing — to the music of the Ruben Berci Orchestra.
Show the special mother in your life how much she means to you with an ad or message in the event's commemorative program. With rates as low as $75, this is also a great way to support the Home's programs and services. All submissions are due by April 20th.
Chaired by Judy Friedman Rudzki and Marlene Glick, the event promises to provide a wonderful opportunity for 1,000 seniors and their families to gather together to celebrate this special day.

Tickets for adults (age 12 and older) are $25.00 each and children's tickets (ages 5-11) are $12.00 each. There is no charge for Jewish Home residents and children under age 5.

Download the registration and tribute forms here: http://www.jha.org/calendar/mothers-day.asp 

For more information about the World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration, please contact Denise Horowitz at Denise.Horowitz@jha.org or (818) 774-3324. 

Univision to Feature the Brandman Centers for Senior Care in Upcoming Broadcast

On Wednesday, April 8th, Spanish media giant Univision paid a visit to the Home's Grancell Village campus to learn more about the Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC). The beautifully designed BCSC facility is home to the Jewish Home's inaugural Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). 

Univision plans to feature the PACE program in their month-long special on healthcare. Viewers will get an inside look at the innovative program as well as the many benefits seniors enjoy when they become participants. 

Learn how the Jewish Home's PACE program works to improve the independence and quality of life for thousands of senior participants each year. Look for BCSC on televisions near you this June.

Jewish Wisdom And Wellness Conference

Jewish Wisdom And Wellness Conference
Would you like to learn more about how Judaism impacts health and well-being? Do you know about Jewish healing? Have you wondered what Judaism has to say about end-of-life care? These topics and much more will be explored through 90+ workshops during the Jewish Wisdom and Wellness Conference held April 26th through May 3rd throughout Greater Los Angeles.

The week of learning is an interdisciplinary, community-wide series of events, lectures, and experiential classes hosted across the streams of Jewish life by community organizations and synagogues. It is sponsored by the Kalsman Institute of Judaism & Health HUC-JIR and Cedars-Sinai. All events are free and the public is invited. For a full listing of events, please visit www.jewishwisdomandwellness.com.
As part of its continuing commitment to the community, the Los Angeles Jewish Home is proud to be part of this exciting conference. Several staff from the Home's Skirball Hospice are involved in multiple presentations as workshop leaders:
  • The Truest Acts of Kindness: Revitalizing Judaism's Holiest Practices is a series of four workshops sponsored by the Jewish Burial Society of Southern California, focusing on the work of the chevra kaddisha or holy burial society. Hospice staff leading these workshops include Chaplain Muriel Dance, Rabbi Arinna Shelby, and Rabbi Janet Madden along with other presenters.
    The first workshop is an introduction to taharah (ritual washing of the deceased).  This workshop will be offered at both Shomrei Torah, 7353 Valley Circle, West Hills and at Ikar at the Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles on Sunday, April 26 at 10 am.
    The second focuses on green burial and introduces a range of Jewish teachings on the care of the earth, as well as green burial options in Los Angeles. This workshop will be offered at Temple Akiba, 5249 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City on Monday, April 27 at 12 pm.
    The third workshop introduces participants to unorthodox spiritual washing ceremonies and the rituals that families may choose to provide for their deceased loved ones at home prior to burial. This workshop will be offered at Wilshire Blvd Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm and at University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 29 at 11:15 am.
    Finally, a Death Café will be offered which will provide a safe and confidential space for people to discuss anything and everything related to death with the goal of helping people make the most of their finite lives. This workshop will be offered at Congregation Tikvat Jacob, 1829 Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach on Monday April 27 at 7 pm and at a location to be announced on April 30th at 7 pm.
  • The December Project is a workshop based on the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z"l. The workshop provides an opportunity to engage with issues that arise in the lives of individuals, families and congregations when an aging loved one enters the "December" time of life — issues around health and illness, relationships and healing, and shifting identities and roles. This workshop will be facilitated by Chaplain Muriel Dance at Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, on Wednesday, April 29 at 10 am - 11:30 am.
  • Wrestling with End-of-Life Decisions from a Jewish Transdenominational Perspective explores the impact of Jewish law on life-sustaining treatments such as CPR, intubation, and artificial nutrition and hydration. This workshop will be facilitated by Doug Morin of Jewish Home Care Services and includes speaker Rabbi Arinna Shelby and panelist Dr. David Wallenstein among others. It will be held at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Eisenberg Village Campus, 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda on Wednesday, April 29 from 7 pm - 9 pm.
  • It's Enough Already! is a program that explores when it is time to cease nutrition and hydration when dealing with issues of dementia and other end-of-life diseases, and to allow an end with spiritual, physical and emotional dignity. This workshop will be led by Chaplain Amy Altshuld at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Eisenberg Village Campus, 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda on Thursday, April 30 at from 7 pm - 8:30 pm.
The lectures, classes and events offered during the Jewish Wisdom and Wellness Conference promise to be informative, engaging and enlightening. For more information and to register, please visit their website atwww.jewishwisdomandwellness.com.

Kashering the Jewish Home’s Kitchens

Kashering is the process of making one’s kitchen and kitchen instruments kosher. While kashering is not limited to Pesach (Passover), many Jewish families begin kashering their kitchens in the days leading up to Pesach in order to remove chametz, crumbs and leavening sources that are forbidden during Pesach.

On a monthly basis managers from both Jewish Home campuses inspect the kitchens which serve our residents and staff year round. These inspections involve general cleanliness, integrity of materials, competency of the staff and ensuring the kitchen abides by Kosher guidelines. Our kitchens are always impressive in all these areas and the managers are immediately responsive when areas of concern are brought up.

On April 1st, the kitchens on both the Grancell and Eisenberg Village campuses underwent kashering for Passover. Every kitchen item was lined up, ready to be cleansed and blessed for this extremely important holiday. Cindy Cordon, director of dietary services, and her team have spent weeks in preparation. “We couldn’t complete this demanding task without such a phenomenal team.” Cindy says, “Despite the difficulty of the job, our dietary staff always completes the kashering process with joy and energy. I’m so appreciative our team’s dedication.”

During the kashering, all bread products were weaned out, the meat and dairy in every storage area was separated, and the soda machine was temporarily put out of commission. Each dish, utensil, countertop, and grout line was scrubbed and brought back to its original luster. Not an ounce of food can be found in the kitchens. Every 60 gallon soup kettle is filled with boiling water, every stove top is set to full flame, and buckets of ice water stand at the ready. The kitchen is a sauna.

When Rabbi Karen Bender, Jack H. Skirball Director of Spiritual Life, arrives the kitchen jumps into overdrive. Every staff member is wearing heat resistant gloves or has clean linens on hand. Steaming water is splashed onto and into every nook and cranny. The immersion of all silverware from hot to cold achieves balance while serving a hygienic purpose, satisfying the Rabbi. This process continues for hours down to the last spoon. The kitchen is now ready for Passover.

Rabbi Bender describes the many benefits of the difficult process, “Aside from achieving the outstanding cleanliness that is a natural byproduct of the kashering process, we are ensuring the religious needs of even the most observant resident will be met. The Jewish Home is proud to take this necessary step in the commitment of service to our residents and staff.”

Seniors Discuss the Many Ways We Love

“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.”
-Dalai Lama

Affection is a gentle expression of love or care a person shares with another individual. Whether you’re petting your cat, kissing your grandma, hugging your brother, writing a note to a peer, paying a compliment to a stranger, giving a gift to your niece, or having a deep conversation with your best friend, you’re showing affection to other individuals. Regardless of the degree, benevolent interactions like these can help people in any relationship create a lasting bond.

In a recent conversation with activities director Caryl Geiger, the Home’s seniors discussed the many ways people show affection. “Just like a plant needs nutrient rich soil to grow, healthy relationships need acts of affection in order to develop.” Caryl explained, “As human beings, it is essential for us to have contact with others in order to survive. Affection is a very special kind of social interaction that can nourish this need.”

Showing affection makes both the giver and the receiver feel great and it helps us build better relationships. While there are numerous ways we can show others we care for them, there are 5 distinct categories all signs of affection fall into:

  •  Affirmation – Saying things like “You did well” or “That was so nice of you”
  • Acts of Service – Helping with a task or chore
  • Giving Gifts – Notes, chocolate bars, tickets to a game or show, jewelry
  • Quality Time – Listening or giving feedback
  • Physical Touch – Giving a squeeze or a rub on the shoulder, arm, or hand
Different people show affection in different ways. Some people don’t like being touched or embraced. Other people have a hard time carrying on intimate conversations. There’s no way to know what each individual prefers without getting to know them and taking the time to try the different love languages.

One senior shared her history of receiving affection, “When I met my fiancé’s parents for the first time I was very shocked the way his family showed me affection. They hugged me and kissed me whenever we met. These acts of affection were welcome and appreciated, but because my parents were never demonstrative with me it was truly a shock for me to experience this hands-on kind of love.”

“Did those signs of physical affection make you feel special or loved?” Caryl asked.
The resident responded, “Of course! His family really took an interest in me and went out of their way to make me feel welcome and like a part of their family. They created an environment of love and happiness that I ended up modeling my relationship with my husband on.”

Another resident mentioned how he shows affection every day. “Whenever I’m walking around campus, I’m happy to “Hello, how are you?” to the people I pass in the walkways. I’ll always pay special attention to the people who’ve been sick and missing from our usual daily activ
ities. It shows people I’m aware of what’s going on around me and that I’m compassionate about what other people are going through.”

When you go the extra mile to show people you care, you’re creating an environment where others are more comfortable, happier, and even willing to return the favor. So share your smiles and take an interest in those around you. Affection goes a long way.