Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Red Hat Society 2015 Barbecue

On Tuesday, June 2nd, over 100 members of Eisenberg Village's Shayna Punim chapter of the Red Hat Society assembled in Bagno Park for a barbecue. The annual event, sponsored by Gerrie Wormser and John N. Levi, Jr., was the largest gathering of the Home's Red Hat Society chapter on record.

Decorations in red and purple — the society's colors — adorned tables and chairs. Gorgeous edible centerpieces of sweet seasonal berries, grapes, and plums ornamented each table. Jewish rock group YA'ALEH took the stage and performed original Hebrew songs inspired by liturgical texts as well as classic favorites like Let it Be and Hey Jude. Society members enjoyed the backyard barbeque staples of pink lemonade, iced tea, potato chips, beef ribs, hot dogs, and hamburgers, along with all the traditional condiments and toppings.

After lunch, attendees enjoyed a beautiful dance recital performed by three members of the City Ballet of Los Angeles while indulging in delectable miniature cakes. On their way out, guests took turns posing for pictures with fun props in a photo booth.

Eisenberg Village resident Esther Berlin is quite a fan of the Red Hat Society events. "When they do something right, they sure do it right," says Esther. "I've been at the Jewish Home for the past 12 years and I've always attended Red Hat events. Every party has been better than the last. Gerrie and John always arrange for us to have the best entertainment and the best food at the best venues. It's wonderful!"

For Gerrie, sponsoring Red Hat events is an incredibly rewarding experience. "I started getting involved with the Red Hat Society over a decade ago. Each year, we all look forward to getting together and enjoying each other's company. Organizing these events for the residents brings me so much joy. I feel great when I see them having such a good time."
Please click here to view photos from the 2015 Red Hat Society Barbecue.
Special thanks to Gerrie Wormser, John N. Levi, Jr., YA'ALEH, the City Ballet of Los Angeles, the Jewish Home's dietary and housekeeping departments, and our community volunteers for making this event such an incredible success.

Staff Appreciation Week 2015

Virtual Bowling  Strikes at Fountainview
From May 15th to May 21st the Jewish Home staff, residents, and visitors celebrated Staff Appreciation Week. Employees from all of the Home's facilities were encouraged to join this week of food, friends, and fun at the Grancell and Eisenberg Village Campuses. Events included a carne asada luau barbecue, instant recess, delightful pancake breakfast, variety show, and Employee Recognition Ceremony.

The employee variety show was a highlight of the week. Fantastic dancers stunned audiences with Santa Rita Bailable, traditional Indian, Cha-Cha, Hawaiian, modern hip hop, retro rock and roll, Bollywood Bhangra, and Flamenco dance performances. Employees also performed routines to Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast, Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee, Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, Lazy by Bruno Mars, as well as the theme songs to The Addams Family and The Brady Bunch. A talented staff member sang the American and Israeli national anthems, while another employee sang and played Iridescent Eyes, an original song. Other groups wowed spectators with an exhilarating drum drill and an amusing game show skit.

Staff Appreciation Week concluded with the Employee Recognition Ceremony. Outstanding employees were showered in applause and appreciation for all of the contributions they've made to the Home over the years. Long standing staff members who have been working with the Home for 5, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, and 40 years were honored for their diligence within the community. Preselected staff members were welcomed to the Jewish Home Home Team, a special team of 160 employees recognized by peers, visitors, and families for their outstanding contributions to the Home.

As the Home's staff members revert to their normal work schedules after a multitude of shared meals, exciting events, and fun festivities, they do so with a sense of joy and pride knowing their hard work makes a difference within the Jewish Home's community. Vice President of human resources Sharon Ginchansky commented on the importance of this celebratory week, "Staff Appreciation Week is the one week we shine the spotlight on our staff's commitment to excellence as well as the passion and pride they exude in their daily duties. It's an honor to celebrate the achievements of our peers and to give our thanks to the people who make the Home the wonderful place it is." 

Please click here to view photos from Staff Appreciation Week 2015.

Special thanks to the Home's Human Resources, Dietary, Housekeeping, and Maintenance Departments for working so hard to make sure this week of festivities was an incredible success.

MNO Update - Bill 1319 Moves on to the Senate!

NEWS UPDATE: Assembly Bill 1319 (Medically Needy Program Extension) was passed unanimously by the Assembly on June 1st. In the coming days, Bill 1319 will be voted on by the Senate. 

Visit the California Legislative site for updates on AB 1319. To those of you who have become advocates of the Medically Needy seniors of California – thank you for all of your support. We are half way there!

Luncheon Honors Jewish Home Legacy Circle Members

Luncheon Honors Jewish  Home Legacy Circle Members
Nearly 100 members of the Legacy Circle of the Los Angeles Jewish Home gathered on May 21 at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for the annual Legacy Circle luncheon.

The Legacy Circle is comprised of individuals who have made provisions in their estate plans for the Home. Naming the Jewish Home in their estate plans helps ensure its future for generations to come.
Each year significant funds come to the Jewish Home from legacy gifts. Although many of these donors choose to be anonymous, members of the Legacy Circle set a standard that others emulate, helping to secure the future of our Home. Regardless of size, or how they are legally and technically structured, it is these gifts which communicate these donors' personal legacy: their values, priorities, and inspirations. Hosting the annual luncheon is the Home's way to thank generous individuals.
The Home's CEO-President Molly Forrest provided guests with an informative update on the state of healthcare in America. The keynote address was presented by the Jewish Home's Jack H. Skirball Director of Spiritual Life, Rabbi Karen Bender, who noted she is learning from those in attendance, since they have all followed many mitzvot through their plans and remarkable generosity.
For more information about the Home's Legacy Circle, please contact Aaron Levinson, planned giving officer, at (818) 757-4416 or Aaron.Levinson@jha.org.

Music Opens Doors To Memories

Music Opens Doors To Memories
Have you ever heard a favorite song from your distant past and immediately felt like you were taken back in time? You could see the people you were with and remember what you were doing, maybe what you were wearing, as the music played. You actually feel — mentally and physically — like you are there in that long ago moment. How can that possibly happen?

Current research finds our brains are actually hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. According to the non-profit organization MUSIC & MEMORY®, even persons with severe dementia can tap deep emotional recall. Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.
Founded by executive director Dan Cohen, MSW, in 2006, MUSIC & MEMORY® has a simple goal: to provide new and used iPods to nursing homes so each resident can enjoy music personalized for them. In 2012, a documentary about the program, Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, helped greatly in boosting awareness and interest in the benefits of music related to memory. 
The organization's ongoing research and evaluation shows consistent results:
  • Residents are happier and more social.
  • Relationships among staff, residents and family deepen.
  • Everyone benefits from a calmer, more supportive social environment.
  • Staff regain valuable time previously lost to behavior management issues.
  • There is growing evidence that a personalized music program gives 
    professionals one more tool in their effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic 
The Los Angeles Jewish Home is happy to announce our participation in the MUSIC & MEMORY® certification program. With trainings taking place for staff of the Home's skilled nursing facilities, Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC), and Skirball Hospice, we will be initiating MUSIC & MEMORY® across our campuses and in the community. Approximately 25 employees are participating in the training, which includes a series of three 90-minute webinars, taught by founder Dan Cohen. The webinars provide instruction on creating an iTunes library, managing resident playlists, handling equipment and security concerns, integrating digital music into daily care plans, and evaluating the program's effectiveness.
After certification, the Home will receive one year of coaching support from MUSIC & MEMORY® to ensure success of the program and ten iPods with headphones. Additional iPods will be purchased and/or donated, both new and gently used.
Rolling out the program across the Home began with the BCSC team. Susie Fishenfeld, executive director of BCSC, previously experienced the MUSIC & MEMORY® program and knew the impact it can have on seniors as well as their families and caregivers. "Our goal at BCSC is for our participants to enjoy increased stimulation and activity.  We also believe it will be a way to bring families and caregivers closer with participants through sharing the music they love and the memories it brings."
Timothy Carlson, RN, resource clinical advisor for the Jewish Home, is serving as the point person for MUSIC & MEMORY® in other areas of the Home, including skilled nursing and Alzheimer's and dementia care. "This is a powerful program to enrich the lives, move the spirits, and stimulate the minds of the cherished seniors we care for at the Home," Tim explains.  "Music moves us all, and the MUSIC & MEMORY® program brings this truth front and center."
The Home's Skirball Hospice is also participating in the certification. "We will begin our training this month," says Lee Rothman, volunteer coordinator for Hospice and point person for this project. "We will initially introduce the program to our patients who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's with dementia, which currently is about one-third of the individuals we serve. We are excited to be involved in this program with the goal of improving the quality of life for our patients and their families."
"We are pleased to provide MUSIC & MEMORY® in addition to all the amazing and innovative programs we offer at the Jewish Home," says Tim.
We will be bringing you updates about the program as it is implemented throughout the Home. Check out future issues of e-News and Jewish Home News for the latest information.