Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Yoga on the Terrace

Yoga on the TerraceOn the morning of Thursday, June 19th, residents of the JEKMC were invited to participate in a session of yoga designed to enhance the body, mind, and spirit.

This incredibly popular program is offered on the Geri & Richard Brawerman Terrace in the late spring and early summer — the best time to take advantage of the San Fernando Valley's most agreeable weather. For these sessions, yoga instructor Karima William brings her standard yoga class outdoors with a few modifications for the Home's senior population. She explains, "Because I am working with the elderly, it's very important to monitor my students and their activity outdoors. I make sure to keep everyone covered with wide brimmed hats, seat people in the shade when it's possible, and have plenty of cold water on hand." 

During the lesson, residents were instructed to carefully roll their shoulders, move their arms in pendulum-like motions, pick up their knees one at a time, alternate between long and short breaths, kick their legs up, move their legs from side to side, and hold the chair while moving their torsos in a circle. Throughout the class, Karima urged participants to follow the rhythm of the music, count along, and feel invigorated.

Karima states one of her biggest objectives is to help students engage their core muscles. "It's very important to make sure seniors keep this part of their body strong. When the elderly are distracted while walking, entering into a hazardous situation, or moving from a sitting position to a standing position, it is easy for them to lose balance and fall. With a stronger core, seniors may be able to avoid these dangerous situations and prevent fall-related injuries." 

Like most yogis, Karima urges her students to focus on their breathing while they partake in the various exercises. "I like to have the students emphasize their exhales during deep breathing. They can do this by making a loud whooshing noise as they push the air out of their nose or mouth. These calming techniques can bring more oxygen into their brains and bodies. With some work, seniors can achieve increased levels of energy and mental clarity; in addition, practicing these methods is an easy way to reverse the effects of stress while regulating blood pressure." With so many benefits to these controlled breathing techniques, it's quite possibly the most effective exercise of the class.

Karima has been teaching yoga at the Jewish Home for the past eight years. The health-conscious instructor also has a background in aerobics, kickboxing, and personal training. She teaches yoga twice a week at JEKMC on Mondays and Fridays. Karima enjoys teaching yoga to seniors because she wants them to stay motivated and healthy. "I teach our residents exercises that will improve blood circulation as well as exercises to strengthen their cores and lower backs, the parts of the bodies most effected by excessive sitting. I also run the fitness center here at JEKMC. I love motivating residents to come and exercise. All of the staff members here want the residents to be healthy and happy. I'm glad I can help with that."

Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf

Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of GolfThe Los Angeles Jewish Home's annual fundraising event, "The Longest Day of Golf," took place on Monday, July 7th at the Woodland Hills Country Club. At this, the event's 17th year, six golfers, Ron Altman Esq., Leon Blankstein, Aric Browne, Mark Hamermesh, Jason Perel, and event chair Dr. Michael Persky, participated in the sunrise to sundown golfing marathon.

The generous gentlemen who participated in the beloved annual event started raising funds long before the actual event. In the months prior, participants asked friends, family members, and acquaintances to pledge a donation to the Jewish Home in exchange for their promise to participate in the golfing event. With the six golfers completing almost 500 holes and raising $91,000 to date, the 17th annual "Longest Day of Golf" was an incredible success.

This year, "The Longest Day of Golf" was renamed "The Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf Benefitting the Los Angeles Jewish Home" to honor philanthropist and longtime supporter of the Home, Bill Belzberg. Bill and his wife, Barbara, have been integrally involved in various Jewish Home events in the past including "The Longest Day of Golf."

Developer and supporter, Bill Belzberg was known as the founder of two major lending companies and a leader within several Jewish organizations around the world. Bill was truly a captain of industry and a distinguished philanthropist. The Los Angeles Jewish Home is happy to recognize the contributions Bill has made within our community through the renaming of our celebrated annual event.

If you would like to learn more about the "Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf benefiting the Los Angeles Jewish Home," please contact Denise Horowitz at (818)774-3324 or Denise.Horowitz@jha.org.

Walk of Ages XV: Are You Ready?

Walk of Ages XV: Are You ReadyAre you ready to have a great time walking or running to raise funds for the Los Angeles Jewish Home? In its fifteenth year, the Home's Walk of Ages is making a new start! We're moving the date from chilly December to temperate September. We can't guarantee the weather will be perfect on the 14th, but we're pretty confident it won't be 30 degrees! And our location has changed, too: the 5K (3.1 mile) race will take place in Woodley Park in Van Nuys, where we are looking forward to welcoming even more of the community to our annual event. Also new this year is a 1K Kids' Dash and children's entertainer Robb Zelonky, better known as Robbo.

Each year the Walk of Ages is attended by hundreds of Home supporters of all ages. There are families and friends of our residents, donors, employees and their friends and families, babies in carriages and dogs on leashes. Some run, some jog, some walk … or do their own special combination. The goal is simple: cross the finish line and have fun doing it!

Registration fees for individuals are $35 for adults (13-79), $18 for children (0-12), and free for super seniors (80+). Teams of 10 or more are encouraged to raise or donate $1,000 per team, in addition to individual registration fees. Pre-race registration is open until Friday, September 12th at 1:00 PM. After deadline, all participants must register at the event.

There will be lots of free food and great giveaway items. So lace up your running or walking shoes, sneakers or tennis shoes, and come on out and have a great time for a great cause! Our residents will really appreciate it!

For more information about the Jewish Home's Walk of Ages XV, please visit our website at www.walkofages.kintera.org or contact Denise Horowitz at (818) 774-3324 or Denise.Horowitz@jha.org.

See you at the Walk of Ages in Woodley Park on September 14th!

Come Home for the Holidays

Beginning at sundown on Wednesday, September 24th, the High Holidays offer a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a sweet New Year with the residents of the Jewish Home. From attending services and enjoying "Home"-cooked meals with our residents to sending wishes for the New Year to friends and family, the Home has many ways for you to be a part of our celebration.

If you are wondering where to attend services, the Home is here for you! The 1,000 men and women who call the Los Angeles Jewish Home their home each year invite you to join them for High Holiday services. In these "Days of Awe," there may be no more awesome experience than to be among people who have witnessed many passages of life and who bring a unique perspective to the celebration of the New Year. 

Community services and meals for the High Holidays will be held at the Eisenberg Village campus. Tickets are available and provide admittance to all High Holiday worship services and the Yom Kippur "Break-the-Fast" meal. Tickets for other holiday meals are also available. All tickets must be purchased in advance by Wednesday, September 17, 2014. View our High Holiday flyer for more information. To purchase tickets, please contact Allison Tepper at (818) 774-3386 or EVRSVP@jha.org

Planning to send your wishes for a sweet and healthy New Year to friends and family? The Home can help you with that as well! A beautiful card featuring Sounding the Shofar, a painting created by resident artist Louis Lampert, is available in packets of twelve for $18. To purchase, please call 818-774-3324 or click here to download an order form.

At the Jewish Home's Yizkor services on Saturday, October 4th, a Memorial Booklet honoring those who have passed away will be distributed. If you would like to include the names of your departed loved ones, please contact volunteer coordinator Stacy Orbach at (818) 757-4442 or Stacy.Orbach@jha.org. There is no standard contribution required — the amount you give, large or small, is entirely at your discretion and is greatly appreciated. Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, September 10th.

If you're planning your menu for festive holiday meals, let the Jewish Home help you! Visit our website at http://www.jha.org/resources/recipes.asp and check out our classic recipes from our residents, such as Helen Berlin's Holiday Brisket. Begin your meal with Chef Akasha's Matzah Ball Soup and end with delicious Holiday Honey Cake.

On behalf of the Los Angeles Jewish Home and our residents, we wish you a healthy and happy New Year. L'Shana Tova!

Red Hat Society Fashion Show 2014

Red Hat Society Fashion Show 2014On Thursday, May 29th the Jewish Home hosted the EV Shayna Punim Chapter's 2014 Red Hat Society Fashion Show. This special event, sponsored by Gerrie Wormser and John N. Levi, Jr., featured many of the Home's residents modeling gorgeous garments donated by a local CAbi boutique. Delicious finger sandwiches and ice cream sundaes with hot fudge were graciously served by the Home's dietary department while live entertainment was provided by the vivacious keyboard and ukulele player Cali Rose.

After years of sponsoring the fashion show, Gerrie states that it's her favorite event. She explains, "My favorite part of the fashion show every year is taking a few 90-year-old people and teaching them to walk down the catwalk with style and flair. I love watching them enjoy every minute of it. I have a background of working as a casting director. The whole process of finding my models and bringing out their inner beauty and natural playfulness is a lot of fun. People just eat it up. It's fabulous and I love it."

In planning the fashion show, Gerrie reached out to independent CAbi consultant, Bobbie Casalino-Lewis, who was happy to be part of this special event. "This unique opportunity was a wonderful way to give back" said Bobbie. "It's not always easy to find ways to use my set of specific talents to bring others happiness, but I definitely did that today. Gerrie took me to a few of the Red Hat meetings and gave me beautiful models to work with. I fitted them, styled them, and helped them to shine today."After all was said and done, the models surely did shine while walking down the Jewish Home's runway in their amazing attire and with a newfound sense of self-appreciation. 

One of the show's regular attendees, resident Alice Kulick, loves watching the fashion show each year. She exclaimed, "The show was very nice! The girls looked lovely. I was very surprised by the fashions they were wearing. These outfits were a lot different than last year's and they all looked gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!" 

Alice is a big fan of the Red Hat Society and thinks its events are highly entertaining. She states, "I've been a part of the Home's Red Hat Society for the past three years and I love it! Every year they have two big events and they're always a hoot. I've even modeled in the show once before. I really enjoy attending the Red Hat events because they give members a chance to participate and have a good time."

Please click here to view photos from the 2014 Red Hat Society Fashion Show.

Special thanks to Gerrie Wormser, John N. Levi, Jr., Bobbie Casalino-Lewis, all of our beautiful models, their handsome escorts, and the activities staff for making this event such a beautiful success.