Teaneck—With food and fanfare, last Sunday J-ADD celebrated the opening of its eighth and newest home—this one in Teaneck. Over 100 guests, J-ADD residents, their families, staff members, board members and new neighbors joined in the rousing breakfast dedication ceremony.
The new Bressman Family Home, located near Queen Anne Road and Votee Park, was dedicated in the name of the parents of current J-ADD board president, Dr. Beth Sackler. Dr. Sackler and her husband, Dr. Richard Sackler, made the lead gift and Dr. Sackler led off the program by thanking her parents—with her mother present and listening—for all they did for her and for her brother Robert Bressman, who will be living in the new home after 25 years in other J-ADD housing.
“We believe it is a state-of-the-art model of housing for the disabled and it is the first truly accessible home in J-ADD,” said Dr. Sackler. “This has been a true labor of love for all involved. By dedicating this home to the Bressmas family, we are instilling their values into its residents….they taught us that whatever challenges we face are to be met with kindness and strength.”
She was followed by Dr. Sondra Gold, the founder of J-ADD, who spoke about the early history of J-ADD and the struggle to get the first home opened. She noted how it took over two-and-a-half years to get the approval for the first home. Dr. Gold also thanked the local Federation for their help. “This new building is really something and we hope that all our children can have something like this home to live in,” she explained
The current director of J-ADD, Dr. John Winer, noted that the timing of the home’s opening was especially auspicious as it “marries a time of thanksgiving with a time of dedication” making reference to both Chanukah and Thanksgiving. A representative of New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities also spoke and talked about how much care and love had gone into the home’s creation.
Robert Sackler, the son of Dr. Sackler and nephew of Robert Bressman, said the entire Bressman and Sackler family participated in the fundraising effort. “J-ADD has been improving lives, one person at a time. The Bressman Home will allow everyone who lives here to live full lives. There can be no better way to honor the dream of our family. “ Rabbi Ely Allen closed the event by hanging the mezuzah on the front door post.
Based in Bergen County, J-ADD operates eight group homes and five apartments for 50 Jewish adults who range in age from 21 to 74. J-ADD’s board of directors works closely with a highly trained staff and four master’s degree-seeking social work interns who complete a year-long internship to bring energy, activity and vibrancy to the residents’ lives. Rebbetzin Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky oversees the coursework and programming of the interns along with Varda Hager, J-ADD’s associate director.
All the speakers pointed out that J-ADD needs continuing support on many levels and asked those assembled to consider making contributions to J-ADD. For more information and donation information, visit www.j-add.org.
By Moshe Kinderlehrer