Friday, June 09, 2023

(Courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades) Over 200 women attended Lavish Lunches, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ annual culinary adventure that raises significant funds to support JCC programs and services for senior adults in our community. Guests attended lunches of their choosing at local homes and venues, where they were provided with unique and memorable experiences. There was also a mitzvah lunch at the JCC, where Lavish Lunch participants enjoyed dining with the seniors and their caregivers. Jerry Schweibel, a widower who attends the JCC Senior Activity Center, spoke about “Finding his Joy at the J.”

“The highlight of my week is when I get to visit my JCC nursery school class to read stories, play games and blow bubbles with the kids who all call me Grandpa Bubbles,” says Jerry. “It really cracks me up. I’m an 85-year-old man who trained horses and managed a racetrack, so who would have thought that someone like me would be counting the days until I could spend time with little kids? But I do! Becoming a grandfriend saved my life, and now some of my best friends are under 5 years old.”

Proceeds from the event enable the JCC to provide a wide variety of programs that allow seniors to successfully “age in place.” These programs include a social adult day care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, programs for the arts, concerts, holiday celebrations, discussions on current affairs, exercise and intergenerational programs with nursery school children such as the Grandfriend program.

“As a not-for-profit agency open to the entire community, the JCC believes that caring for seniors is a core component of its mission,” says JCC CEO Jordan Shenker. “Our center is a place seniors can come to make friends, share in programs that keep them connected to the community and find a sense of purpose that is so often absent in the aging process. And its programs like Lavish Lunches that make this possible.”

The event was co-chaired by Lorin Cook and Brandi Rubin, a dedicated events committee that includes Shirley Altman, Michel Blum, Orly Chen, Stephanie Cohn, Alissa Epstein, Merle Fish, Kiera Flynn, Jenna Gutmann, Michelle Marom, Jackie Pollack, Michele Ross, Beth Rubach, Jennifer Schiffman, Jillian Somberg, Francie Steiner. The JCC thanks them for their passionate dedication to the event.

Hostesses who generously offered their homes included: Lori and Josh Capon; Orly Chen, Orna Jackson, Mali Oelsner, Riki Shulman and Yifat Yechezkell; Stephanie Cohn and Jillian Somberg; Lorin Cook, Kiera Flynn, Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Brandi Rubin and Alyzia Sands; Stacy Esser, Jamie Corsair, Lori Danziger, Alisa Messer; Robin Epstein; Merle Fish; Mindy Lavin and Iris Wormser; Dalia Lerner and Michelle Marom; Gabrielle Marcus and Lindsay Skulnik; Eileen Pleva; Elle and JoJo Rubach.

Special recognition goes to Palisade Jewelers, the presenting sponsor and the following sponsors: Artistic Tile, Orly Chen/ReMax Properties Plus, the Dean Foundation/Francie and Stephen Steiner, Gilly’s Organics and Shoprite/Treeco. To make a donation to programs for seniors, visit jccotp.org/lavishlunches or contact Michal Kleiman at 201.408.1412 or [email protected]

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