Tuesday, August 16, 2022

(Courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades) The Lavish Lunches Evening Edition was hosted by Orly and Shlomo Chen at their home in Tenafly on June 2; and the JCC held a Mitzvah Lunch for seniors on June 7.

Lavish Lunches Evening Edition brought a large community of women together in an exciting Shavuot-inspired garden party to raise critical funds for seniors in the community. Jen Maxfield, reporter and substitute anchor for NBC New York, was the evening’s emcee. The keynote speaker was best-selling author, lecturer and creator of the Happiness Studies Academy Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, who spoke on the importance of giving to others as an ingredient to sustained personal happiness.

The Mitzvah Lunch at the JCC featured a bountiful lunch for seniors and their caregivers, served by volunteers and staff, and included music, dancing and a wonderful presentation by the little dancers from the JCC’s Dance and Drama School.

“We know the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ In that same light, it takes a community to care for our elders. The past years have shown us that isolation and loneliness affect seniors strongly, that they thrive when they see their families, see their friends, and stay active and engaged with healthy food, exercise, and in the case of our JCC seniors, a little Yiddish music and dancing,” said Maxfield.

Funds raised help the JCC’s senior department provide all the services needed to make aging in place possible, both through in-person and virtual programming. By offering a wide array of programs and services that allow seniors to stay at home and age in place successfully, JCC programs offer a continuum of care for aging seniors and their caregivers. Our goal is to provide all the necessary resources needed to help seniors continue living comfortably and safely at home, to keep them social, mobile and actively engaged with a purpose and meaning to their day.

Lavish Lunches also held a successful reverse auction that exceeded goals to provide supplemental, but equally important, enrichment programming for seniors including:

Weekly intergenerational shabbat meals with seniors and the Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center children, the teenage students of the Idea School, and participants of the Guttenberg Center for Special Services Day Program.

Guest speakers to help caregivers develop skills necessary to navigate difficult times.

Supplies for weekly hobby classes including art, photography, gardening, beading and more.

Birthday party celebrations for a senior.

Support materials for caregivers to engage a family member at home.

General support to senior services at the Kaplen JCC.

“At our JCC, creating a caring space for seniors to come to every day, and provide respite and training for the caretakers, whether they are family or professionals, is in the spirit of the message we learned when the Jewish people received the Torah, and we celebrate at Shavuot: to ‘honor your father and mother.’ By supporting our event, one does the ultimate mitzvah because our seniors are our responsibility,” said Steve Rogers, JCC’s chief executive officer.

For more information about Lavish Lunches and other special events at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, please call Fran Koszer at 201.408.1404 or email [email protected]

The Lavish Lunches co-chairs are Orly Chen, Stephanie Cohn and Kiera Flynn.

Committee members are Becky Canarick, Lorin Cook, Meghan Cutler, Alissa Epstein, Jennifer Glodowski, Jennifer Gutmann, Karen Joseph, Gabrielle Marcus, Robin Miller, Amalia Oelsner, Jen Maxfield Ostfeld, Eileen Pleva, Jacqueline Pollack, Brandi Rubin, Jennifer Schiffman, Elexis Shirit, Jillian Somberg and Francie Steiner.

Mitzvah Lunch co-chairs are Becky Canarick, Lorin Cook, Meghan Cutler, Kiera Flynn and Brandi Rubin.

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