May 26, 2024
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Teaneck Family Funds YU Social Work Scholarship in Memory of Gail Prystowsky

Generous donation will fund MSW students specializing in gerontology and palliative care.

(Courtesy of YU) The Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University is very pleased to announce that it has received a generous gift to establish a scholarship in memory of its alumna, Gail Prystowsky ’87W of Teaneck. The gift, made by her family, will support a Wurzweiler student pursuing a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) with a concentration in gerontology and palliative care, Gail’s area of specialization. Students in gerontology and palliative care work to create meaningful experiences and enhance life in a supportive and caring environment for the elderly or those with life-threatening illnesses.

Gail Prystowsky

After a career in early childhood education, Gail looked to a new career where she felt she could make a lasting impact on people’s lives. She returned to school, earning a MSW from Wurzweiler in 1987 and was later licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey. In 2007, she was certified as a clinical social worker in gerontology.

Gail began her social work career with Jewish agencies, including Jewish Family Service of Bergen County, MetroWest Federation of New Jersey and Daughters of Miriam-Center for the Aged in Clifton. At the Jewish Community Council of Washington Heights & Inwood, she served as coordinator of services for the elderly and Russian resettlement. She also worked with Holocaust survivors through SelfHelp community services.

Recognizing a void in care services for the growing elderly community, Gail and her partner, Devorah Sinensky, founded Geriatric Resource Services (GRS), a personalized care management practice that provided comprehensive case management for the elderly and their family members.

Gail served on the board of directors for the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and was a guest lecturer for the Academy of Medicine of New Jersey. She also served on the Care Commission of the Division of Health and Human Services of Bergen County and was a consultant to Our Parents’ Health, a geriatric evaluation and treatment center serving Northern New Jersey.

“Community clergy often called Gail when their elderly congregants faced difficult times and needed immediate help that they could not provide,” explained her husband, Steve Prystowsky. “Gail always answered the call because she was passionate that if people were living longer, they should also live better and happier.”

When the Covid pandemic paralyzed this country, Gail was no longer able to provide her services. She retired knowing that her Wurzweiler degree enabled her to accomplish her goals.

Those interested in supporting this scholarship fund may go to yu.edu/GPfund

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