Board of Directors Spotlight: Get to Know Jay Frank

Jay Frank is a wealth manager whose training helps people use their financial resources to achieve their objectives through appropriate investments, cash flow management, tax strategies, estate planning and family communication. He is passionate about serving his clients and feels fulfilled to have a profession where his contributions matter. As of July 1, 2020, Jay Frank has been leading Ovation Jewish Home as the Chairman of the Board. Frank served on the Jewish Home and Chai Point boards, as well as Ovation’s Joint Executive Committee, before being named Jewish Home chairman, and he remains committed fulfilling all strategic pillars of the organization.


Question: How did you first get involved with Ovation Communities?

Jay Frank: I had some experience with the Milwaukee Jewish Home and Care Center when my father was a resident in 2004. But I became really involved with Ovation when my mother made a move to Chai Point several years ago. My mother had originally moved from out of town and spent a few years living alone in our neighborhood after her retirement as a professor. Chai Point was a fabulous destination where she met many friends and found a real community where she could continue to be independent. As the years progressed, her memory issues resulted in a relocation to the Helen Bader Center which was more appropriate for her new status.

Q: What is it that you enjoy most about serving Ovation Communities?

JF: In my time with Ovation, I have grown in admiration for the responsibilities of our dedicated staff. When asked to dedicate some of my time and expertise, I was eager to assist and try to fulfill some of responsibility to support our community. We have a world class resource and we have a responsibility to cherish and protect its future. I have been so impressed by the quality of many of our lay leaders. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated group.

Q: As chairman of the Jewish Home board, what is the first thing you’re going to address?

JF: Before Covid, I was privileged to be part of Ovation’s Strategic Planning Task Force designed to establish a set of priorities for Ovation to respond to the challenges facing our community. After carefully considering the broad range of needs, the task force identified major pillars to provide direction for the next five years. As Chairperson, I am committed to all of the pillars, but I am particularly committed to four areas:

1. To focus on Governance to increase the involvement of community stakeholders in Ovation and to streamline the governance functions.

2. To focus on making certain that Ovation has the licensing and programming to provide a continuum of care so that there are many living options available to our residents to meet their needs.

3. To focus on making certain that Ovation is a multigenerational gathering place of members of our community both as residents and non-residents through programs, services, and events. 4. To maintain our leadership in research and education in the areas of aging and to continue to collaborate with the University communities to provide a framework for best practices.

Q: What are your hobbies and how do you spend your free time?

JF: My wife and I invest much of our free time in our children and grandchildren. After decades as a clinical dietitian in long-term care, she is now a professional Bubbe and community volunteer. She is one of the directors of The Torah Academy of Milwaukee’s annual musical. I am active on several Boards of Directors. I also have a commitment to regularly learning Torah throughout the day. I enjoy singing and genuinely enjoy participating in prayer services with others. I enjoy home repair and remodeling projects. My grandchildren think Zaidy can fix anything. I enjoy the opportunity to purchase “new tools” to help me.

  • June 21, 2021

Story of Survival: One Man’s Journey Helps Israel Thrive

On Sunday May 2, 2021, former Israel Air Force Commander and the former CEO of EL AL Airlines, Major General Elyezer Shkedy shared the story of his father’s survival of the Holocaust in Hungary, and his own experiences from his military career, including his role in a ceremonial Israel Air Forces (IAF) fly-over of Auschwitz.

Jews living in Hungary during WWII were no strangers to anti-Semitism. After aligning with Nazi Germany, Anti-Semitic legislation was passed and more than 100,000 Jewish men living in Hungary were mobilized for forced work.

“When Hungary joined the war against the Allies, nearly 20,000 Jews from Kanenetz-Podolsk who held Polish or Soviet citizenship were turned over to the Germans and murdered,” said Holocaust educator David Bitan, who also joined the virtual discussion. “In May 1944 the deportations to Auschwitz began. In Just eight weeks, some 424,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In all, some 565,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.”

One Hungarian Jew who took control of his fate was Moshe Shkedy. Already crammed into a train and headed to Auschwitz, Moshe decided he was not going to let the Nazis decide what came of his life. In a life or death moment, Moshe chose life and jumped from the moving train.

Moshe survived the jump and spent the rest of the war living in Budapest helping other Jews survive by obtaining fake Swiss documents. According to his son, Elyezer, “after the war he came back to his village (in Hungary). He was there for about two years hoping that someone from his family would come back. Unfortunately, they never came back. All of his family was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz.”

After two years Moshe relocated to Israel and made Aliyah. In Israel, Moshe lived his life and had a family. His son Elyezer made a career in the IAF. As he climbed through the ranks of the IAF, Elyezer took part in some high-end military operations, including a ceremonial flyover of Auschwitz in 2003.

Throughout his life Moshe continued to wonder why he survived WWII and his family didn’t. In 2015, toward the end of his life, Elyezer believes his father finally got the answer he was looking for.

“In 2007 the IAF attacked a nuclear reactor in Syria,” Elyezer said. “After the attack I received a letter from the Prime Minister in those days,

Ehud Olmert, with appreciation for what we did and how we did it. Also, about the meaning of this attack for the survival of the State of Israel and the Jewish Nation.

“At the end of the letter, in his own handwriting, he wrote, ‘best regards to your father.’ He knew the story of my father?!”

Participating in a top-secret mission, Elyezer could not speak of the mission or the letter he received with anyone.

Eight years later, with Moshe on his deathbed, Elyezer decided it was time to share the letter with his father.

“I took the letter to him. He didn’t talk a lot, or at all,” Elyezer said. “But I saw in his eyes that he understood everything. I read the letter for him and I saw something unbelievable. After I read the letter, he began to cry, and I saw that he had big relief in his body language.

“I think, and I don’t know if I’m right or wrong,” Elyezer continued. “I felt that this was the first time in his whole life that he got the answer to the question ‘why he survived?’ So, he thought, (his survival) was for the air force, it was for the mission, and for the survival of the State of Israel and the Jewish nation. A couple of weeks later he passed away.

“On behalf of my father in the sky. On behalf of myself, and on behalf of all of us. May G-d who makes peace…bring peace to all mankind and for Israel. Amen.”

  • June 21, 2021

Ovation Intergenerational Program Connects Residents and Volunteers Digitally

When the pandemic changed daily life at Ovation Communities, school groups and volunteers were no longer able to visit in person, Julie​ Shlensky sprung into action. Shlensky, Posner Chair for Intergenerational Programming, had to pivot quickly and find new and creative ways to bring generations together in meaningful and mutually beneficial ways.

One initiative that really took off was Ovation’s Intergenerational Connections Program, which pairs young community volunteers with Ovation residents as pen pals, or in this case, phone pals. Through the reintroduction of this program, Chai Point resident Allen Koren first met youth volunteer Joey Arnstein in May of last year. They’ve been talking weekly via phone or video chat ever since.

Joey and Allen have found they have a lot in common; they both love sports and have an interest in current world events. They’ve had no shortage of things to talk about.

“We really enjoy each other’s company and conversation,” Allen said. “The program has filled a void during the pandemic and kept me busy. It’s been so interesting to learn and appreciate the perspective of an entirely different generation.”

The pair built such a strong bond that Joey and his family invited Allen to participate in his recent Zoom bar mitzvah, where they both spoke with admiration about each other.

“He’s become a really important part of my life.Joey said. “I was so excited that he could participate in my big day. We have a lot of similarities, and building this connection, especially during quarantine, has been amazing.”

As part of his bar mitzvah project Joey asked friends and family for donations that allowed Ovation to purchase iPad stands so residents can stay in touch with their loved ones. Joey and Allen plan to continue their weekly calls, even beyond the pandemic, and hope to meet in person sometime soon.

“It has been extremely rewarding for me to play matchmaker over the past year when many people were faced with increasing loneliness and social isolation,” Shlensky said. “Continuing to bring generations together in new ways has had countless positive benefits on the physical and mental health of not only our residents, but young people in the community as well.”

Eliana Karan Organizes Purim Baskets for Residents

Eliana Karan’s great-grandfather is a resident at Ovation Jewish Home. As part of her bat mitzvah project, Eliana rallied her family and friends to raise more than $2,000 on behalf of Ovation Communities.

With the funds raised Eliana and her friends put together more than 90 Purim baskets to spread joy to residents during the holiday. The colorful baskets included hamantashen pastries, groggers, Purim masks, fuzzy slippers and lottery tickets.

Inspired by her great-grandfather and her own love of the arts, Eliana also organized a virtual talent show. This video compilation of her friends singing, dancing, playing ukulele, and juggling fire, among a variety of other talents, will be streamed for Ovation residents.

“It made me really happy to be able to help our elders and share that happiness during Purim,” Eliana said. “I gained some wonderful new connections, and a few of my friends were even inspired to start their own service projects.”

As a result of Joey and Eliana’s Bnai Mitzvah projects, The Foundation’s Posner Intergen Program has launched a Bnai Mitzvah program to encourage and engage other community youth to celebrate their special milestone with Ovation residents in meaningful and creative ways.

 

For more information on the Bnai Mitzvah program, contact Julie Shlensky, Intergenerational Program Coordinator, 414.721.9253 or email JShlensky@ovation.org.

  • June 21, 2021

Next-Gen Ovation Board Focuses on Diversity and Leadership Among Young Professionals

To help prepare young professionals for community leadership and high-level stewardship of non-profit institutions, Ovation Communities has partnered with Fuel Milwaukee to create the Next-Gen Ovation Leadership Program.

By partnering with Fuel Milwaukee, Ovation Communities, through the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation, has prepared a seven series leadership program that equips young professionals with the tools they need to begin serving on organizational boards and committees, while taking an active role to better their community.

After receiving dozens of applications from interested young professionals, Tanya Mazor-Posner, Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation Vice President of Development, selected 30 people to participate in the inaugural program.

“With a focus on diversity and multiple faiths, we want to help train the next generation of people who are going to serve Ovation Communities,” Mazor-Posner said. “This group is diverse in backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths and has a sincere desire to collaborate together in making an impact on our community.

“The Next-Gen Ovation participants bring a variety of talents, varied experiences in life and their professions. This group of people will help advance the Foundation and Ovation’s mission of caring for our community’s seniors and program participants with comfort, dignity and care.”

Over the course of seven weeks, Milwaukee’s young professionals will participate in virtual seminars that will cover topics that include, financial and fiscal oversight, leadership, strategic planning and thinking, diversity, ageism, and Judaism and Ovation history.

In addition to Ovation Communities and Fuel Milwaukee leaders, seminars will be led by other community leaders and experts. The program will culminate in a virtual ceremony and celebration with current Ovation Communities board members and residents.

“The Next-Gen Ovation Leadership program has exposed me to an opportunity to network and build relationships with a community of like-minded professionals,” said Tammy Mays, Milwaukee Public Library Branch Manager. “The weekly engaging topics have given me valuable tidbits to interact with my peers and staff effectively.

“President and CEO of Ovation Communities, Mike Sattell’s presentation enlightened me about Ovation Communities and its commitment to increasing leadership opportunities by serving as a board member.”

The overall goal of the program, at the completion of the seven sessions, is to have these young professions either serve on one of three Ovation Communities boards or one of Ovation Communities’ high-level committees.

“I have been increasing my efforts to be involved in the community,” said Peter Klein, Vice President and General Manager at lakeside International. “This program seemed like a good opportunity to learn more about leadership, specifically in the context of volunteering in a non-profit.

I am looking forward to getting to know the other people in this group and learning more about Ovation.  I am glad that Ovation and FUEL Milwaukee are investing in developing people my age – and I am hopeful that this will be a catalyst for me to be more involved in Ovation in the future.”

  • June 21, 2021

Touch Points- A Spark of Light with Dana

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

There is a good reason why moms hold a special place in our hearts. Mom’s love unconditionally, help keep us healthy, teach us lessons/values, support and sustain us emotionally, lift us up when we need it most, and are (forever) our number one fan! Although Mother’s Day is not a Jewish holiday, the Torah tells us to honor our mothers at all times.  A mother’s commitment and devotion are, often, the foundation of the family. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the day we honor and celebrate our mothers/step-mothers/foster mothers/grandmothers/bubbes.

In my last Touch Points I talked about celebrating Earth Day every day. Now, with Mother’s Day around the corner, my message is similar; every day should be a day we celebrate and show appreciation for our mothers. If you are lucky, like me, to have a wonderful mom, it is difficult to adequately find the words to say thank you for the countless blessings she provides.  Thank you Mom- I love you more than words can say! In addition, many of us are also blessed with other types of motherly love.  Blessings overflow when you add the love of grandmothers, a mothers-in-law, and cherished aunts. (I am biased, but I have the best!)  Being surrounded by motherly devotion, passion and commitment, is a recipe for unparalleled love and guidance. One might even call it winning the “Motherly Trifecta!”  So, this Sunday, find a way to celebrate and honor your mother, and also remember and honor her every day.

“Who needs superheroes when I have Mom?” -unknown

Celebrating Mothers:

1. Did you Know we Have a Jewish Mother’s Day? On our Jewish calendar, the 11th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan commemorates the passing of our matriarch Rachel. This is a lesser known holiday, and is thought of a Jewish Mother’s Day (of sorts). Click here to read this interesting article from Rabbi Judy Chessin. She discusses the holiday and why Rachel was chosen as the “quintessential Jewish mother.” https://daytonjewishobserver.org/2011/06/celebrate-mothers-day-the-jewish-way/

 

2. Remember Special Motherly Memories and Feelings- Mental imagery and visualization are powerful tools that can improve mood and support positive mental health. So, since moms often bring us many blessings and joy, let’s pause for a moment and remember a cherished motherly memory that brings you happiness. Breathe deeply and close your eyes. Think of the beautiful motherly love that surrounded you in any way. Even if that person/or people are no longer alive and not here with us physically, visualize them in your mind, and picture them surrounding you with glittering love. Fill your heart with their glowing presence; feel their deep love. Motherly love and positive images can be healing and boost positivity.

3. Motherly Wisdom-  A mom has a way of saying things- often imparting wisdom (when you want it, and sometimes when you don’t) through idioms and expressions. Below are a list of what Rabbi Avis Miller calls “ Momilies,” and my own Mom’s “Momilies” follow. What “Momilies” did you hear growing up? I bet you have your own! Think of them and smile.

  • You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Never go out of the house without lipstick. You never know whom you’ll meet.
  • When you praise yourself, it stinks;  when relatives praise you, it limps; when strangers praise you it sounds great.
  • You can’t put your head on their shoulders.
  • If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.
  • Tomorrow, tomorrow just not today—that’s what all the lazy folks say.
  • Too much is unhealthy.
  • What will people think?!
  • It’s either feast or famine.

These are a few of my Mom Arlene’s favorite “Momilies.” I have learned from them, take them to heart and repeat them to myself and to my children. My Mom has been and continues to be a wonderful teacher, guiding force, listener and friend.

  • “There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”- I am SO grateful for this Momilie! Even in the darkness, look toward the light and keep hope in your heart. This has helped propel me through difficult times, and is a wonderful lesson for life.
  • “It’s never greener on the other side.” My Mom took this one step in the Jewish direction and kind of “Yiddish-ized” it by saying, “You don’t want what ‘Yenim’ has.” …I have often wondered- who the heck is Yenim anyway?!? Is this even a name? Well, Yenim or no Yenim… this is another wonderful lesson: remain happy with what you have.

4. Mothers Teach, By Showing- A wanted to share a sweet story about my wonderful Mother-in-law, Judy. Many moons ago when my husband, Adam, and I were dating, I met his parents for the first time. It was a big deal; his parents flew in from Arizona and met us in Chicago, where Adam was living. During the visit, they wanted to buy Adam a gift, so we went shopping on busy Michigan Avenue. While browsing around the Crate and Barrel store,  I accidently walked backwards into an enormous, four-foot, cone-shaped display of 50+ glasses. Yes, you guessed it!  The glasses promptly toppled to the ground with an enormous crash!  I stood in the store, frozen and horrified, and turned about 50 shades of red. However, at that very moment, in the bustling store, my wonderful mother-in-law-to-be screamed, “MAZEL TOV!” She told me that as long as I wasn’t hurt, all was okay- “because only the display glasses were broken, not me.”  Twenty four years later, we still laugh about this ridiculous, sweet memory. I will never forget this important lesson, her kindness, humor and warmth. Through their actions, moms show us what is really important. Thank you Mom!

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a Mother.” -unknown

5. Get into the Mood with a Mother’s Day Movie or a Movie Marathon!-  Trying to find a good Mother’s Day flick to watch? Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Lady Bird– (2017 movie) Laurie Metcalf received a Best Supporting Actress Nomination for her performance as the Mother.
  • Brave– (2012 movie) Much time is devoted to the mother- daughter relationship in this delightful movie. Click here for the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEHWDA_6e3M
  • Mamma Mia– (2008 musical) There is a strong mother-daughter bond in this uplifting and fun musical. If you like the music of ABBA (I do! I do!), then you will enjoy this movie. Click here for the official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCVpJ8x1Tnc
  • Soul Food– (1997) Sisters gather on Sundays at Mother Joe’s.
  • Little Women– (multiple versions made) The 1994 movie adaptation, is my favorite. Susan Sarandon plays the matriarch. Click here for the tailor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWn4h2YLxGA
  • The Joy Luck Club– (1993) Based on the best selling novel by Amy Tan.

6. Try A Little Motherly Brain Health-  Here are a few exercises to try. Try them by yourself, or see how many you can come up with together. How did you do?

  • To celebrate mothers, name 20 of history’s greatest moms, and what made them great.
  • Make a list of all the famous mothers you can think of.
  • Want a challenge? How many of Hollywood’s famous mother and daughter actresses can you list? Extra points if any mothers and daughters were in the same film.


7.  Watch a Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s “Conversation Starter”:  Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Education Director, Ellie Gettinger, had a conversation with Ellen Bravo about her organization, Family Values at Work, which has been working to create a paid sick leave for families. Ellen talks about her experience trying to balance work and children, and the challenges that working families face today. Women, both as mothers and daughters, face the brunt of maintaining Shalom Bayit (household peace) in times of sickness. Have you ever experienced this? What do families and mothers, especially, need to ensure that they are supported? Click here to watch this important conversation: https://youtu.be/YY8EsMQ4LAU

“All of us are guided by the most powerful of all the angles- our mother.” unknown

I am sending love and my warmest wishes to all. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, and I hope you feel loved and appreciated every day.  As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana

  • May 10, 2021

Touch Points- A Spark of Light with Dana

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Earth Day’s official celebration was on April 22, but what if we disregarded this date?  Why choose one particular day each year? Instead, let’s think about the earth every day of the year!  After all, isn’t every day, a day to celebrate and care for our beautiful world??!!

Earth Day began in 1970, and is now a global event celebrated in more than 193 countries!  This worldwide happening was established to demonstrate support for environmental protection. All people want to breathe clean air, eat food from healthy soil, drink safe water and live in a healthy climate.  “Protecting our planet is not just a scientific or political issue. It is a religious, spiritual imperative. We find this truth embodied in three core Jewish values.” (Reformjudaism.org)  In the article, “Judaism and Earth Day: Three Things to Remember,” Rabbi Evan Moffic explains three core values. “The first is captured in the phrase l’dor v’dor: the imperative that we pass our earth from “generation to generation.” “The second critical value is bal tashchit. In Hebrew that means, “do not destroy.” “The final critical value is shomrei adamah, which means “guardians of the earth.” Click here to read the entire article:  https://reformjudaism.org/beliefs-practices/social-justice-reform-judaism/judaism-and-earth-day-three-things-remember

Many of us want to do more and care for our planet, but don’t know where, or how to start. Here is the good news… You don’t have to be an environmental scientist to make a difference! In fact, each of us has the power to make a meaningful change. Today we will learn more about the simple, sometimes ordinary, ways we can each protect Mother Earth and celebrate Earth Day, every day!

As always, I am thinking about our friends caring for someone with memory loss. Some of the ideas listed below may interest your loved one.  Encourage his/her participation- making modifications based on abilities. By involving your loved one, you may create a meaningful moment that improves his/her emotional well-being.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day:

1. Educate Yourself Learning is the key to understanding what we can do to protect the environment and this glorious world! Read and understand the importance of our natural resources. Then, see what you can do to help. Once you understand more, please share the information with others that are interested. There are many websites to look at. Here are a variety to get you started:

“It is our collective and individual responsibility…

to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live.” -Dalai Lama

2. Ten Easy, Environmentally Friendly Ideas!- What habits or behaviors can we tweak slightly to make a difference? If we each do our tiny part, then collectively, we can make a massive change!  Read the easy (and very doable) ideas below, get inspired, and make Earth Day, every day. It’s simpler than you think!

    • Put a Recycling Plan in Place –Are you already recycling? Terrific! Perhaps you still have a few questions about what goes where and what is accepted. If you live in Ovation Communities and have questions, we are always happy to help! -Just ask. If you live in the Milwaukee community, take a look at your local areas to see what is accepted. Here is the website for Milwaukee County recycling. Please check your suburb or village for specific information.
      Click here for City of Milwaukee recycling information:  https://city.milwaukee.gov/recycle/What-Can-I-Recycle
    • Bring Your Own Shopping Bag- Plastic bags can harm wildlife, clog recycling machines and sit in a landfill or ocean for years! Instead, use a reusable bag. There are even cute, or funky options! -Look stylish and help the environment! If you are good with a needle and thread, try repurposing an old piece of clothing/cloth and turn it into a bag. Who knew you were so savvy?! For a variety of tutorials/directions about making your own bags from kitchen towels, t-shirts, sweaters or pillowcases, (and many other ideas!) click here:  https://www.organicauthority.com/live-grow/15-ideas-for-making-repurposed-reusable-grocery-bags  Make a point to have a reusable shopping bag in your car, and/or fold a small bag and put in your purse. Always be prepared!
    • Reuse and Repurpose- Recycling still has a carbon footprint, so try to reduce waste and reuse items when possible.  A few personal anecdotes…  As the youngest female cousin on both sides of my family, growing up I received tons of hand-me-down clothes from my older cousins. When a batch of new items arrived, I couldn’t wait to sort through them and find my new favorites. To me, it felt like Chanukah!  In addition, as a college student and young adult, I repurposed end tables and bookshelves previously used. By painting them, they turned into lovely pieces that were perfect for my needs. So, next time you are done wearing a gently worn sweater, or are done using a table, please do not throw them out. Instead, consider giving them to a relative, friend or donating to a local charity. Chances are, these items still have value.
    • Buy a Reusable Bottle- Is there anything more convenient than free water from your own tap? Please start using your reusable water bottle or invest in a new glass bottle. This will help reduce the plastic burden on landfills, oceans, and streams. Reusable bottles are good for the environment; and so easy to fill!
    • Use Energy Efficient LED Lightbulbs- Energy efficient lightbulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These bulbs last longer, save money, time (replacing the bulbs) and energy.
    • Turn Off the Light When you Leave the Room- Also, open your drapes and use natural light when you are able!
    • Pay Your Bills Online- While I realize that not everyone is tech-savvy enough to do this, you might give it a try. It’s greener, saves money and time.
    • Use Scrap Paper- This seems like an easy choice. Flip over the paper you just used, and use the other side.
    • Fix Leaky Faucets- Boy that drip, drip, dripping is annoying… isn’t it? …Well, it’s also not good for the environment or your pocketbook either!
    • Repurpose Leftover Jars- Often, when our college-age son, Herschey, comes home, we send him back to his apartment with leftovers (made with love). I clean old containers (in the dishwasher first!) and reuse them for this purpose. They are perfect.  I have also used old mason jars or jelly jars to hold buttons, pens and pencils and grow plants. The possibilities are endless! Have fun! For example, here are 22 creative and decorative uses for mason jars: https://www.tidbitsandtwine.com/22-creative-decorative-uses-for-mason-jars/

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” (-Native American Proverb)

 

3. Get Inspired With These Activity Ideas:

    • Watch Jane Goodall’s short film called Mother Earth. We are so fortunate to learn from this remarkable woman. Please watch this important 6 minute video. Click here: https://youtu.be/48mxaQtbUdU
    • Watch this 1.5 minute video called Nature is Speaking. Actress, Julia Roberts narrates this powerful and moving piece. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM

“The earth has music for those who listen.” (-Shakespeare)

    • Plant a Tree- Planting a tree will add health and wellness to our earth. “As trees grow, they help climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Trees provide many benefits to us, every day. They offer cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.” (-arborday.org)
    • Get in Touch with Nature- Take a walk outside and soak up the healing energy in our natural world. Stroll through one of our beautiful parks or walk along Lake Michigan. As your walk, be mindful and appreciative of the beauty that surrounds you.

Our trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath and the earth our body.” (Deepak Chopra)

    • Stargaze- At night, sit outside an marvel at our beautiful night sky. Enjoy a sense of wonder as you look up toward the heavens. Make your stargazing experience unforgettable: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/stargaze.htm
    • Enjoy an Outside Farmers Market- As the weather warms, put on a mask on and shop outside. Buying food locally and fresh is fun, delicious and nourishes the body. Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies. In addition, family farmers need our support, and buying locally helps the environment. The food is transported shorter distances and, generally, the growing methods minimize the impact of the earth. Farmers markets are one of my favorite pastimes; they honestly make me happy!  Plan your next trip with the Shepherd Express’ 2021 Farmers Market Guide:  https://shepherdexpress.com/food/eat-drink/2021-farmers-market-guide/ I would love to hear which markets are your favorites!

 

4. Try A Little Earth Day Brain Health-  Print out the attached brain health worksheet, complete, and then check your answers with the attached key. The letters of the words are tossed and wrenched out of their proper positions. Can you reconstruct the original word out of the jumble?

 

5. Watch a “Museum Moment”:  Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Curator, Molly Dubin interviews artists from the New York-based Jewish Art Salon about their work inspired by trees. How does nature inspire you? Click here to watch this interesting 15 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWQMKwaNAYU&list=PLl-OCNr_mRXQ7DNfR6PSo4K0qdmYGmlz4&index=94&t=3s

 I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” (-Jana Stanfield)

 

Our tiny, every day efforts can make a huge impact on our world. Let’s commit to Tikkun Olam– repairing our world; there is always something more we can do! What change or modification will you make to help save the planet? Pick one or two ideas from the list above.

As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana

  • April 29, 2021

Touch Points – A Spark of Light with Dana

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Of course, we have all heard of spring cleaning, but what if we expanded this idea and focused on a mental spring cleaning? This year has been full of challenges and extreme stress.  We have been through it all- anxiety, sadness, grief, and chaos.  What has helped you remain resilient? What messages did you send yourself during the rocky patches? We each have the unique ability to direct our own paths. In fact, the messages we send ourselves can influence us individually, can impact our relationships and can even change the way we interact with our world!  Our words and thoughts matter; positive messages have the power to bring comfort, peace and even help us heal.

What are affirmations? Simply put, positive affirmations are positive phrases, statements or beliefs used to challenge negative thoughts. “Generally, they are used to manifest goals, dreams or experiences we desire.” (Dr. Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.) While there are no “hard rules” about the practice of using affirmations, if used regularly, they can help us modify a negative personal narrative (or belief) about ourself- shifting our mind toward the positive.  Today, I will focus on how positive self-talk and affirmations are powerful tools that can bring clarity, increase self-confidence and foster an optimistic attitude.

How do I start? First, identify your trouble spot(s). Then, look below for a wide variety of options to fit your concern, or create your own positive affirmation that is meaningful to you. Choose a statement or phrase that resonates with you and encourages positive, happy feelings and thoughts. Then, repeat the thought in your mind. It’s easy! Positive affirmations are more likely to make an impact if you follow these tips: use the present (verb) tense, say the affirmation out loud (when possible), choose an affirmation that is meaningful to you, create a feeling when you say the affirmation, add a visual image to your thought to make it clearer, say the affirmation regularly, and be kind to yourself. I hope affirmations and positive self-talk will help you stay hopeful, grateful and calm. If you have never tried affirmations, I strongly encourage you to give them a whirl. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the power of your inner voice.

“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.”Unknown

 

Mental Spring Cleaning- How Positive Self-Talk Can Help You Find Acceptance, Balance and Optimism:

1.Start Your Day With a Positive Message- Begin your day with a positive inner dialogue. If you find that the morning hours are harder, be very intentional with the first messages you send yourself. Switch to a positive, light tone. You have the power to change your perspective! To get you going in the morning, try saying these affirmations or other ideas:

    • “I open my eyes to the light around me.”
    • “The sunshine fills me with energy and joy.”
    • Recite the beautiful Modeh Ani morning prayer upon waking. During the prayer, we thank G-d for  “returning my soul to me.” Start your day in profound gratitude for the gift of life.  Approach the day with love and appreciation.
    • “I choose to be happy.”
    • Listen carefully to the birds outside and marvel at the beauty right outside our door. What else is waiting for you to enjoy today?

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” (-Unknown)

2. Positive Self-Talk Can Motivate and Boost Your Confidence- Hearing words of encouragement can motivate, boost confidence and support resilience. Thinking the words is helpful, but if you are able to say the words out loud, they may provide even more weight. (Of course, speaking aloud is not always possible.) Here are a few positive motivating messages for different situations:

    • “Today is going to be incredible.”
    • “I am one step closer to my goals.” This is a favorite and can work in a variety of situations! For example, if you are trying to lose weight, it can help motivate you to stay on track (even if you have lost a pound!), or use this phrase if you are “chunking up” a big project into smaller, more manageable tasks. This is a great strategy for school, work or anything that seems daunting. Slowly, continue your progress toward whatever your goal may be; remind yourself of improvement with this positive phrase.
    • “I am worthy of my dreams.”
    • “Opportunity is everywhere.”

3. End Your Day With a Positive Affirmation-  Help your subconscious mind drift off to sleep with these positive bed time affirmations. If your current thoughts make sleep difficult, turn them off, and replace them with these messages. Let your body find peace and a rest with these thoughts:

    • “I let go of my worry and what I cannot control.”
    • “I am calm and peaceful.”
    • “I breathe deeply and I am filled with content.”
    • “I am thankful for today and everything I have.”
    • “I am safe and healthy.”
    • “I give myself permission to relax.”
    • “Tomorrow is full of new possibilities.”

4. Positive Statements and Affirmations Can Decrease Stress and Help us Cope- Practicing good habits and positive words are helpful reminders for positive living. You can say these affirmations when you are having a harder day, if you aren’t feeling well, or need a little pick-me-up. Try these:

    • “I leave my worries behind.”
    • “I am peaceful.”
    • “I let go of my stress and tension.”
    • “I am resilient.”
    • “My body is strong and healthy.”
    • “I can take things one step at a time.”
    • “This is tough, but so am I.”
    • “I will stay strong, and things will get better.”
    • “I haven’t figured this out…yet.” – I love the power of the word “yet.” A tiny word, with a mighty message that is powerful for any age. Adding the word “yet” to anything you haven’t mastered or are intimidated by, will boost your confidence and give you motivation to complete the task. For children, this is part of the “Growth Mindset” curriculum, but as I said, it is great for any age.

5. Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength: Everyone experiences emotions of sadness, joy, fear and loneliness.  Sometimes, self-talk is not enough; these feelings may be especially overwhelming or difficult to cope with. That’s okay. In fact, Jewish texts speak to this and remind us that we have a responsibility to care for our mental health. Asking for help from a trusted friend or a mental health professional may help you find relief. You are not alone; there are resources and supports available. Asking for help, sharing your problems and showing your vulnerability is a sign of strength. If you need resources or would like to speak to a trained counselor, it would be my pleasure to help you find a good fit.

If you are in crisis now, please get help immediately by:

    • Calling 911
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522

You ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong.”Les Brown

 

6. Try Brain Health-  Print out the attached brain health exercises and enjoy a little positivity!

    • Try the attached worksheet called “I Look Forward to…” Completing this exercise will enhance your joy as you recall simple daily, weekly, monthly and yearly events that you appreciate.
    • Try the worksheet attached entitled “ Intentional Actions to Choose Happiness” and watch your blessings increase!

7.Watch a Museum Moment:  Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Education Director, Ellie Gettinger interviews  Jay Hyland, Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Archives Director, as they discuss ways you can research your family history using the Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s resources. What do you know about your genealogical history? Learning more about your family history might uncover new stories, and provide beneficial historical information. Click here to watch this 13 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIfHG8iNJdM

 Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” –unknown

I hope this Touch Points provides a new understanding about our ability to influence our feelings and perspective.  Through our thoughts, we each have the power to increase our joy and optimism. Please let me know what affirmations were helpful. I would sincerely love to hear. As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana

  • April 29, 2021

Touch Points – A Spark of Light with Dana

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Are you feeling restless? Truth be told, I have a little shpilkes myself! (That’s Yiddish, for “ants in your pants.”) Not to worry, I am here to help!  Today we will harness our inner creativity, and find ways to bring this beautiful world into our lives.  Without leaving our sofas, we are going to creatively travel from home! Get ready to enjoy some of the most beautiful and intriguing areas in the world.  I encourage you to click on every website, learn about new spots and visualize yourself in that local. Like me, I know you have a little wanderlust!

So, I say, “BE GONE SHPILKES!”  Because…
It’s bad manners to keep a vacation waiting.” (-unknown)

 Plenty to See and to Enjoy:

1.We are off to Paris first! I absolutely love an unplanned travel day- strolling around and taking in the sights. So, put on your favorite walking shoes, and let’s meander through the Parisian streets. We will find our way to a boulangerie (French bakery) for a strong cup of coffee and mouthwatering bread.  We need our sustenance, of course, before we see the Eiffel Tower!  Have you ever visited? Head to the top and marvel at the amazing view! (Move your curser around the image to see different sights!)   https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/tour-eiffel/sAHt5Gv4YGH84Q?hl=en&sv_lng=2.294697006132574&sv_lat=48.85816565109427&sv_h=180&sv_p=0&sv_pid=Pe03wIAND2

“I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.” (-Voltaire)

 

2. Next stop is one of the undisputed marvels of nature.  We are going “Down Under” to the Great Barrier Reef!  Put on your snorkel gear and we will get close to the unique marine animals and plants in this incredible spot. Enjoy National Geography’s fascinating video on Coral Reefs. (4 minutes) Click here:  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=great+barrier+reef+images&&view=detail&mid=C527DC955694C0C422A1C527DC955694C0C422A1&&FORM=VDRVRV

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” (-Dalai Lama)

 

3. Our next excursion is magnificent! Have you been to Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe? I have not had the pleasure, and can’t wait to go! This is one of the earth’s largest waterfalls- reaching 355 feet in height and spanning across an entire mile! Victoria Falls is one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders. Click here to watch a 2 minute video about Victoria Falls and the canyons below. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Victoria+Falls+National+Park&&view=detail&mid=9451962C553ACAD934519451962C553ACAD93451&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DVictoria%2BFalls%2BNational%2BPark%26FORM%3DRESTAB

“There is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.” (-familyoffduty.com)

 

4. Next jaunt is a little closer to home. Let’s check out Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.  Choose your favorite way to take in this amazing national treasure by hiking, rafting or having coffee with a ranger on the rim! There are countless breathtaking views to enjoy. Click here:  https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtour.htm

 

5. I have always wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  While we enjoy a delicious dinner, we will overlook the cliffside town and deep blue sea. I am having a giant portion of pasta because I have read that “vacation calories don’t count!”  (I realize this is wishful thinking, but since it’s a pretend plate of pasta, I am okay!) Click here for things to do in this magical area: https://www.fodors.com/world/europe/italy/amalfi-coast/experiences/news/ultimate-things-to-do-along-the-amalfi-coast

“I wish travel therapy was covered by my health insurance.” (-Anonymous)

 

6. All this travel has made me exhausted, so I am ready to kick back and enjoy a lovely island paradise! Grab your favorite umbrella drink and let’s relax in Bora Bora!  Not sure what to drink? Click here for 22 non-alcoholic summer drinks: https://www.delish.com/food/g2164/non-alcoholic-drinks/  Bora Bora is a gorgeous green slice of heaven located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. Of course, we will stay in the most luxurious overwater bungalow- complete with incredible views of the turquoise lagoon.  Click here to see a picture of our stunning accommodations: https://travelintense.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/borabora_overwaterbungalow.jpg

“I wanna go to Bora Bora but I am Poora Poora” (-thehollapinos.com)

 

7. Let’s head back home and be a tourist in our home town. The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is hosting a book talk with Bader Philanthropies, Inc. for their new book about Helen Daniels Bader. The author, and Helen’s son and niece will be addressing her life and legacy, with a focus on her introduction and interest to Alzheimer’s and Dementia work. Helen was a social worker at the Jewish Home, inspired to serve by Nita Corre and subsequently developed the vision for, and provided substantial funding for, the creation of Ovation Communities Helen Bader Center- maintained and nurtured by the continuing support of Bader Philanthropies. The book talk will take place on Wednesday, March 10th at 12noon- 1:00PM. The link will also be available on Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s YouTube channel and Facebook page after the fact. For more information and to RSVP, click here: https://jewishmuseummilwaukee.org/events/virtual-book-talk-an-independent-spirit/

8. We need a little music to go with this travel!  Pick your favorite tune to accompany your trip. Here are a few fun travel choices to put you in the mood. Do you have a different favorite travel song? I would love to hear.

    • Listen to “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. This song will make you smile, and is the perfect way to get into the mood. Click here for his official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU
    • Enjoy Willie Nelson’s famous song, “On the Road Again.” Here is a 1982 version with Glen Campbell and Willie Nelson. Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0egacrZcBA
    • Everyone loves John Denver’s song “Leaving, On a Jet Plane. This song always works! Click here for the audio of his “Greatest Hits” version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9sf7C7D3nk
    • Listen to “Summertime, Summertime” by the Jamies when you are longing for the warm, lazy days of summer. This song never gets old! Enjoy this audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK_z73tVbgU
    • “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash is the perfect song for those people have done a lot of traveling!  This link has a video storyboard with lyrics.  Make sure you sing out loud. I did, and I have been singing ever since! Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov4epAJRPMw

9. Try travel themed brain health-  Here are three different brain health exercises. Complete one each day!

    • Write a list of all the places you have traveled and your most memorable moment. Use your senses to recall the details; do a visual tour in your mind.
    • Print out the attached brain health worksheet. Fifty famous throughfares, areas or landmarks are listed. See how many of these famous cities you can identify.
    • Print out the attached blank USA map and fill in the states. If that was a breeze, then try to add the state capitals. How did you do?

“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.” (-Dr. Seuss)

Thank you for traveling with me today. I loved it! It is always wonderful to “get away.” As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana

  • April 29, 2021

Touch Points – A Spark of Light with Dana

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your family are well. I am thinking of you and sending my positive thoughts and prayers. We are missing everyone, and hope to bridge the distance through this electronic connection.

Passover begins Saturday evening, and offers an opportunity to look back at our past, reflect on our present, and think thoughtfully about our future. Although this Passover feels lighter and more hopeful than last, there is still much work to do!  Our brilliant scientists and leaders continue getting Covid vaccines into our arms, but we still have a long way to go until we reach ‘herd immunity.’  (As a sidenote… If you need more information, want to register for the Covid-19 vaccine or require assistance scheduling this appointment, click here for the City of Milwaukee Health Department website: https://city.milwaukee.gov/CovidVax or call the Covid-19 Hotline number: 414-286-6800.) Besides the pandemic, this year has increased the visibility and awareness of the work needed toward equity, social justice and discrimination.  While these issues are always important, they are especially poignant during Passover as we remember the Jews’ enslavement and the mass Exodus from Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. Through our seders (the special home service and meal) we retell this story.

For more information about the holiday, click on these websites:
https://www.jewfaq.org/holidaya.htm
https://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/871715/jewish/What-Is-Passover.htmPassover

This Touch Points will focus on current topics and concerns, and how to meaningfully incorporate them into our Passover ritual. I hope the subjects will resonate with you, add awareness and provide inspirational conversation.  Rabbi Rick Jacobs states that Passover is a time “we remember the struggle against oppression then and now, and we commit ourselves to continuing to pursue a more just and compassionate world together.” Ideally, my hope is that our seders become a catalyst for spiritual growth, and a motivation toward Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

“The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day.”Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Filling Passover with Meaning:

  • Add to Your Seder Plate: The Passover seder is full of symbolism; each item on the seder plate is symbolic of the Exodus story. This year, I would encourage you to augment your seder plate; infuse the holiday with social justice themes and reflective symbolism from the pandemic. Discovering the parallels between the Passover story and the present day equivalent make the holiday message come alive. What will you add to your seder?  Here are additions and supplemental ideas:
    • An Orange for LGBTQ+ Equality: This addition acknowledges people who may feel marginalized within the Jewish community. Taking a segment of the orange, each person “makes the blessing over the fruit, and eats it as a gesture of solidarity with LGBTQ Jews and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. They spit out the orange seeds, which were said to represent homophobia.” (reformjudaism.org)
    • Miriam’s Cup: This ritual honors women and recognizes and honors Miriam’s contributions to the Exodus. During the seder, share a memory of a woman that made a monumental difference in your life. Reflect on those memories and impact. Click here to learn more and to add a supplemental reading.  https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/passover/miriams-cup-supplemental-reading-passover-haggadah. Listen and watch this moving rendition of Debbie’s Friedman’s tune, “Miriam’s Song.” It is sung by the Project Kesher Chorus, an initiative of the Jewish feminist nonprofit Project Kesher. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=project+kesher+miriam%27s+song&docid=13827256389293&mid=423EDAB22D101923F4FE423EDAB22D101923F4FE&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
    • Face Masks: Rabbi Joel Alter from Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid suggests, “ Our ancestors smeared blood on the doorposts and lintel of their homes to direct the Destroyer to pass over them in the killing of the firstborn. With that blood, they warded off the plague. Perhaps this year we should adorn our doorpost with face masks.”
  • An “Emotional Well-Being” Seder Plate:  This pandemic year has been challenging for those with mental health issues. The Blue Dove Foundation suggests that we not only reflect on the holiday of Passover, but also on our own mental health. Perhaps the isolation has made us stuck in our own “metaphorical Egypt.” Pause and reflect on this concept. What would you include on your symbolic self-care/mental health seder plate to help achieve emotional well-being and calm?  “Who in your life can be your outstretched arm?” -Who is the person you can talk to or lean on for support?
  • Add Passover Rituals to Honor Jewish Diversity and Discussion About Racial Justice-  “On Passover we use stories and rituals to remember and retell the narrative of our collective liberation. We share the ancient Exodus story, year after year, so that it resonates through the generations as a narrative of deliverance from slavery to freedom.” (-globaljews.org) This year, at our seders, let us discuss how we can lend a hand to support others that are currently oppressed and struggling. What can each of us do? Consider adding these beautiful readings and discussion questions in your seder:
    • click here to print out a reading called Avadim Hayinu “We Were Slaves.” https://globaljews.org/resources/holidays/passover/avadim-hayinu/
    • Add a new Passover ritual honoring Jewish diversity; incorporate Ruth’s Cup into your seder. Click here to learn more and print out this lovely, inclusive addition. Beautiful!  https://globaljews.org/resources/holidays/passover/ruths-cup/
    • Unite against any form of hatred and violence. We need to spread awareness and unite against the dehumanization of Asians and racist rhetoric.  After the horrific shootings of Asian American women in Atlanta, the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center (a nonprofit organization that tracks incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States) released this statement, “This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure. There has been a documented pattern of recent attacks against our community, as we have received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020. Not enough has been done to protect Asian Americans from the heightened levels of hate, discrimination and violence. Concrete action must be taken now. Anything else is unacceptable.”  At your seder, discuss how we can each make an impact. Tikkun Olam- Let us work toward repairing the world one step at a time.

 

To be free is not merely to case off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
-Nelson Mandela

 

  • Passover Unites us as a People:  When I think about the Jewish people around the world celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover and making a seder,  I feel a closeness to my sisters and brothers worldwide. Even during this difficult time, our rituals unite us and connect us together. Why not bring a little Jewish culture from another part of the world into your own seder? Explore what Jewish people around the globe are eating. For a taste, incorporate a few new recipes into your menu.  For example, try a Moroccan Charoset recipe, or search the web for your own addition. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/recipe/haroset-from-morocco/.

 

The Seder nights… tie me with the centuries before me.” –Ludwig Frank

 

  • How Do We Add Warmth and Closeness, When We Are Apart?  Due to safety, many of us need to remain at home for this seder. Here are some tips for celebrating the holiday of freedom with warmth and connection:
    • If it is your custom, you may choose to Zoom and share a virtual seder with family, friends, or your synagogue. If that is difficult, consider singing Dayenu (or another song) with them.  This brings loved ones together.
    • One of the customs of the Passover seder is to recline in your chair as a sign of comfort and freedom. My favorite suggestion that made me smile was from myjewishlearning.com. They encourage you to “really (ahem) lean into this tradition. You can even get up from the table and sprawl across the floor or on a pile of pillows stacked by on the floor.”
    • To elevate the experience, add treasured family recipes, or use rituals objects/dishes that were passed down. These special touches add meaning, love and family history to your experience. I am quite sentimental, and enjoy using dishes and flatware from people I love. For example, I set our table with my Grandma Dorothy’s (of blessed memory) china and my wonderful mother-in-law, Judy’s flatware.  These are beautiful reminders of their presence and love. Also, objects remind us of our legacy. For example, my Mom has the dish my Grandma Mildred served her homemade chrain (Yiddish for horseradish). Hearing my Mother share the memory of her Mother making this Passover delicacy, fills me with profound gratitude for my family and for our Jewish history. What recipe or dish will you put on your holiday table to add meaning? I would love to hear how and why this elevates your experience.
  • Funny Passover Gifts:  Perhaps being together isn’t in the cards this year. Here are a few ideas to let your loved one know you are thinking about them. Imagine their face when they receive these gifts! Even if you aren’t buying anything, click below for a big smile.
  • Try Passover Brain Health-  Here are three different brain health exercises related to Passover:
    • Close your eyes and think about what smell takes you back to your earliest memory of Passover? Do you remember what your favorite food was during the seder? Who did you sit next to at the seder? Who sang the Four Questions?
    • Print out and complete the attached worksheet- inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s incredible ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.
    • Create a story using the following Passover themed words: Spring, holiday, retelling, liberation, slaves, eggs, matzah, wine, cleaning, Moses, seder, four sons, ten plagues, pharaoh, salt water, Egypt, songs, Miriam, Mt. Sinai.
  • Not Related to Passover or Matzah, But Still Equally Interesting!..  We are leading FREE community Brain Health and Wellness Virtual Workshops in April. This is a four-part series held at the JCC.  Check out the attached flyer for more information.

 “The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.” –Rabbi Shimon Raichik

Wishing you a very happy, meaningful Passover. Traditionally, at the end of the Passover seder we say, ‘L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim’- wishing that next year we celebrate in Jerusalem. However, this year we will change this to, “ L’Shana Haba’ah B’in-person”- Next year we should be together in person! Amen!

As always, if you have a question related to aging, memory loss or caregiving, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am here for you, and happy to help. You can find me here: DRubin-Winkelman@ovation.org

Thinking of you and sending all my positive energy and love,

Dana

  • March 26, 2021

Dedicated Volunteers Bring Joy to Community, Virtually

COVID-19 has impacted all Ovation Communities residents, staff, and volunteers. Since March, as Ovation closed its doors to all outside visitors, our caring, compassionate and dedicated volunteers have contacted me asking what they could do to volunteer remotely.

Due to the pandemic, all businesses have had to adapt and find creative ways of continuing to operate. Our volunteers, with the help of the Jewish Home and Chai Point activity departments, as well as the Adult Day Programs, came up with ways for volunteers to stay engaged through creative ways.

  • Volunteers creating concerts and art shows for residents through Zoom.
  • Pairing Chai Point residents and ReCharge participants with volunteers, a pen-pal program was created through letters, email and phone calls.
  • Through our staff coordinated movie club, residents and volunteers had a chance to view classic movies together through Zoom, followed by discussions about the films and the residents’ lives during the time that the films were made.
  • Volunteers also translated articles for our Russian speaking residents.
    Volunteers created brochures and theme related personal positive packets filled with information, pictures, word games, puzzles art projects, and recipes.

Hand in Hand started a monthly lunch to honor our hard working and dedicated staff. These lunches were sponsored by:

  • Hand in Hand
  • The social action committee of CBINT Milwaukee,
  • Marty and Gail Komisar and BILTRITE Furniture
  • Betsy and Bill Reilly
  • Andy and Bill Komisar

We are so tankful for all the things our volunteers have done to show our residents and staff how much they much they are missed, loved, and appreciated.

To participate in any of our remote volunteer opportunities, or if you have ideas for anything that volunteers, residents and staff could participate in, please contact Beth Draper, Ovation Communities Volunteer Coordinator, at: bdraper@ovation.org  or 414-277-8848.

  • February 25, 2021

Chanukah 2020 Photo Gallery

Joseph Hunt, Mashgiach at JHCC

Kathy Wadsworth, Ovation Communities employee

Yummy latkes

Chanukah entertainment

 

Ovation Jewish Home second floor.

Larry Ladin lighting the eighth night candle with Rabbi Levi Emmer

  • February 25, 2021