A Message From The CEO

Welcome to our Fall issue of Kavod.  Inside please read about some of the many ongoing, and new initiatives we champion. All of which are intended to add life to the lives of all the residents at Ovation Communities.

Of particular inspiration, is the spotlight on our Geriatric Career Development program (GCD), and especially on Ashanti Tate, CNA, a member of our first graduating class.  We are so proud that Ashanti has chosen to join our caregiving staff!  We are incredibly proud that her desire to be a caregiver led her to join our initial class three years ago. Her dedication and diligence, along with our support to help her obtain her license and guidance towards successful graduation, has culminated in the beginning of a bright and successful career.

We are proud that we can offer such an outstanding program focused on providing a pathway to graduation for Milwaukee high school students. Ashanti is the first of what we hope are many returning graduates that have been mentored by us to care for our loved ones in a compassionate and professional way.

We are incredibly grateful for your support of this program; it costs approximately $5,000 per year, per student, to make a difference in their own life and our community’s life.  We could not continue this effort without your compassionate generosity:  Right now, we are proud to report that we have 40 students enrolled and our alumni group is growing!

Ashanti said, “Learning and working here has been very rewarding, and at the end of the day, I love my residents.”

We’re kvelling! I hope you are too.  You help make these dreams come true.  All in honor of our elders, and in the interest of bringing life to their lives!

With so much gratitude for your ongoing support,



  • September 9, 2021

Golden Alliance Dinner Honors Annual Donors

In 1992 the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation established The Golden
Alliance to help support its Greatest Needs Fund.

“The Golden Alliance is vital to the ongoing operation of Ovation Communities,” said Tanya Mazor-Posner, JHCC Foundation Vice President of Development. “Through the Golden Alliance, members contribute an annual gift that helps ensure residents
consistently receive excellent care as part of a nurturing community, who otherwise could not afford to live at Ovation Communities.

“All donors are important, but the fact that this group makes an annual contribution to our most important fund is something so critical,
especially at this point in our history during a pandemic.”

Showing great appreciation to the almost 90 Golden Alliance members who give gifts annually, Ovation communities hosts an annual dinner to thank them, and show them the importance of their giving.

For the second year in a row, the Golden Alliance Dinner was held virtually through Zoom. This year members received a catered, home delivered meal through Hannah’s Kitchen.

“In addition to dinner, every year speakers are brought in to present on various topics of interest,” Mazor-Posner said. “This year, to discuss a book they wrote about the life of Helen Daniels Bader are, President and CEO of Bader Philanthropies, David Bader; Deirdre Britt who serves as chair for the Helen Bader Daniels Advisory Committee and board secretary; and freelance writer and former education reporter at the Milwaukee Journal, Priscilla Pardini.

“Bader Philanthropies’ support is synonymous in the entire community, but particularly here at Ovation Communities,” Mazor-Posner continued. “Helen Daniels Bader used to be a social worker here at Ovation Jewish Home. Learning about her life is also a nice tie in because Bader Philanthropies helped to fund our Helen Bader Original Floor.”

Since March of 2020, life at Ovation Communities for residents has been turned upside-down. The support received from volunteers and donors has been more important than ever.

To learn more about the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation and ways you can support our mission, please contact Tanya Mazor-Posner at 414-721-9260 or by email at TMazor-Posner@ovation.org

  • September 9, 2021

Meet Bailey Kissack…Chai Point’s New Student Artist in Residence

Ovation Chai Point welcomes a new resident this fall, 21-year-old Bailey Kissack. Bailey, a senior at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying theater production and film, is Ovation’s eighth student artist in residence.

The Student Artist in Residence program was developed more than 10 years ago in partnership with the UWM Creative Trust, an alliance committed to fostering life-long learning through the arts and transforming aging in the process. The group, led by Professor Anne Basting, is focused on bridging the gap between generations.

“Lifelong learning keeps us all young,” said Tricia Cohn, Executive Director at Ovation Chai Point. “We’re so excited to have Bailey join us this year and to have that youthful energy back on our campus.”

In addition to her studies at UWM, Bailey works several jobs, including as a house manager for the Milwaukee Rep. She loves living in the city and enjoys cycling along the lakefront. Her artistic endeavors include a passion for designing and sewing clothing. She also has developed her own timeless style that merges trends from different decades. At Chai Point, she plans to lead a variety of creative art workshops.

“I’m super excited to be here and can’t wait to get to know everyone,” Bailey said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in this unique experience, and I hope the residents get as much out of it as I do. I believe art is a healing force and am looking forward to sharing the pure joy that comes from creating.”

  • September 9, 2021

Art | Ovation: Continuing The Long Tradition of Art Preservation

Founded in 2016 by Judy Margolis, former Ovation Art Committee Chair, and Randy Crosby, Ovation CAO, Art | Ovation is a program that brings in professional and amateur artists to the halls of Ovation Communities.

The Art | Ovation galleries at both the Jewish Home and Chai Point feature work in a variety of mediums such as sculpture, painting, and photography, and often feature the hidden talents among Ovation’s residents.

“Having the art exhibits on a regular basis creates a positive vibe in the culture of the place. It energizes the place; it also gives people a conversation starter,” Randy says. “We’ve brought in a lot of interesting and really good art exhibits, and we’ve been really fortunate to have people who are interested in exhibiting their work.”

Currently on display in the Chai Point Gallery, is the work of current resident, Vladamir “Dima” Kushnaryov. Dima was a microbiologist who worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin for many years. He picked up the skill of painting toward the end of his career.

“It happened so that my son was reading the newspaper and saw an ad from an art store where they offered classes for beginners,” Dima says, “So, he told me, ‘Dad, why don’t you start painting?’ I had never painted in my life before, so he was very generous and offered to pay for the class.

“My nature as a researcher, I like challenges, so when I started to first paint, nothing good came out of my painting,” Dima continues, “So, then I started to take it more seriously. One day, our instructor said that the most difficult medium is watercolor, and here I was asking, ‘is it the most difficult? Then I will do that!’”

Dima’s work includes a variety of landscapes in different settings. Some are from his trips to Ireland, and some are inspired by the trails he walked when he lived at Sarah Chudnow. His favorite paintings are of the various dogs he has encountered, such as Erica, Mr. Becket, and Clyde.

Among the previous installations Art | Ovation has featured was Chai Point resident Shirley Langer’s collection of international walking canes.

“My husband happened to become ill while we were in Spain,” Shirley says, “He was hospitalized, and they recommended that we go home. When we left the hospital, my husband said ‘No way! Maybe we can find a store that sells canes.’ So that is what we did.

“I thought that I would make this a collection, so now wherever we go, we buy a cane,” Shirley continues, “I was first surprised to be asked to display my collection for Art | Ovation. I said, ‘you know more about displays more than I do, so if you’d like to, you’re very welcome to.’”

Displaying various mediums of art across both Ovation campuses has helped improve not only resident’s wellbeing, but it also benefits the employees and returning volunteers. Everyone gets to experience the balance that art and creativity bring to a well-rounded life.

“The pride that people have had in being able to have this, it’s like a travelling art gallery throughout the whole complex.” Trish Cohn, Chai Point Executive Director says. “For me, the arts are so important. When you think about this community, it is really a culture that knows about art, and really likes to be immersed in art, and immersed in different experiences.”

If you or someone you know want their art displayed at Ovation Communities, please reach out at: rmcrosby55@gmail.com

  • September 9, 2021

Lore and Martin Lewin Chai Point Award Honors Employee Excellence

Whether interacting face-to-face with residents and planning activities daily, or cooking behind the scenes in the kitchen, every employee at Ovation Chai Point plays a role in positively affecting the residents.

Two employees who take their roles very seriously, and continuously offer outstanding care and service to residents are; cook, Desiree Winston, and activities coordinator, Ahava Mann. On June 15, 2021, Desiree and Ahava were recognized for their hard work and dedication. They were awarded the prestigious Lore & Martin Lewin Chai Point Employee Excellence Award.

“These two ladies continue to demonstrate outstanding commitment to our residents by going above and beyond their duties,” Chai Point Executive Director Trish Cohn says. “With an emphasis on resident care and teamwork, you continue to fulfill our mission every day.

“There are two things every resident asks themself when they wake up every morning, ‘what am I going to eat and what am I going to do today?’ Cohn continues. “With Desiree and Ahava, residents don’t worry.”


When Desiree is cooking, residents aren’t concerned about what they will be eating, they know it will be good.

Inspired by her grandmother, Desiree is known facility-wide for her soups and omelets. Residents can always tell when Desiree is in front of the stove cooking with love.

“I have to tell you, if you’re ever here on Friday mornings between 7 and 9 am, you have to come to the second floor breakfast room and eat one of Desi’s omelets,” Chai Point resident Barb Franczyk says. “They are to die for. I have told her many times she should open her own omelets only restaurant.”

Since she began working at Ovation Communities, Desiree has strived to become a better cook for the residents.

“I just want to say thank you and let the residents know that everything I do, I do for them,” Desiree says. “It’s the residents who make this job important to me. I come in everyday and think about what I can do to make their day better, and I appreciate the way they appreciate me.”


When residents see Ahava roaming the halls, they know their day is going to be action-packed.

For two years, Ahava has worked hard to connect with residents.

“This is my niche,” Ahava said. “I love just sitting with residents and talking to them. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything extra, like putting in more time or more energy into making anything extra special. I’m just being me.”

Among the more popular actives Ahava organizes and plans for residents are a ceramics class, a share and tell open dialogue discussion, and a pre-COVID baking club.

“I have had many firsts here,” Chai Point resident Flora Abramson said. “Ahava helped me bake my first challah. I had never baked. I had never used dough, and Ahava made it a really fun experience.

“She also got me to do ceramics, which I had never done before. She has given me a lot of firsts. Thank you.”

This award and Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation fund were established in 2015 by Lore and Martin Lewin’s daughter: Sharon Lewin and her husband, Jack Edelstein, to honor Sharon’s parents.

When her parents moved to Chai Point, Sharon and Jack found great peace of mind knowing they were in an outstanding place that provides wonderful care and services.

Both Lore came and Martin were immigrants from Germany. Lore came to Milwaukee just before WWII, and Martin came after. They were both residents of Chai Point and greatly valued the dedicated employees who made their lives a blessing.

“My mom worked at Kohls and she knew how important customer service was,” Sharon Lewin said. “The frontline people are the most important people in any business. I don’t care if it’s somebody in Trish’s position or the maintenance department, the activities department, the cleaning department or the cooks and servers; they are the ones making sure the customers are happy and their needs are being met.

“I think the people that work so hard, should be rewarded,” Sharon continued. “That’s why this award is so important to us.”

  • September 9, 2021

Ovation Celebrates First Class of GCD Graduates

In May, Ovation Communities graduated its first class from the Geriatric Career Development (GCD) program. GCD is a first-of-its kind initiative aimed at addressing the long-term care workforce crisis while helping at-risk youth secure higher education and job opportunities. The program first launched at The New Jewish Home in New York and was piloted in Wisconsin at Ovation starting in 2018.

“The GCD program is designed to help guide underserved youth academically and professionally,” said Briana Thompson, GCD Coordinator at Ovation Communities. “Helping high school students get into the work force by providing them the opportunities and tools they need to succeed.”

Ovation currently partners with four Milwaukee high schools: James Madison Academic Campus, Milwaukee Academy of Science, North Division High School and Washington High School. Students spend eight to 10 hours a week learning in the program. This year participants faced the extra challenge of conducting much of their training virtually, taking many classes over Zoom.

Through the GCD program students receive an introduction to the healthcare industry, professional development and life skills counseling, a resident elder mentor, and internship and job placement support. In addition, they have the opportunity to complete their CNA (certified nursing assistant) certification. Ovation also recently added CBRF (community-based residential facility) certification training as an alternative option for those who want to become resident assistants.

Over the past three years the program has grown exponentially. Five seniors graduated in 2021, and 10 juniors and 18 sophomores are in the pipeline. Of the graduating class, three are heading to college, one is pursuing work as a resident assistant, and one has been hired at Ovation as a CNA.

“We’re so proud of our graduates and can’t wait to see what’s next for them,” Thompson said.

Ovation hires first GCD program graduate

Ovation hired its first GCD program graduate, Ashanti Tate, in May. Tate now works as a CNA at Ovation Jewish Home. She is also a recent graduate of James Madison Academic Campus.

Tate was part of the first class to complete Ovation’s GCD program. Through GCD Tate learned she enjoys the healthcare field as well as the bonding experiences with fellow students, coworkers and residents. Her passion for helping others started at a young age when she began caring for her autistic brother. Tate takes a great sense of pride in her accomplishment and is looking forward to continuing her work at Ovation.

“I’m very happy to be able to start my career at Ovation,” said Tate. “Learning and working here has been very rewarding, and at the end of the day, I love my residents.”

Tate feels fortunate for the growth and learning opportunities the GCD program has allowed her. Because of the experience, she’s found her path in healthcare and is considering college at some point in the future to continue growing in her career.

Originally established in Partnership with LeadingAge and LeadingAge Wisconsin, the GCD Program is currently funded through private donations that have been solicited through the Jewish Home and  Care Center Foundation and a generous grant by the Harri Hoffman Family Foundation, as well The Herbert and Ruth L. Giller Family Endowment.

  • September 9, 2021

Ovation Partners with Local Artist to Celebrate Life Stories

Ovation Communities, with gratitude to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation for their support of this program, recently partnered with local Milwaukee artist Angela Shelstad, creator of Project Hue, to celebrate life stories through art.

Over the past three years Shelstad captured the stories of 11 Ovation residents and program participants, turning their memories into paintings and videos. As part of her process, Shelstad sat down with each person to talk about their life, dreams and adventures as the inspiration for her artwork.

“Everyone has a story to tell,” Shelstad said. “Project Hue helps people celebrate who they are and some of the most wonderful moments in their lives. At the same time, their memories are preserved as a permanent keepsake for that person, their family and their friends.”

Shelstad’s work has had a positive impact on many of Ovation’s residents and Adult Day Services participants with memory loss. The initiative provides a way for older adults to maintain their identity and individuality. Creative art programs like Project Hue have been shown to improve self-confidence, stimulate brain health, reinforce a strong sense of identity and reduce isolation.

“We’re so thrilled to partner with Angela to bring Project Hue to life,” said Dawn Adler, Ovation’s Director of Adult Day Services. “We all crave connection and meaningful activities, and this partnership is a great example of some of the unique things we do at Ovation. It’s about bringing a wide range of rich and interactive programs that bring joy to the heart and create long lasting relationships.”

  • September 9, 2021

Jewish Museum Milwaukee with Ellie Gettinger – Partners in Ovation

This week on Partners in Ovation, Trish Cohn sits down with Ellie Gettinger, Director of Education at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee to discuss all the great things you can experience at the museum. It’s a lot more than Art Exhibits!

When Ellie moved to Wisconsin, she began her career as the Young Leadership Coordinator at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Soon thereafter she was offered a key role in helping create the new Jewish Museum Milwaukee. She became part of the museums founding team.

  • September 3, 2021

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle with Rob Golub – Partners in Ovation

This week on Partners in Ovation, Trish Cohn sits down with Rob Golub, Editor of WI Jewish Chronicle to discuss the history of this paper and his contributions to the Chronicle. Rob has two decades of experience in journalism, is an attorney, and is a long-time member of Congregation Sinai in Fox Point. Rob has spent much of his career working to engage audiences through journalism.

Rob has two decades of experience in journalism, is an attorney, and is a long-time member of Congregation Sinai in Fox Point. Rob has spent much of his career working to engage audiences through journalism.


  • August 24, 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.

We are in the Hebrew month of Elul; this is a special time of preparation leading up to the Jewish High Holidays. During this month, we begin a thoughtful inner dialogue to help us reflect, repent and prepare for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Throughout this period, we carefully examine our patterns, looking for cracked or damaged areas that may need healing. In addition, Elul provides a unique opportunity to look at any challenges and dreams.  What did we do well? How can we improve and make the coming year better?

This has been a challenging year!  Find the time and the space to reflect and prepare for the High Holidays. Use the ideas (below) to help guide your intention, prepare mentally, and heal spiritually. I hope the month of Elul brings you many opportunities for spiritual growth and loving connections.

“And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to build a life as if it were a work of art.” -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)


1.Getting Started and Setting Intention  A self-inventory is not always easy. So, before you begin to ask yourself questions, focus on quieting your mind. Strive for a peaceful openheartedness. Find the best time and space to encourage introspection. Be very intentional. Use these simple steps to set your intention:

  • Find a Peaceful Physical Space and a Calming Time- Where do you feel balanced and have a sense of shalom (peace)? Everyone is different. Perhaps this is a room in your home or a backyard space? Perhaps, nature promotes healing and wholeness.  If so, a lovely garden, a spot near Lake Michigan or even a park bench may bring you tranquility. What time of day are you at your best? Are you more alert in the morning or at night? Some people feel calm and refreshed in the morning. Personally, I love the stillness in the evening; the quiet night brings me peace and focus. Find your best time of day.
  • Quiet Your Mind and Body, Then Find Your Intention- Try deep breathing to induce relaxation. Quieting your body and mind can help you feel balanced before you begin. Close your eyes. Take in a breath. Let it fill your lungs deeply. Hold the breath, and in this moment, set your intention toward inward reflection. Let out your breath. Unwind, feel your body relaxing. Breathe deeply and let your mind go.
  • Aligned Your Physical and Mental State- Now that you are focused and calm, you may feel more committed and open to the process of introspection.

“When you set an intention, the universe conspires to give you the inspiration to make it happen.” -Trish McKinnley

2. Asking Yourself Questions to Encourage Healthy Reflection Imagine each of us has our own Book of Life; it is filled with all our words and actions. Rabbi Jessica Barolsky (and others) uses this concept. She suggests the High Holidays is a time to pause and look back at our own Book of Life. Rabbi Barolsky asks, “What would you find in your divine notebook?” It is up to us to fill it with the good, rather than the bad. Ask yourself questions to encourage self-reflection and hope. Pick questions that speak to your soul. Here are a few to get you started:

  • During the Past Year, What Would Your Proudest Moments Be?- Perhaps your words or deeds made a difference in someone’s life. Who did you touch in a loving or a meaningful way? What have you done that fills your heart with joy and blessings?
  • What Would You Want to Change?- What habit would you like to break? What do you want to work on during the next year? Begin practicing habits that will make you proud next year (when you look back).
  • Do You Need to Say You Are Sorry?- Think about all the relationships you have. Who do you need to connect with- a partner, spouse, parent, child, or friend? Reach out and seek forgiveness to anyone you have hurt. It is never too late to apologize.
  • What Are You Grateful For?- Blessings and gratitude come in many forms and bring love and peace.  What are the simple pleasures that make you smile? What revitalizes you? Have you noticed daily blessings? Perhaps there have been larger, more monumental, ones?
  • What More Can You do in the Coming Year to Help Tikkun Olam– Repairing the World?- We each have an obligation to continue to mend our imperfect world.  Find a cause that matters to you, and work to bring in more kindness and love. Imagine if we all made a small contribution- how enormous the outcome would be!  Let’s all do our part. Wake up each morning, find a way to be grateful, and use energy helping others.

If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that G-d has left for you to complete. But if you only see what is wrong and what is ugly in the world, then it is you yourself that needs repair.”

Menachem Mendel Schneerson

3. Using Traditions and Ideas for Inspiration-  “Rosh Hashanah does not burst in upon us.” (-Arthur Waskow) We can use this time to make ourselves ready. Be fully engaged and present throughout the month of Elul; enhance your experience.

3. Try a Little Brain Health-  Regular mental fitness exercise can boost memory, focus, and mental skills. Give your brain a daily workout!

Try this Elul brain health exercise. Draw an outline of your family home. Describe each room. Add details about colors, scents, and what you feel and hear in your home. What blessings and memories fill your rooms? Recall these details during your reflection.

4. Check out a “Museum Moment”-  Ellie Gettinger, Education Director at Jewish Museum Milwaukee, sat down with Rabbi Moishe Steigmann to discuss how to approach the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In thinking about this time of reflection, how do you plan on preparing for a new year? Click here for this (14 minute) video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8KF8lzGOBg

5. Find a COVID-19 Vaccine-  I strongly urge you to get a Covid-19 vaccine! The Covid virus has mutated, becoming stronger with the very contagious Delta Variant.  Are you and everyone you love vaccinated?  If not, please get vaccinated today!  Do it for yourself, your family, and your community. Click here to find a vaccine near you: https://www.vaccines.gov/   Many locations offer same day and walk-in appointments. Do you have additional questions? Click here for more information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/

Set a goal so big you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.”unknown

We have been through many challenges this year- in our world, in our community and in our families.  Certainly, there is no shortage of events and feelings to process! So, use this month to prepare, reflect and find additional meaning.  I hope the enclosed creative questions and ideas enhance your experience. Reflect on the past year and set goals and positive intentions for the year to come; recommit to the people, issues and connections that matter most.

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,


  • August 23, 2021

Thriving in place with technology with Marc Cayle

This week in Partners in Ovation, Trish Cohn sits down with Marc Cayle.

From caring for both aging parents to becoming a franchise owner for a non-medical home care agency, Marc began to wonder what more could be done to help seniors thrive in place. Fast Forward to now, Marc Cayle is the Founder and CEO of Silver Maple solutions. He offers an array of technology devices that makes his dream from long ago, become a reality.




  • August 5, 2021