The JCC’s Bulletin dates back to the 1930s, when it was a premier source of news for the local Jewish community. We are proud to continue this tradition of keeping our JCC community informed via our virtual Bulletin.
The bulletin circa 1974
As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a time to show gratitude. The Jewish value of gratitude, or hakarat hatov, instructs us not only to be grateful for what we have, but also to see and acknowledge the good all around us.
It is in this spirit that we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month. This month, we honor and recognize the hard work that people do to take care of their loved ones. Caregiving can be extremely exhausting, stressful, and expensive. Caregivers often don’t have time to take care of themselves, and caring for someone else often takes a physical toll on the caregiver.
For those in need, the JCC provides care for both the caregiver and the care receiver at no cost to families. Our memory loss programming provides stimulating, specialized day programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia. Knowing that their loved ones are safe and cared for during the day allows caregivers to have time for themselves and gives them peace of mind.
One of our caregivers noted, “It is a comfort to know that my mother is not home alone all day and is actively participating in activities like games and dancing. The JCC’s memory loss programs fill a void in the Staten Island community for caregivers and their loved ones.”
Additionally, our Caregiver Support Center offers services to help caregivers access benefits, coordinate home health assistance and long-term care, and get supplies. The Caregiver Support Center also provides emotional support for caregivers to help them through these difficult times. Our joint enrichment programs for caregivers and care receivers allow them to relax and have fun together.
Earlier this month, we held our Falling into Fun carnival at our Avis/South Shore location. Grandparents, parents, and children got to participate in carnival games, face painting, Zumba, chair yoga, line dancing, sittercise, and quilling together. It was heartwarming to see these families get to shake off their everyday stresses and just have some fun!
We are grateful to all who joined us, as well as our Carnival Sponsor, Enexia Specialty Pharmacy, for their support. We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our donors and funders, who allow us to provide these free programs for members of our community with memory loss. We are able to serve Staten Islanders in need through the generous support of NYC Aging, Northfield Bank Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, and Michael Manzulli.
Knowing the demand for these programs is far greater than our current capacity, and our desire is to continue expanding these services, we need your help. This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting our memory loss programs. Your support is important to us. Together, I know we can help those with memory loss and their families. You can learn more and donate here.
Thank you for being an instrumental part of our JCC and this great Staten Island community. Without your continued commitment, we would not be able to provide these vital services. I want to personally thank you for always being there for us, and please know that we are here if you ever need us.
On behalf of our JCC family, I wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
-Orit Lender, JCC CEO
On Sunday, February 23, we hosted our second annual #RememberMe Brunch, which benefited the JCC’s Family Solutions to Memory Loss—a catalog of programs for seniors suffering from memory loss and their caregivers.
Our Family Solutions to Memory Loss programs include discussion groups, memory stimulation activities, and art therapy classes for adults with recently-diagnosed to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Recognizing the emotional and physical toll that caring for a loved one with memory loss can entail, the JCC also offers programs for caregivers, including support groups, workshops on self-care, and assistance with coordinating care.
Program Ambassador Arnold Roth spoke movingly about what these programs have meant to his family. His beloved wife, Carol, participated in therapy activities with the JCC’s My Place memory center for over 7 years. Arnold credits this program with giving his wife something to look forward to and smile about even as her health declined, stating, “For me, it was one of the happiest periods in our lives. Carol thrived at the JCC.” The Caregiver Support Center also provided Arnold the respite he needed to care for himself while serving as his wife’s primary caregiver.
While it was a somber afternoon, it was also an inspiring one as we honored four individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving those impacted by memory loss with compassion and dignity. This year, we were proud to honor Cherine Hanna, Adele McMahon, LCSW-R, Jackie Reiter, LMSW, and Rabbi Stephen Stern, PhD.
As Rabbi Stern so aptly put it in his speech that afternoon, our loved ones with memory loss are worth remembering. We are grateful to all who help us to remember our seniors with memory loss and their caregivers through their generous support of our programs.
Check out some more photos from the event below.
An unfortunate reality of aging is the prevalence of memory loss. In the next ten years, it is projected that one in five Americans will either have Alzheimer’s Disease or will provide care to a family member with the disease.
At the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC, we provide services to those suffering from memory loss and their families. For those living with Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia, Rosemary’s Place and My Place provide safe spaces for them to socialize and participate in low-barrier activities that help slow the progression of the disease. For people with early to mid-stage dementia, the opportunity to be part of a community that understands and supports them while still living at home is invaluable.
In addition to caring for those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia, we also recognize the enormous strain friends and family of the person with the disease experience. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed and usually prioritize their loved one’s needs over their own. That’s why we serve over 150 caregivers and their families through our Caregivers Support Center.
We provide all different types of support for our caregivers, who all have differing needs. For those who wish to express their feelings, we offer five support groups every week as well as individual counseling for those in need. We also offer a six-week evidence-based education program for caregivers to help them better maintain healthy relationships with their loved one. To relax, we host spa and wellness days for caregivers.
On a personal note, my family and I know the burden of being caregivers to a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease and can really appreciate the value of these services.
In order to continue to provide these valuable services, we need to continually raise funds for our Family Solutions to Memory Loss programs. To help fund our programs, we will be hosting our #RememberMe Brunch on Sunday, February 23rd. We invite you all to join us as we celebrate our honorees, Cherine Hanna, Adele McMahon, LCSW-R, Jackie Reiter, LMSW, and Rabbi Stephen Stern, PhD.
You can buy tickets and sponsorships for the event here.
We've got several great upcoming events in January and February!
First is Sunshine Sunday, our annual event benefitting Lucille and Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp! This year, we are proud to recognize Marie DiTommaso; Rosemarie Stazzone, RN, MS, CNE; and our Sunrise Walk Basket & Event Committee: Dawn Petermann, Debbie Monello, Andria O’Leary, and Joanne Vitale. The event will take place on Sunday, January 26th at the Old Bermuda Inn from 1-5pm.
Learn more and buy tickets here
We will also host the #RememberMe Brunch on Sunday, February 23rd from 10am-1pm at the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC. At the event, which benefits the JCC’s Family Solutions to Memory Loss, we will honor Cherine Hanna, Adele McMahon, LCSW-R, Jackie Reiter, LMSW, and Rabbi Stephen Stern, PhD.
Learn more and buy tickets here
We hope to see you at our events this winter!
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1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
485 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10301
1297 Arthur Kill Road
Staten Island, NY 10312
BERMAN EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
2221 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10314