JSDD’s spiritual home environment is emphasized each Friday as the residents come together to welcome the Sabbath.  It is a way to socialize in a Jewish context via Zoom meetings led by Hagit Oren, Judaic Coordinator.  The ritual Sabbath candle lighting, reciting the Kiddush (blessing over wine) and HaMotzi (pray over challah) are comforting traditions. This week, Hagit took everyone on a virtual tour of the most populous city in Israel, Tel Aviv.  She highlighted the Old Jaffa Port section of Tel Aviv – home to restaurants, shops, artists quarters, and galleries.  Many of the residents were inspired by the tour and expressed an interest in traveling to Israel.  In fact, pre-COVID, a trip to Israel was in the works […]

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Story by Jessica Goldstein   The Residents and DSP’s of JSDD want to give a huge thank you to @BeebeeDesigns for helping our residents to communicate clearly and stay safe with Clear Window Masks! #JSDD #DSPsofJSDD #wearamask  #FindingtheSparkWithin #adultswithdisabilites #inclusion #noplacelikehome To say that our staff, members and residents have gone through a few changes would be quite the understatement. We, along with the rest of the world have been pivoting and adapting to the new normal and now the “next normal.” Our amazing dedicated team of Direct Service Professional’s (DSP’s) leaped into action to make sure that our residents were kept safe and healthy and that “home” continued to be a source of comfort and productive activity. This was […]

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Story by:  Jessica Goldstein Volunteering has always been an integral part of JSDD’s community engagement. In the past, volunteer opportunities have ranged from weekly sing-alongs in a JSDD home to teaching classes at the WAE Center. Since COVID-19 forced us to close the physical doors to the WAE Center, we had to hit the “pause” button on volunteering, as well.  Virtual WAE to Connect classes were implemented in April and a full schedule of classes continues today. Dedication to the men and women we support turned out to be more powerful than the pandemic.  Determined community members were still eager to support JSDD so, as always, we turned to “Plan B.” As part of her day of Corporate Volunteering, Jennifer Levin […]

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A virtual Sukkot Program was presented to JSDD residents and invited guests thanks to our innovative partners at The Friendship Circle.  JSDD’s Judaic Coordinator, Hagit, distributed special kits chock-full of supplies needed to take the class provided by The Friendship Circle. Participants watched an educational video and learnt about Simchat Torah, the holiday that celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle.  Eagerly working together while watching the instructor on Zoom, everyone was occupied in activities that were educational and artistic.  Participants created an edible craft by decorating a cookie and then continued to be entertained playing the game of chance Bingo.  We are grateful for the collaborations with […]

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This holiday of Sukkot is all about giving thanks for the autumn harvest and commemorating the 40 years Israelites spent wandering the desert after leaving slavery in Egypt. It lasts for eight days, ending with Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah.  This year, the first night of the holiday coincided with the Sabbath.     Judaic Coordinator, Hagit, and the residents and guests welcomed the Sabbath and holiday, as always, with the lighting of the candles, followed by the Kiddush over the wine (grape juice) and the Hamotzi  (blessing for the bread). The tradition of building a sukkah, a temporary hut to dwell in during the holiday, was celebrated.  The holiday customs include a lulav (palm frond or willow twigs) and etrog […]

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