JSDD is starting off the New Year with a new segment on the website. Each month will feature a look inside what is happening with the residents living in JSDD homes.
Shabbat is celebrated weekly led by Hagit, JSDD’s Judaic Coordinator. Each home takes time to set the table beautifully and to make a special dinner. Residents enjoy participating in the preparation of the dinner and all love to see friends from other homes over the computer. Each Shabbat celebration begins with the appropriate prayers over the candles, the challah and to welcome the Sabbath.
Each Shabbat Hagit discusses the weekly torah portion and brings up lessons that can be learned. The group enjoys discussions about how they can apply the lessons into their own lives. For example in the portion Vayechi, Joseph forgives his brothers from the suffering they caused him and despite all that he went through, he chose to have faith in G-d and love his family. Daniel shared that he thought Joseph choosing love was very inspiring and he admired his strong character. Stacy said she believes it is very important to forgive others even when it is not always easy. After discussing the portion, Hagit lead a lesson about upcoming holidays. This month the group is discussing Tu B’eshvat, the birthday of the trees. It is a time to remember to take care of nature. Todd shared that he is excited to eat fruits and nuts from Israel.
The participants always take time to discuss news of the week. In January, they discussed the recent terror attacks in Jerusalem. Everyone said prayers of healing for those injured. They also share news about their week and what they are anticipating.
Some highlights from January… Daniel has been meeting with his job coach and is very proud of his additional responsibilities at work in Toni’s Kitchen. Stacy shared that she is excited for an upcoming job interview. Everyone wished her good luck. A highlight of the month came from Mark when shared some big news. He and four other JSDD residents along with three staff members will be travelling to Israel to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Mark said to him, the opportunity to go on this trip is a miracle.
Everyone is looking forward to meeting and celebrating next month.