Nearly 340 supporters and members of the community turned out to celebrate the Jewish Home Family’s 98th anniversary at its Annual Gala, which was held at The Rockleigh in Rockleigh Sunday. The event marked the organization’s care of the elderly in Bergen, North Hudson, and Rockland counties, and honored Temple Emanu-El of Closter.

The synagogue, led by Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, has developed and participated in many programs with Jewish Home residents, including the monthly Shabbat Service Family Program; Family Nite programs; Youth Mitzvah programs; volunteer outreach, and participation in the Jewish Home’s Holiday Hot Kosher Meals-on-Wheels program.

“Tonight we salute Temple Emanu-El of Closter for its steadfast support of our organization,’ said Eli Ungar, chairman of the Jewish Home Family,” as he welcomed the attendees. “Caring for the aged in a dignified, loving manner is exhausting work, and there is no greater source of support and encouragement than to have fellow community members, standing side by side, asking how they can help. We are blessed to have such friends in Temple Emanu-El and Temple Emanu-El is blessed to have such wonderful leadership.”

David Sharp, president, Jewish Home Foundation, thanked committee members and co-chairs of this year’s journal, which generated $706,000 in support. “This journal is the Jewish Home’s most successful to date,” he said. “JHF’s mission is not only to care for our elderly but to do so at a level of excellence second to none.” In addition, he thanked the gala’s chairs – Gayle Gerstein, Dianne Nashel, and Fran Ziegelheim.

Myrna Block, president of the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, said: “This is the first time the Jewish Home Family has honored a synagogue. Their congregants have reached out and embraced our seniors. Why did they do this? These are not their parents, grandparents or relatives! Or maybe they are … Maybe the true mitzvah is to treat seniors as if they were all our mothers and fathers.”

The Jewish Home Family presented the synagogue with a personalized lithograph by Mordecai Rosenstein. It was accepted by Deborah Tuchman, the synagogue’s president. She said the synagogue valued “our close relationship with the Jewish Home” and the opportunity to connect with the residents. She pointed to b’nai mitzvah candidates who continue to visit the Jewish Home after their bar or bat mitzvah because of the connection they make. “When we strengthen one another, we strengthen the Jewish people as a whole,” she said.