More than 200 women attended Lavish Lunches, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ annual culinary adventure, which raises funds to support JCC programs and services for senior adults in the community. Guests chose among a wide range of lunches at local homes and venues where they had unique and memorable experiences. There was also a “mitzvah” lunch at the JCC, where Lavish Lunch participants enjoyed dining with the seniors and their caregivers.
Jerry Schweibel, a widower who goes to the JCC Senior Activity Center, spoke about “Finding his Joy at the J.” He said, “The highlight of my week is when I get to visit my JCC nursery school class to read stories, play games, and blow bubbles with the kids, who all call me Grandpa Bubbles. It really cracks me up. I’m an 85-year-old man who trained horses and managed a racetrack, so who would have thought that someone like me would be counting the days until I could spend time with little kids? But I do! Becoming a grandfriend saved my life, and now some of my best friends are under 5.”
Proceeds from the Lavish Lunches enable the JCC to provide a wide variety of programs that allow seniors to successfully age in place. They include a social adult day care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, programs for the arts, concerts, holiday celebrations, current affairs discussions, exercise, and intergenerational programs with nursery school children.
“As a not-for-profit agency open to the entire community, the JCC believes that caring for seniors is a core component of its mission,” Jordan Shenker, the JCC’s CEO, said. “Our center is a place where seniors can come to make friends, share in programs that keep them connected to the community, and find a sense of purpose that is so often absent in the aging process. It’s programs like Lavish Lunches that make this possible.”
The program was co-chaired by Lorin Cook and Brandi Rubin. The committee included Shirley Altman, Michel Blum, Orly Chen, Stephanie Cohn, Alissa Epstein, Merle Fish, Kiera Flynn, Jenna Gutmann, Michelle Marom, Jackie Pollack, Michele Ross, Beth Rubach, Jennifer Schiffman, Jillian Somberg, and Francie Steiner.
Hosts who generously opened their homes included Lori and Josh Capon; Orly Chen, Orna Jackson, Mali Oelsner, Riki Shulman, and Yifat Yechezkell; Stephanie Cohn and Jillian Somberg; Lorin Cook, Kiera Flynn, Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Brandi Rubin and Alyzia Sands; Stacy Esser, Jamie Corsair, Lori Danziger, Alisa Messer, Robin Epstein, Merle Fish, Mindy Lavin and Iris Wormser; Dalia Lerner and Michelle Marom; Gabrielle Marcus and Lindsay Skulnik; Eileen Pleva, and Elle and JoJo Rubach.
Palisade Jewelers was the presenting sponsor; other sponsors included Artistic Tile, Orly Chen/ReMax Properties Plus, the Dean Foundation/Francie & Stephen Steiner, Gilly’s Organics, and Shoprite/Treeco.