Behind the scenes with the Jewish Pavilion


Shown here (l-r): Emily Glickstein, Elaine Gamson, Zelda and Sylvia at a Jewish Pavilion Seder at Horizon Bay.

If a loved one was placed in a senior facility 10 years ago, there were sure to be great parties for Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter, but there would be seen virtually no Jewish presence. No challah on Friday nights, apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, potato latkes for Chanukah, matzo for Passover etc. Residents were not celebrating Shabbat or any of the Jewish holidays.

The teens from Ohev Shalom with Ben, a resident at Chambrel.

Since 2001, the Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers have been bringing Jewish culture to all of the senior living facilities in Orlando, but the increase in Jewish culture over the last five years has been very dramatic. In 2012, board member Pam Ruben wrote "A Guide for the Caregivers of the Jewish Elderly." The booklet describes the Jewish calendar and all the holidays. It includes prayers, recipes and Jewish traditions. Today, the booklet is used in every facility in greater Orlando. Prior to each holiday, Jewish Pavilion program directors send holiday information to executive marketing activities and catering directors in the 54 buildings served by the Jewish Pavilion. The Jewish Pavilion program director even send holiday menus and recipes to the chefs.

Today, members of the Orlando Jewish community can feel comfortable putting their loved ones in any of the 54 buildings served. The Jewish Pavilion staff will see to it that their Jewish identities are preserved.

Visit to read about other ways that the Jewish Pavilion meets the needs of the residents from Yiddish class to grief support to mah jong.


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