Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

High Holiday Greetings from the Jewish Pavilion


Elise Schilowitz

The Jewish Pavilion does far more than bring challah to the doorsteps of seniors living in long- term care facilities. We are all about community, companionship and continuity for our elders. In secular senior living facilities, the staff are unfamiliar with Jewish culture. They do not know when the holidays are or how they should be celebrated. Their dietary staff are inexperienced with Jewish cooking and traditional Shabbat and holiday meals.

Jewish Pavilion program directors work with activities directors and chefs so that residents receive traditional Shabbat and holiday meals. We send holiday menus and recipes to 54 buildings in Orlando for the High Holidays with explanations about how to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippor. Our staff and volunteers conduct 50 High Holiday services for residents who can no longer go to synagogue, so that they remain connected to their Jewish heritage. The Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers also provide one-on-one visitation, Shabbat services, musicales and intergenerational programming. Says Nancy Ludin, executive director, "Thanks to our work, the seniors know that they have not been abandoned in their old age!"

Pavilion president, Elise Schilowitz adds, "From personal experience I know how meaningful the programs of the Jewish Pavilion are to our seniors. As a resident in a long-term facility for several years my mom and many of her fellow residents have enjoyed the holiday and musical celebrations and the wonderful lunch and learn educational experiences that the Pavilion provides. They take so much pride in sharing with non-Jewish friends the history and guiding principles of Judaism. I am grateful to the Pavilion for giving my mom and her fellow seniors many hours of stimulating enjoyment."

Nancy Ludin

Two years ago, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Jewish Pavilion added a vital service for seniors and families. The Orlando Senior Help Desk, which is staffed by Emily Newman, an experienced social worker, offers older adults and their family members the advice and support they need when facing issues of aging. Members of the community or out-of-towners can call and get their questions answered pertaining to senior housing, transportation, health, finances etc. Sometimes they call just to vent their frustrations and a compassionate and understanding professional is just what they need to get through a crisis.

The Jewish Pavilion wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Elise Schilowitz, President

Nancy Ludin, Executive Director


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