Jewish Pavilion celebrates 50+ Chanukah nights


Pam Ruben

The Gaeser family: (l-r) Marci, Haley, Ruth Miller (Marci's mom), Tyler, Jessica Klein and her daughter (Marci's granddaughter) Jennifer.

While most Jews joined in the celebration of the eight days of Chanukah (which fell between Dec. 16 and Dec. 24 in 2014), the Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers celebrated more than most. Throughout the month of December the Pavilion's four program directors and countless volunteers brought Chanukah festivities and lit the (electric) menorah in more than 50 assisted living and nursing homes in Greater Orlando, bringing Chanukah cheer to hundreds of residents.

Each celebration offered a little something special for the residents.

Pam Ruben

Mayflower resident Helen Tetenbaum and volunteer Ellen Hrabovsky.

Program director Judy Procell procured musical entertainment to help light up the first night of Chanukah at the Mayflower in Winter Park. Musical duo Dana Kaplan and Diane Hawkins said, "We are here to bring extra cheer to the holiday, and help bring back the old days and musical memories." Mayflower resident Helen Tetenbaum appreciated the effort, noting, "(the Pavilion) events are so compelling that they have a lot of appeal to residents of other religious backgrounds." She added, "There's a 'kvelling' at having other people enjoy our heritage... It helps us get to know and to respect and appreciate each other's differences."

Resident Lawrie Hall, editor of the Mayflower Newsletter, stated "The Pavilion programs are a wonderful touchstone for a meaningful tradition for many of our residents, and brought the joy of Chanukah to the Mayflower."

Procell shared that each of the parties come together "with a lot of help." She offered special thanks for the successful landing of the Mayflower (Chanukah party) to 10-year volunteer Ellen Hrabovsky and regular volunteers Lisa Rozgony and her grandchildren, along with sponsors Nancy Bland and the Gaeser family.


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