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

By Pam Ruben
First Person 

A road map to finding the Jewish Pavilion


Susan and Bunny, daughters of Judith Kaye, met Pam Ruben at a local CVS as Ruben was having photos of their mother developed.

The Jewish Pavilion is a mobile community center providing outreach to seniors in more than 50 assisted living and nursing homes all over greater Orlando. The Pavilion is not in one particular place, but is a place in the heart that can be found wherever and whenever its volunteers (often with their families) and staff come together to benefit our elder community in long-term care.

Still people ask: Where exactly can I find the Jewish Pavilion? While the Pavilion has a tiny business office in Altamonte Springs, the real connection between the seniors, volunteers, families, and staff takes place at the elder facilities. Sometimes the reach of the Jewish Pavilion can be found in some surprising places...

Not long ago, I was at the photo center of my local CVS in Longwood printing out some photos of some senior ladies from Oakmonte Village who had been kind enough to allow me to interview them for an article about the Pavilion. While I waited, I casually chatted with the two women in line next to me. We continued talking while my photos came sputtering out of the photo-processing machine.

One of the women in line handed me my pictures and exclaimed. "I know that woman in the photo, that's Rae Masin from Oakmonte Village. Then she looked at me incredulously and said, "That's Rae, and the other woman in the photo is our mother, Judith Kaye." Coincidentally, I was printing out a photo of the two ladies standing right next to me. (I believe their names were Susan and Bunny.)

Then, I introduced myself to Judith's daughters, who up to this minute had been strangers. Suddenly, we became linked through our Pavilion connection. Even more coincidentally, the two women were on their way to Oakmonte Village, and kindly delivered the pictures to Rae and Judith for me.

At that moment ... the Jewish Pavilion was located right there at CVS, connecting me with the special ladies I had met at Oakmonte Village as well as their family members.

Several weeks later I was touched once again by the forces of the Pavilion. In early December I entered an elevator at the Renaissance Hotel in Northbrook, Illinois, where I was staying for a family wedding. Standing inside the elevator were two familiar faces, Sheryl and Julian Meitin also from the Orlando area, who coincidentally had been staying at the same hotel on the same day (and were in the same elevator). As many of you know, Sheryl is one of the founders of the Jewish Pavilion. We marveled about our chance meeting. Then, chatted about our Chicago area families, and the upcoming Pavilion luncheon in just three days (JP Connections which took place on Dec. 11), which we both planned on returning to Orlando to attend.

At that moment the long arm of the Pavilion stretched all the way to suburban Chicago.

So, where can you find the Jewish Pavilion? It is everywhere our volunteers, our seniors, and their families come together. Please call our office at 407-678-9363 or visit http://www.jewishpavilion.org to find out more about the Jewish Pavilion, and how you can become a part of its mission to enhance the lives of seniors in long term care. With your help, we can extend the reach of the Pavilion so that no senior grows old alone.

Pam Ruben is community educator and marketing director for the Jewish Pavilion.


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