Celebrating Shabbat brings feelings of community


October 26, 2018

Mae Weisman (l) at Brookdale Island Lake with Jewish Pavilion volunteer Shirley Schoenberger.

When Mae Weisman was in a skilled-nursing facility, recuperating from a recent illness, it was only natural for her to miss doing the things she enjoys. One of the things she most looked forward to upon returning home to Brookdale Island Lake is the weekly Shabbat service led by Jewish Pavilion volunteers.

Although the Jewish Pavilion had occasional programs and friendly visits at the nursing facility, Weisman missed having the weekly Shabbat program to look forward to.

"This is the most warming, satisfying thing that I find here, is my services on Friday," Weisman said after a recent Island Lake Shabbat. She praised the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers: "The men and women really have such a feeling for Yiddishkeit!"

An Orlando resident since 1970, Weisman has lived at Brookdale Island Lake for three and a half years. She is a fixture at the Friday Shabbat programs, which help her reconnect to the customs she's observed all her life.

She also looks forward to the other Jewish Pavilion programs, including holiday celebrations. She said she is especially warmed to see the annual Passover Seder, led by Paul Stenzler and Terri Fine, pack the house year after year. "They do such a beautiful job," she said. "My children come, and they're awed!"


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