Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Join the Jewish Pavilion mask challenge

Jill Goldsmith is a home seamstress who learned to sew as a girl and continues to sew items that bring her joy and comfort. She has a small home-based business making one-of-a-kind handbags. When the virus first appeared Goldsmith looked at her fabric stash and realized she could make washable, home-sewn masks for friends and family. (These are not masks a frontline caregiver would use, and Goldsmith said the masks must be washed in hot water first. "I did wash all the fabric before any sewing or cutting, so who knows where the hands have been!" she said.)

The requests came in faster than she could sew. At the same time, her friend Deanne Schott, put out a request for sewers to make masks for a nursing home. This inspired Jill to think about the Jewish Pavilion and the community it serves. With the help of Joanne Fink from Zenspirations, Goldsmith created a Facebook page and group to support the seniors served by the Jewish Pavilion.

She spoke with Nancy Ludin at the Jewish Pavilion who contacted the facilities served to see if masks were desired. Within a minute, one executive director requested 200 masks for his senior–living community. While writing the article, Ludin received a call from an activities director at a senior facility who begged for 12 masks for her staff.

The group needs sewers! You do not need to be a seamstress to do this. You can help by cutting out patterns for the people you know that do sew. Goldsmith has learned that just one yard of fabric will yield about 12-14 masks. The Facebook page has links to patterns and invites comments from sewers to help each other.

Before getting involved with this project, Ludin contacted Jewish Pavilion board member Dr. Lee Adler who is an Infectious Disease specialist. He was the former vice president of Quality and Safety at AdventHealth Central Florida Division. Adler explained that the issue of the general public wearing masks is still being explored by the CDC. There is currently an insufficient supply, so the priority for now remains emergency responders and healthcare workers who have the greatest exposure. However, the transmission of the virus is possible two or more days before an individual becomes symptomatic. So, wearing the masks may protect the seniors against healthcare workers and other residents who may carry the disease. Adler explained that the main transmission for COVID-19 is respiratory droplets. The facemask serves as a potential barrier against the droplets and therefore reduces the likelihood of virus transmission and disease. Adler adds " Social distancing (at least six feet), hand hygiene and disinfectant are still the most effective methods to reduce spread of infection."

To learn more about this effort, go to the Facebook group, Jewish Pavilion Mask Challenge, https://www.facebook.com/groups/579109062683073.

Go to the Facebook Jewish Pavilion Mask Challenge and sign up now!

Once the masks are made they can be delivered to the office of the Jewish Pavilion. Ludin, Jewish Pavilion CEO will distribute them to the facilities.

Ludin says the masks look terrific. The Jewish Pavilion is happy to distribute them to senior communities beginning with Brookdale Lake Orienta who made the first request. Masks can be dropped off at the office at 421 Montgomery Road suite 131 Altamonte Springs, FL 32714. You can contact Ludin by email NancyLudin@JewishPavilion.org or call 407-678-9363.

Jill Goldsmith and her team of sewers are our Jewish Pavilion Heroes during a difficult time. To contact Jill send her an email, jillsg1234@gmail.com or contact through the Facebook group noted above.


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