Lillian Brook played
colleague, program coor-
the piano. She and
dinator Shirley Jarcaig,
Rosalie Carroll were
consult with administra-
among the first to move
tor Norman and activi-
to Farmington Hills
ties director Vicki Thuer
Inn. Sarabel Panter is
to find "the best ways
another Jewish resident
for enhancing the lives
who shares her piano
of our Jewish older
playing with others.
adults," Jarcaig said.
"Our staff has
Rabbi Polter said a
noticed a positive influ-
"big program" is
ence on the whole
arranged for the Jewish
community" since the
holidays, along with other
Reside nt Sidney
Jewish residents arrived,
events each month.
Gareli ck cuts a
Sieger said. "You can see the
"We sing. I bring kosher
slice of' fresh-
loving relationships in the
refreshments. We reminisce. We
families of residents. They
talk about old Jewish experi-
are so attentive. It's pleasant-
ences and remember the holi-
plus having them-here!
days," he said.
Most of them are here daily checking on
In the week before Rosh Hashanah,
their moms and dads."
Farmington Hills Inn was infused with
At- mealtimes, Norman has observed
Yiddishkeit (Jewishness). Residents
family members of former Elan Villagers
learned to bake honey cake with Thuer
sitting at the table with other residents.
on Sept. 3, a Russian-born accordionist
led Yiddish folk singing the next day and "It's nice for them because they don't
always have their own family visiting,"
there was an intergenerational program
the day after that with students of
Rabbi Polter said Jewish residents at
Yeshivat Akiva in Southfield, who deliv-
Farmington Hills Inn and other non-
ered honey cake and new large-print
Jewish calendars. They also blew the sho- Jewish facilities, like American House in
West Bloomfield, have enjoyed his occa-
far, sang and visited with the Jewish resi-
sional Friday morning gifts of a "Shabbos
Kit" — a bottle of grape juice, can of
Rabbi Polter said there was a lot of
excitement at the Sept. 4 music program. gefilte fish, fresh challah roll and a sugar
kichel, plus napkin and silverware.
"When they sang, 'My Yiddishe Mama'
"This is a recent project we put togeth-
— it was very moving," he said.
er, sponsored by several families. It's a
Seven or eight of the former Elan
way to bring some Yiddishkeit to them."
Villagers participated, including Jack
The rabbi also visits recipients and leaves
Tod. "His wife, Ann, told me she could-
them Hebrew prayers with English trans-
n't believe he had come for the program;
lations. "The reception has been out-
he usually stays in his room," said the
standing. There's such a need," he said.
Jarcaig said an adult volunteer reminis-
"Jack thinks the [Farmington Hills
cence group, "Thanks for the
Inn] staff is very, very sweet," said Ann
Memories," is visiting the Farmington
Torf of Oak Park. Their daughter,
Hills Inn on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The
Cheryl Torf Ceifetz of Farmington Hills,
interactive program, including a sing-
"investigated and thought it was the best
along, encourages residents to recall good
place to meet our needs."
times. She is consulting with Rabbi
Polter and facility staff on other desired
Dishell and Rube have encouraged the
The presence of Jewish residents, and fre-
partnership with JHAS. "They have a lot
quent family visitors like Ann Torf, is
of respect for the elderly," Sieger said.
enhancing the Farmington Hills Inn
'And the new Jewish residents are adjust-
community, said Mary Sieger, executive
ing really well."
Expressing the Jewish community's
"Having them here gave us a shot in
commitment to its seniors in non-Jewish
the arm," she said.
facilities, Poker said: "Like a fruit falling
The changes are seen in small things,
out of a basket; another basket comes
like Thuer bringing bagels to munch on
along to catch them."
instead of doughnuts when residents dis-
cuss the news. "Bagels have been a big
hit," said Sieger. "Everybody likes them
For information on the JHAS
Jewish Community Chaplaincy
The Jewish residents are very involved
Program, call (248) 661-2999.
with activities. At a recent ice cream
social, former Elan Village resident
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