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December 20, 2002 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-20

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Synagogue Listings . . 46

Torah Portion .

Kids, Candles


Rabbi's children join the fun at seniors'
Chanukah party.


Sta Writer


or Jewish community chaplain Rabbi
Dovid Polter, Chanukah usually
means spending more time celebrat-
ing with Detroit-area seniors
than working in his office.
"This year, like always, I spent the
week of Chanukah runnina
running between nurs- -
ing homes and retirement communities,
holding 15 Chanukah programs," says
Rabbi Polter, who is part of the Jewish
Community Chaplaincy Program of
Jewish Home and Aging Services in West
And when he ran, he never ran alone.
"I brought my keyboard — and my kids,"
he says.
Rabbi Polter, along with Jewish
Community Chaplain Rabbi A. Irving
Schnipper, spends his days providing pas-
toral care and Jewish programming to
hundreds of Jewish seniors who live in .
non-Jewish facilities.
While Shabbat and other holiday
events and classes are held during the year, "the
Chanukah celebration is always an especially big
hit," he says. "People just come out of the .
woodwork — even those I don't see at other
weekly programs come out and really relish this
So common are the faces of his children to
residents of the facilities that they often ask for
the kids to attend. And it's no wonder. At a
Dec. 6 party at the Fountains at Franklin in
Southfield, his sons sang and did the squat-posi-
tioned, foot-kicking kazatska, a vigorous
Russian folk dance, while his daughters chatted
with some of the 75 residents and their families
and helped with song sheets.
Not only do residents welcome the children,
says the rabbi, but also JHAS Executive
Director Margot Parr and JHAS Associate


From top:

Yitzak Preikujets of Oak Park plays the accordion for
residents and guests.

Rabbi Dovid Polter lights Chanukah candles at
Fountains at Franklin, surrounded by his children Chaya
Mushka, 11, Chana, 5, and Rafael Yehudah, 9.

Mary Cantor, Fountains at Franklin resident, claps to
the music.

Director Carol Rosenberg "really honor and
invite them as young volunteers."
In addition to the parties, residents of local
facilities received Chanukah gifts.
"Shirley Jarcaig, JHAS Chaplaincy coordina-
tor, organized the distribution of hundreds of

Chaim Yitzchok
Polter, 7,
does a dance
for the

packages of dreidel cookies to residents all over
the Detroit area," Rabbi Polter says. Janet
Antin, program director at Fleischman
Residence in West Bloomfield, oversaw the
packaging by the residents.
"At the parties, we light the menorah and
residents have latkes and sour cream and apple-
sauce," Rabbi Poker says. "You can't imagine
what this does to help the residents bring back
youthful, sentimental, beautiful memories."

To become a volunteer or to make arrange-
ments for a Jewish resident to be visited by a
member of the Jewish Community
Chaplaincy Program, call Shirley Jarcaig, at
(248) 661-2999, ext. 300.




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