Farmington Hills-based artist Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan (in blue) and Coville
residents (counterclockwise beginning at top center) Micki Lipshaw, Ella
Schriman, Marian Wolfson, Tommy Pallos and Sarah Cwagenberg
JSL residents piece together mosaics
in memory of Holocaust survivors.
teve Gershman smiled as
he watched the residents at
Jewish Senior Life's Margot
& Warren Coville Assisted Living
Apartments piece together vivid,
colorful mosaics. The residents
smiled back, as the work was fun
and instantly gratifying as the colors
formed shapes, and the shapes formed
The circular mosaics have Judaic
themes with one focusing on wine and
the other on the food of Shabbat. They
will be hung in Coville's dining room
before Passover, said Coville Assisted
Living Apartments administrator
These are the fourth and fifth
mosaics commissioned by Gershman
in memory of Holocaust survivors
Riva Baker and her husband, Erwin.
Gershman is an Oak Park resident
recently retired after 30 years with the
State of Michigan Health and Human
Services Department. Gershman's
father and Riva were from the same
town in Europe, Gershman explained.
After her husband and Gershman's
father passed away, Riva became
Gershman's "mother and father:' and
he and Riva lived together for 25
years. Riva moved to Coville for the
last year of her life before passing
away in 2005.
She loved living in Coville,
At first she said that she'd rather be
in the ground than leave her house,
but after a week at Coville, she was
like 'what house?"' Gershman said.
"She loved the service here, but really
enjoyed speaking her native Russian
Gershman used his inheritance
from Riva's estate to set up the Riva
and Erwin Baker Medical Emergency
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Artist Dani Katsir works with Micki
Lipshaw, 90, of Oak Park.
Fund to provide financial assistance
to needy Coville residents for care
and equipment that isn't covered by
medical insurance. He also wanted to
commemorate Riva in a visually beau-
tiful way and commissioned commu-
nity art specialists Gail Rosenbloom
Kaplan and Dani Katsir.
Kaplan believes in the power of art
to "heal and teach" and works with
Katsir in schools, hospitals and senior
residences to create marvelous, mean-
ingful pieces of art.
Coville residents followed Kaplan
and Katsir's instructions in placing the
glass pieces and progress was made
quickly. Kaplan will put the finishing
touches on the pieces and return them
to Coville before Passover.
"These are made of glass and will
last forever:' Kaplan said. "What a
wonderful way to remember some-
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February 21 • 2013