Celebrating Chanukah at Jewish Care

17 Dec 2020

Jewish Care home residents, Retirement Living tenants and older members of the community are finding ways to connect and celebrate Chanukah together during the pandemic. Supported by staff, volunteers and members of our community from the ages of 3 upwards, the Jewish Care community is bringing light to one another this year.

At the beginning of Chanukah, Jewish Care, Chief Executive Daniel Carmel-Brown and Jewish Care Spiritual & Pastoral Advisor, Rabbi Junik lit the candles at the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus whilst residents and tenants looked on from the warmth of Selig Court Retirement Living apartments and Otto Schiff care home.

They shared the lighting on film with all the Jewish Care residents and tenants who lit Chanukiahs throughout the week to celebrate every night of Chanukah and are participated in a range of Chanukah activities including Zoom parties and concerts from Jonny Jazz and Yuri Sabatini, discussion groups with Rabbi Junik and reminiscence sessions led by Jewish Care volunteers on Zoom.

Dorothea Jacobs, a resident at Jewish Care Otto Schiff care home for people living with dementia in Golders Green, says,I’ve enjoyed making decorations for Chanukah and having a visit from my daughter. At the home, we’ve been lighting the Chanukah candles and eating doughnuts whilst listening to the Rabbi talk about Chanukah. We have a beautiful Menorah in the garden here, which is lovely to see lit too.”

The whole community are connecting virtually too by joining virtual Chanukah activities on JC Presents… including an online cooking demo from Silvia Nacamulli, and candle-lighting with Ivor Perl.  Ivor is a member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and a tenant at Jewish Care’s Retirement Living Selig Court apartments in Golders Green. He lit the candle on the first night of Chanukah following the Chanukah concert with an audience of members of the community and Retirement Living apartment tenants.

Jewish Care’s Meals on Wheels clients were also delighted to receive gifts of chocolate coins, cards and candles for Chanukah when volunteers delivered their meals over Chanukah and Jewish Care’s Supportive Communities members were also delighted to receive gifts delivered by volunteers.

Nettie Keene, 86, who coordinates Jewish Care Friends of Sinclair House, says “I’ve volunteered at the Community Centre for many years and we used to have so many lovely things going on for Chanukah. This year, Chanukah will be very different as I’ll be on my own lighting the candles at home, but I’ll be lighting with my family on Zoom and joining Jewish Care’s virtual activities on Zoom too. I’ve been enjoying them all the time and I think it’s wonderful that we’ve got so much going on, online. It’s good to see all our friends from the Centre, so I’ll join interesting Chanukah talks, discussions and the reminiscence group. I’m really looking forward to getting together for the candle-lighting and Chanukah concert.”

Meanwhile, young children and families from Jewish Care Families got involved online by joining an intergenerational Chanukah singalong with care homes residents. Children from JC Families also made personalised cards and gifts to send to care home residents at Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House, Jack Gardner House for people with enduring mental health needs and Kun Mor & George Kiss home whilst pupils from Bnei Beis Yaakov School sent a Chanukah concert to the residents at Jewish Care as they are unable to visit physically this year. Young people from Project Impact ran virtual quiz and chat with residents at Sidney Corob House on Zoom and students from Immanuel College sent Cards of Care to residents and Retirement Living tenants with GIFT.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care Chief Executive, says, “While we may not be able to celebrate in the way we have done previously, we will be doing all we can to make sure that Chanukah is still a special time for our members, residents and Retirement Living tenants. We will continue to be inspired by the Chanukah story, as we come together virtually and spiritually until we are able to be together again physically.”

If you’d like to join the online virtual events, including exercise classes, speakers and social activities with JC Presents… virtual events, email jcpresents@jcare.org or call 020 8418 2114 to register.