Rosetrees home celebrates Purple Wedding

05 Nov 2021

Residents and staff at Jewish Care’s Rosetrees home in Friern Barnet were delighted to attend a reminiscence wedding recently at the home which featured all the traditional aspects of a Jewish wedding of time gone by. Roberta and Michael Yaffe, who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, agreed to recreate their wedding. 

The idea came from Rita Roth, a volunteer at Jewish Care’s Rosetrees care home at The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in Friern Barnet. Rita, who runs the Reminiscence Group at the home, says, for residents, some of whom are living with dementia. 

“I noticed how much residents enjoy talking about weddings in the Reminiscence group, so I decided to recreate a wedding at the home, a new experience for us all to look forward to and talk about,” says Rita 

Also Chair of the Friends of Rosetrees fundraising committee, Rita organised the wedding together with volunteers Anne Phillips and Sarah Lenard who dedicated hours to making purple paper flowers for decoration for the purple theme which followed from Go Purple Jewish Care’s awareness raising week. 

Rabbi Junik, Jewish Care’s Pastoral and Spiritual Lead, Rabbi Geoffrey Hyman of Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation, from Rita’s shul officiated at the wedding ceremony, together with Rebbetzin Michelle Hyman and Richard Ross CBE, Chairman of The Rosetrees Trust. Experienced Toastmaster, Howard Robbins, kindly agreed to introduce and direct proceedings and musician Andy Lee also donated his services for the entertainment, creating a great atmosphere for residents and staff to celebrate together. 

“When the residents and staff at Rosetrees received their invitations, it brought excitement and anticipation,” continues Rita, “The guests asked me if their dresses and shoes were right for the occasion and whether they needed a gift for the bride and groom,” says Rita, “One resident, Lilian, went shopping to buy a new outfit with her carer. The afternoon brought such joy and everyone is still talking about the wedding a couple of weeks later. It was marvellous to give everyone a special occasion to remember.” 

The afternoon was shared on Zoom with other residents across Jewish Care homes, as well as with the couple’s friends in Australia and the wedding included all the aspects of the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony from times gone by. 

“It really brings back memories,” said the ‘bride’, Roberta “it brought so much joy to people. It was amazing to see the smiles on their faces!” 

The ‘groom’ Michael added, “We hope that everyone had as much joy as we’ve had and we’d like to thank Rita, Anne and Sarah and all the staff who made this such a positive and special afternoon.” 

Rosetrees resident, Sheila Jaffe, said, “It was a very nice wedding, it brings back memories because mine was a long time ago, in 1945. I got married in Golders Green, I wore a beautiful wedding dress and we had a lovely party.” 

Jewish Care Care Manager at Jewish Care’s Rosetrees home adds, "We wish Roberta and Michael a big Mazel Tov and many more years of happiness for the future and thank Rita, Anne and Sarah for all their hard work to bring joy to our residents on the occasion of the reminiscence wedding.”

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