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Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation

Niara Magezi and Brennan Rosenblatt were honored for their volunteerism.
Teens honored for their efforts to build a more civil society

Teen volunteers at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Niara Magezi (Dix Hills) of Commack High School and Brennan Rosenblatt (Melville) of Half Hollow Hills East High School were presented with the Students Building Bridges award by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island (JCRC-LI) at a ceremony held at the Gurwin Center on May 9.

The award recognizes community youth for their efforts to help create a more civil society and is part of the Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Program sponsored by the JCRC-LI and Suffolk County State Senate and Assembly Delegations.

Magezi, a junior at Commack High School, has been volunteering at Gurwin for the past three years. Her time spent with the residents and assisting staff on the nursing units has given her the opportunity to learn about the many paths in health care. She is planning for a career in the medical field, specializing in dermatology. 

Rosenblatt first came to Gurwin as a high school sophomore, befriending many residents during his weekly visits, updating them on his very active life and sharing his experiences with them.  Now a graduating senior heading to Georgia Tech to study engineering this fall, he says the time spent with his Gurwin friends is as important to him as it is to them.   

This year’s Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Program featured guest speaker and Holocaust survivor Meir Usherovitz  who recounted his life as a Jewish youth in Poland during World War II and his imprisonment in several Polish concentration camps, including the notorious Auschwitz.

Several Holocaust survivors from Gurwin Jewish–Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community were in attendance to meet Usherovitz and to help recognize the Gurwin volunteers and other student honorees.

Resident Sherle and recreation therapist Nicole Hopper pose with the center’s new therapeutic pet. Photo from Gurwin Jewish

COMMACK: The votes are in and tallied for the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s bunny naming contest. As a result of a social media contest, Gurwin residents revealed today the new name of their adopted pet therapy bunny, now known as Nelly Furwin.    

In the few short weeks he’s been at Gurwin, Nelly has endeared himself to both staff and residents alike. “Spending time snuggling and stroking his soft fur provides a source of comfort and happiness and induces a sense of nurturing,” said Dawn Lettau, director of therapeutic recreation at Gurwin. “A daily dose of Nelly is the ideal prescription to improve overall mood. Thank you to all who participated in our contest to help give our furry friend the perfect name!”

Resident Faith enjoys a snuggle with the new bunny. Photo courtesy of Gurwin Jewish

Residents at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack are celebrating the arrival of a new addition to the Gurwin family,  a 2-year-old bunny rescued from The Groomery in Stony Brook.

As delighted as the residents are with their newfound friend, the bunny, whose name will be determined by a social media contest in the coming week, is enjoying his new home and all the love and attention he is receiving.  

 “Animals provide a warm and comforting presence to our residents,” said Dawn Lettau, director of therapeutic recreation at Gurwin. “Research has shown pet therapy helps people with a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, heart disease, depression and more. Our residents are already feeling the love.” 

While many people think of dogs as pet therapy animals, in reality many different types of animals are used for therapy. “Our residents enjoy regular visits with exotic animals from the local pet shop, as well as puppies from the Guide Dog Foundation and from other pet therapy programs. Our fish tank and bird aviary are popular areas within our facility for relaxation. We’re happy to add our new bunny to our growing menagerie,” added Lettau.

Visit Gurwin Jewish’s Facebook page to participate in a naming contest beginning Wednesday, April 4.   

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Staci Rosenberg-Simons introduces calendar model Beatrice Halperin. Photo from Gurwin Jewish

Two U.S. Army veterans (one of whom liberated the first concentration camp discovered at the close of World War II), a Holocaust survivor, a former vice president of the New York Mets wearing his 1986 World Series ring, two centenarians and nine additional seniors, aged 75 to 105, each took turns arriving on a celebrity red carpet on Dec. 20 to celebrate their participation in the L’dor V’dor From Generation to Generation 2018 calendar. This is the sixth annual calendar featuring the residents of Gurwin Jewish–Fay J. Lindner Assisted Living in Commack.

From left, Gurwin President & CEO Stuart B. Almer with Halperin and Michael Letter, administrator & COO, Gurwin Jewish–Fay J. Lindner Residences. Photo from Gurwin Jewish

Rather than depicting adorable pets, hunky firemen or dreamy vacation spots, the annual Gurwin calendar showcases residents displaying the beauty of age and their wisdom. Residents were chosen for their unique personal story and their active involvement in daily life at Gurwin. The calendar was photographed over two days earlier this year, in a professional celebrity-style photo shoot that included hair and makeup.

“Gurwin’s unique calendar honors the wonderful residents of our assisted living community,” said Stuart B. Almer, president and CEO of the Gurwin family of health care services. “The sage advice from the ‘Greatest Generation’ contained in its pages is made all the more meaningful because of their rich life experiences.”

The celebration included many members of the calendar models’ families. Among them was Beatrice Halperin, 101, who was joined by three generations of her family for a unique four-generation family photo. Her advice: “Just Dance!”

“We are so thrilled to recognize the vitality and vibrancy of our seniors, who inspire us on a daily basis,” said Staci Rosenberg-Simons, director of community relations at Gurwin’s assisted living facility. “The portraits are stunning, and their words of advice resonate with all who read them.” The calendar is available free of charge at www.gurwin.org. For more information, call 631-715-2562.

Last year’s Best in Show winner, “The Children of the Land” by Lorraine Piskin

Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, located at 68 Hauppauge Road in Commack, invites all amateur photographers to participate in its 24th Annual Photo Contest. The unique contest, which garners submissions from across the globe, offers amateur photographers, including students, not only an opportunity to be recognized for their work but also the chance to make an impact on the lives of those living at the nursing and rehabilitation center.

Winning photos are enlarged and placed on permanent display in the center’s renowned Tiffen Photo Gallery for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. Submissions not selected for a prize are used by Gurwin’s staff as reminiscence aids, for visual stimulation and for art therapy, providing a source of comfort and inspiration for residents, specifically those in the Center’s Memory Care Unit and Adult Day Care Programs.

Photographers may submit up to seven printed 8×10 or 8×12 photographs for a fee of $5 per entry in the following categories: Landscapes, Travel, People, Pets, Children, Wildlife, Nature, Still Life, Altered/Enhanced, Student, Long Island/New York and Action/Sports. Judging will be conducted by a panel of professional photographers at the close of the contest, and winners will be chosen based on clarity, composition, subject matter and suitability for display at the center. The deadline for submission in April 17.

Winning photographers are invited to a June reception at the Gurwin Center where they will receive their cash prize, award certificate and/or trophy. Applications are available at http://www.gurwin.org/about/photo-contest/or by calling the Public Relations Office at 631-715-2568.