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Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences

Holocaust survivors and residents living at Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community in Commack paid homage to  the victims of the Holocaust with a candle lighting vigil on Friday, January 26 in advance of Saturday’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Today’s ceremony honors the 79th  anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau,” said Dina McDougald, Assistant Administrator at Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences. “Over the years we have been honored to care for many Holocaust survivors and are privileged to currently have 13 such residents in our care. As time passes, the numbers of those who can recount their experiences are dwindling. Each year we share their stories as a reminder of the effects of indifference to hatred, in the hope that these atrocities never happen again.”

Among the survivors living at Gurwin is Polish-born Cilia Borenstein. At 97 years old, Cilia vividly recalls her encampment at Auschwitz and the brutality of the Nazis.  The only member of her family to survive, Cilia holds their memories in her heart, telling their story so that the world will never forget. 

Despite the horrors perpetrated against her, Cilia chooses to see the beauty in life and people and is thankful for the gifts she was given. Her faith buoyed her spirits throughout her days at Auschwitz, “God came to me in the worst times and helped me to survive,” she said.

The memorial ceremony was led by Gurwin Assisted Living’s staff and chaplain Rabbi Israel Rimler, who called upon residents to each light a candle in remembrance of the friends and family who died at the hands of the Nazis.

Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community in Commack welcomed its first resident of their newly built studio apartments with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 22.

The 18 new studio apartment homes offer a stylish, modern feel, and range in size from 241 to 278 sq. ft. Each studio includes living/sleeping areas, a kitchenette with stainless steel appliances, spacious closets, and fully ADA-equipped bathrooms. Large windows welcome natural sunlight and several of the apartments feature courtyard views.

“The new studio apartments at Gurwin Assisted Living were a perfect option,” said Marianne DeSilva, formerly of Mount Sinai, Long Island. “A smaller apartment is fine for me, especially because I am still part of the larger community.”

The construction of the new studios marks a new choice option for the 210-luxury apartment community, located on the GurwinHealthcare System’s lush 36-acre Commack campus, and comes in response to market interest for more streamlined residences at a lower price point. Pricing begins at $4,950 per month and includes three chef-prepared meals daily, housekeeping, personal laundry and maintenance services, medical appointment transportation and emergency response connectivity. Residents enjoy a bustling calendar of enriching social activities, special events and local excursions.

“We are so excited to welcome Marianne as the first resident of our new studio apartments,” said Stuart B. Almer, Chief Executive Officer of r. “Our beautiful new studios meet the needs of Long Island seniors who desire a comfortable, smaller footprint residence within a caring, active and vibrant community.”

Gurwin’s Assisted Living community includes a formal dining room, a well-stocked library, tastefully appointed gathering areas, activity rooms, a synagogue, beauty/barber salon and rooms to host guests and family. Residents also have priority access to all levels of Gurwin’s care, including Gurwin’s rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility and on-site dialysis, home care programs and adult day care. In addition, residents enjoy the community’s manicured gardens, beautifully landscaped walking paths, and myriad outdoor activities including a shuffleboard court, putting green and LifeTrail exercise stations.

For information about Gurwin’s assisted living community, contact Beth at 631-715-8500.

Gurwin Healthcare System has announced the availability of 18 newly built studio apartments in its Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community. The construction of the new studios marks a new choice option for the 210-luxury apartment community, located on Gurwin’s lush 36-acre Commack campus, and comes in response to market interest for more streamlined residences at a lower price point.

Ranging in size from 241 to 278 sq. ft., the upscale studios feature dual living/sleeping areas, a kitchenette with stainless steel appliances, spacious closets and fully ADA-equipped bathrooms. Large windows welcome natural sunlight and several studios feature courtyard views. Pricing begins at $4950 per month and includes all utilities, as well as housekeeping and maintenance services. Other available services include personal laundry, including linens and towels, and appointment transportation. Included in the monthly fee is full access to the community’s amenities, including chef-prepared meals, scheduled social activities and local outings.

“The addition of studio apartments is an evolution of the Gurwin vision. We are pleased to have an expanded choice of senior living options to offer prospective residents,” said Stuart B. Almer, CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. “With many already spoken for, our beautiful new studios meet the needs of Long Island seniors who desire a comfortable, smaller footprint residence within a caring, active and vibrant community.”

Gurwin’s Assisted Living community includes a formal dining room, a well-stocked library, tastefully appointed gathering areas, recreation and activity rooms, a synagogue, beauty/barber salon and rooms to host guests and family. Residents also have priority access to all levels of Gurwin’s care, including Gurwin’s rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility and on-site dialysis, home care programs and adult day care. In addition, residents enjoy the community’s manicured gardens, beautifully landscaped walking paths, and myriad outdoor activities including a shuffleboard court, putting green and LifeTrail exercise stations

About Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences

Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community, located in Commack, Long Island, is part of the Gurwin Healthcare System, a renowned provider of a full continuum of healthcare and senior living services. In addition to its assisted living community, the System provides skilled nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, advanced care, ventilator and respiratory care, on-site dialysis, memory care, and palliative and hospice care, as well as adult day care programs and home care services. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation services are also available through Gurwin’s affiliate, Island Nursing and Rehab Center, located in Holtsville, Long Island. The campus is also home to Fountaingate Gardens, a newly opened 129-apartment independent living Life Plan Community for seniors age 62 and older.  For more information, visit www.gurwin.org or call 631-715-8500.   Follow Gurwin on Facebook (bit.ly/GurwinAssistedLiving) and on Twitter (@GurwinJewish).

 

Residents at Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community in Commack remembered and commemorated the victims and survivors of the Holocaust with a candle lighting vigil and ceremony on Jan. 27.

“International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to honor the 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust and those who survived of one of the darkest periods in history,” said Stuart B. Almer, President and CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. “It is an especially important day of reflection for our Gurwin residents, many of whom experienced unspeakable atrocities firsthand and are compelled to share their stories.”

During the ceremony, 13 residents were called upon to each light a candle to honor the friends and family who died at the hands of the Nazis. Of the residents that were called up, two shared their personal stories of survival.

At 97 years old, Polish-born Cilia Borenstein vividly recalls the horrors the Nazis perpetrated against her at the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp.  She is the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust.  

Rose Ashkenazy was eleven years old out the outset of World War II.  She and her family fled Poland and lived in the woods near Ukraine to hide from the Nazis, surviving the outdoors on little food and with just the clothing on their backs. Neighboring houses provided small amounts of food for the refugees, helping to keep them alive until the war ended.

“We tell our stories of survival to keep the memories of our loved ones alive and to prevent this from happening again,” said Cilia Borenstein. “There are only a few of us left and it is important to remind others of our experiences during the Holocaust.”

 Photo courtesy of Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences

Residents at Gurwin Jewish~Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community in Commack recently celebrated the cooking traditions of Hanukkah with an interactive latke cooking demonstration.

“Our Assisted Living residents always enjoy our live cooking demonstrations, especially during the holidays,” said Stuart B. Almer, President and CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. “It is a wonderful time for residents to reminisce about their own holiday memories and traditions and share them with each other and our staff.”

Gurwin Chef Salvatore Zingalis conducted the demonstration live in a temporary teaching kitchen in the residence’s dining room. Residents shared stories of their own latke recipes as they watched the chef go through his recipe step-by-step and were able to enjoy a sampling of what was prepared.

Latkes are traditionally served with either applesauce or sour cream, depending on whether the meal is meat or dairy; both were available for residents to enjoy.

“As a Jewish family, we love getting together for the holidays, the bigger the crowd, the better,” said Carol Sussman, a resident at the assisted living community, thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration and complimented the chef on his technique. “I used to cook latkes for Hanukkah, but now my daughter has taken over that job. I taught her everything I know!”

 

Gurwin centenarians enjoy a celebratory birthday at a High Tea party. Photo from Gurwin

The Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community in Commack honored seven residents last week who reached or passed the century mark.

Sally B., 100, is one of the most recent Fay J. Lindner residents to reach the centenarian milestone. Photo from Gurwin Jewish

The milestone birthday celebration ­— a socially-distanced tea party — provided an opportunity for residents and staff alike to wish each centenarian well, and learn a bit about their lives. Adorned in top hats, tiaras and other festive attire, the residents were happy to spend the afternoon with some of their favorite staff members and fellow centenarians.

The group of seven — aged 100 to 104 — includes a Holocaust survivor, a retired New City policeman, aircraft engineer, teacher and homemaker, among others. Displaying vibrant energy throughout the festivities, the distinguished group proved that age is just a number.

Some chatted with guests, answering questions, providing advice and expressing wishes for health for everyone; others enjoyed mixing and mingling, sharing past experiences and memorable lifetime events. The honored guests were showered with affection by members of Gurwin staff who offered speeches, snapped photos, and even serenaded them with a personally penned tribute song.

Michael Letter, Administrator/Chief Operating Officer of the community, spoke with fondness for the residents and gratitude to staff during an opening speech, saying “Today’s event is a celebration of the lives, legacy and longevity of our inspirational centenarians. I feel very privileged to know them all and am grateful to our staff that provides the nurturing care that enables our extraordinary residents to stay engaged connected and thrive.”

Sally Birnbaum, Auschwitz survivor
Above, resident survivors at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences take part in the recent Holocaust Memorial Day Campaign. Photo courtesy of Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

The World Jewish Congress last week launched the largest global event ever to commemorate the Holocaust, via a #WeRemember international social media campaign. People around the world were encouraged to upload to Twitter and Facebook photos of themselves displaying “WeRemember” signs.

In the days leading up to today’s observation of Holocaust Memorial Day — the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp — supporters worldwide posted their #WeRemember photos to social media, which were then live-streamed on a jumbotron at Poland’s notorious camp, Auschwitz, near crematorium 2.

Resident survivors at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences, an assisted living community in Commack, were honored to be part of the campaign. World Jewish Congress noted several reasons for the critical nature of the global social media movement: the dwindling number of survivors, the ongoing occurrence of genocides and the need to educate future generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Robert Singer, World Jewish Congress CEO, noted the importance of the campaign, hoping it would “engage the next generation, because soon it will be their responsibility to tell the story and ensure that humanity never forgets.”

Herman, survivor from Bergen-Belsen

In all, seven Gurwin assisted living residents, including survivors of the Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps, posed with their “We Remember” signs, some fulfilling promises to family members who perished in the genocide, to “live to tell the story,” and others eager to participate in a remembrance project with an international reach. “My father told me to do everything I could to survive, to get out and tell the world what was happening,” said Sally Birnbaum, an Auschwitz survivor, now living at Gurwin. The World Jewish Congress made it possible for Sally, and thousands of others, to be sure that the world never forgets.

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Do you ever wish you had asked for advice about life from older members of the family or friends who have now passed away? I certainly do. Like an inheritance, advice that has withstood the test of time can make the life of the beneficiary easier. Hence the clever idea, by an assisted living community on Long Island, of producing a distributable calendar filled with some of the wisdom of its residents was immediately interesting to me. The Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences, located in Commack, collected the thoughts of one person or couple in the community for each month and named the project “From Generation to Generation 2017.”

As the calendar states in the introduction, “The advice contained in these pages … is priceless, and made all the more meaningful because of the life experiences that season [the residents’] words of wisdom.”

The January advice comes from Gerald Burberry, who was sent to England on the Kindertransport — also known as Children’s Transport — during World War II and was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. Gerald focuses on the beauty in life through the lens of his camera and is an enthusiastic nature photographer. He and his wife have visited as many U.S. National Parks as they could in pursuit of his goal to “appreciate nature.”

Janet Munday adorns February and urges everyone to “blaze new trails.” She was a computer engineering major at Hofstra, one of few women at the time, and also played the bass guitar in a cover band and traveled to Italy just to learn Italian.

Others, like Helen and Mel Morgenstein, who are wedded 73 years, offer this advice to married couples: “Respect each other.” Mel adds, “Respect your differences, and have your own interests. It makes for a much better life together.” Mary Falcone says, “Cherish family.” She has four daughters, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, “They’re wonderful,” she declares and she sees them regularly. “Their heart is my heart.” Florence Levenbaum, who is 91, loves to dance. She urges, “Keep moving and smile.” For her, movement and good humor are the keys to good health. She posed for her photo in the calendar carrying a Wilson wooden tennis racket over her shoulder.

Further advice includes “Pursue your passions” from Stewart Greene, a devoted lifetime sailor; “Keep learning” from Sandra Peltz, a former registrar at Hofstra who feels she learns from each new person she meets; and “Be independent” from Ruth Kaufman, who doesn’t worry about what others might think and say. “Use common sense!” urges Edwin Zola, who feels that people could find a way to end war and suffering if they would treat others as they would like to be treated, adding, “This just makes sense.” And Sidney Klein speaks proudly about serving one’s country, as he did during WWII.

What advice would you pass along to those younger than you? I asked that question of some of the newspaper staff, and here is what they offered.

“Live in the moment,” said one. “And enjoy the moment.” Another counseled, “Don’t put it off,” whether a task, a career move or a relationship. “Anticipate life’s many stages,” suggested another. “Be yourself, don’t be afraid to be who you really are rather than trying to please others,” is one piece of advice one mother had just shared with her daughter. Another mother offered, “Enjoy your childhood. You are only a child once.” And how about this one for your children? “We were young once too!”

Some others included, “Work hard, play hard and include balance in your life,” “Be kind,” “Stick together with family,” “Hang around with happy people,” and this timely bit for today’s world, “Be entrepreneurial.”

You might ask what words I would offer the next generations. My advice: “Have courage.” Have the courage to be the person you want to be, to do the things you most wish to do, to go to the places you yearn to see, and to defend those who cannot defend themselves.