Dear friends,

We are celebrating International Women’s Day across the Jewish Home Family today.  Special programs included a “music by women” event in the Gallen Center and a group photo of all the wonderful women who are Gallen participants and staff. (Click here for photos from Gallen and JHAL)  Jewish Home Assisted Living is using the day to kick off a month of special sessions focused on women. Today’s session covered quite a lineup of accomplished women:  Emma Lazarus; Gertrude Belle Elion; Bella Abzug and Golda Meir.  Future talks include a variety of notables including Gloria Steinem and Barbra Streisand.  Jewish Home at Rockleigh residents had a special program on “Women at Work” which was not only well attended but sparked some lively conversation.



Other events at the Gallen Center this week including a meditation program on Monday which helped everyone to “center themselves” for the week ahead. Tuesday featured our specialized Parkinson’s program as well as “Move to the Music” and a Mardi Gras-themed party. On Wednesday a member of our Gallen activity team gave a presentation on Ash Wednesday, which all of the participants enjoyed. Thursday’s highlights included a lively game of Family Feud using the IN2L video system and a dance party in the afternoon.



Jewish Home Assisted Living residents began their week with a Sunday lecture by Rabbi Korenblit entitled “The Wonders of the Jewish Leap Year.” Sisters in Spirit joined our Women’s Club meeting on Monday and the Glamour Girls came in to do manicures on Wednesday. All of these community connections are so appreciated by the residents and some really wonderful relationships have developed. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to start a new program at Assisted Living. Called “Book Bites with Carol,” each month I will read an essay or story and facilitate a conversation with the residents. This month’s reading was entitled “My Dad Tried to Kill Me with an Alligator.” Here’s a link if you’d like to read it: It led us to a great conversation about parenting, parents and children and roles. On Tuesday afternoon, residents enjoyed arts and crafts making masks for Mardi Gras or Purim (More photos here). A good time was had by all! We also had a group or residents head to Temple Emanuel in Closter on Tuesday for a lecture and luncheon. Professor Ben Nelson spoke on “Oedipus: A discussion on Sophocles’ great dream in the context of Freud’s controversial theory.” Thursday was filled with another session of “Cerebral Gymnastics’ which is very popular as well as visits from our personal shopping volunteers.




Carol Skarimbas provided the Sunday “Afternoon of Music” at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh this week. She’s a favorite volunteer and a wonderful singer and pianist and this week’s concert featured Broadway tunes and popular songs that everyone enjoyed. On Tuesday, we celebrated Mardi Gras madness! (click here for more photos) We had wonderful decorations along Main Street and in Social Hall II. In the morning, both residents and staff were adorned with strings of colorful beads, masks and crowns. Residents, families and staff were also treated to a special “New Orleans-style” food tasting of Cajun chicken, rice, sweet potatoes and catfish! In the afternoon we had a New Orleans music fest with the “Two Easies” who entertained us with ragtime, jazz and old favorites. Thursday morning found the building filled with the smell of baking as residents and staff enjoyed making fresh blueberry muffins and, of course, eating them. And on Thursday afternoon, Jewish Home at Rockleigh administrator Sunni Herman talked about the learning she has had from becoming a triathlete. Other activities for the week included Opening Minds through Art, Steady Boxing, Brain teasers, musical rehearsal and much more.


I had the opportunity to take a little “road trip’ this week. I was invited to be the keynote speaking at the LeadingAge Nebraska annual conference. It was not the easiest geography to manage but I was glad I did.



I spoke to an audience of about 200 professionals in the world of aging services.  My talk was entitled “Unspeakable: Five Truths of Older Adults that No One Wants to Talk About.”  My topics were loneliness; elder abuse; sexuality; LGBT and ageism.  If it sounds as if I was being provocative, I was and it made for an interesting presentation and follow up conversation!


All the best,

Carol Signature

Carol Silver Elliott
The Jewish Home Family

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week


Come join our dynamic cadre of volunteers who participate in “Opening Minds Through Art” or “OMA”. This cutting edge therapeutic art program, originating from Miami University in Ohio, is designed specifically for our residents who suffer with dementia. No artistic skill is necessary. You will be guided step-by-step through an amazing abstract art project as you work one-on-one with one of our residents. This is a once-a-week commitment for an 8 week session.

For more info or to sign up, contact Director of Volunteers Stacey Orden at or 201-518-1175


Jewish Federation’s March Mega Food drive is in full swing. Please bring a can of food next time you visit the Jewish Home at Rockleigh or Jewish Home Assisted Living in River Vale. Food bins are set up for your donation. We are collecting to benefit area food pantries. All are invited to help pack and sort collected food at Jewish Federation on Sunday, March 31st from 1-3.


Jewish Home Family

10 Link Drive Rockleigh, NJ 07647 | 685 Westwood Ave. River Vale, NJ 07675

201-784-1414 |