Dear friends,

Across the Jewish Home Family our week began in a wonderful way, with the opening of our 4th OMA (Opening Minds through Art) show. OMA is a program that was developed by Elizabeth Lokon, PhD for persons living with dementia. OMA is a thoughtfully and thoroughly designed program that allows and enables people to use creative expression as a tool to “unlock” the person that is still there inside. During the OMA semester, a different project is done each week, each based on and inspired by real art. OMA is designed to treat adults as adults with projects that are not juvenile in nature. It’s also carefully designed to be failure free. The program is done with the assistance of volunteers who work one to one with their resident artist each week for the semester. The volunteer’s role is to facilitate, perhaps by helping someone hold a brush or other tool, but never to do the actual art for the resident artist. Volunteers are taught to use “art talk” when they look at the resident artist’s work, responding to things like use of color and texture rather than using “good job” or “pretty picture” as you might do with a child. OMA has been, and continues to be, well researched to determine the overall effect of the program beyond the time spent in a session, looking for ways to further “open up” and enhance the lives of persons living with dementia. During our art opening events, we gather the resident artists, their families and our volunteers to celebrate their achievements, talk about OMA, tour the show and present some of the art to the artists and to the volunteers. It is an incredible experience and I urge you to walk through the galleries at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, the Gallen Day Center and Memory Lane at Jewish Home Assisted Living. I promise that you will be moved by what you see! (Click for photos)



Jewish Home Assisted Living had some extra fun last Saturday, which was national puppy and kitten day! Activity assistant Paula Eckerson-Mendoza brought in her two six-month-old kittens, Sandy and Klaus. She visited both Memory Lane and Assisted Living and the residents had a great time cuddling these babies! On Monday, Assisted Living celebrated the 55th anniversary of Jeopardy! One of our residents was once a Jeopardy contestant and we watched the episode that she was in and talked about what it was like to be on a game show. On Tuesday morning, Activity assistant Gina Viola gave a lecture on famous Jewish baseball players and in the afternoon watched the film “The Catcher was a Spy” based on the life of baseball player Moe Berg. Wednesday’s monthly book club featured “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham. Later that day, Rabbi Korenblit led a lively discussion on “If you were God for one week, what would you do?” Thursday was a great day as we celebrated baseball’s opening day. Staff and residents were decked out in their “team” wear and we also had a program about Sandy Koufax, former Major League pitcher. Friday once again brought us Professor Ian Drake who discussed “Should Congress Have Term Limits?”


Pet therapy


At the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, OMA art was not the only art program on the docket for Sunday. We also had a wonderful session of “Art of the Ages,” which brings together students and residents to create Judaic art. This week’s project was a continuation of a previous week’s work where the blessings had been placed in the middle of watercolor pictures. Now the students and elders worked together to create and decorate frames for these pictures. Sunday afternoon featured the Afternoon of Music, this week with Mark Wright. On Monday, the Resident Council met and on Tuesday we a session of Jewish Home University. This week’s speaker was Mary Reinemann, one of our dietitians who provided a program entitled “Diabetes Education.” Tuesday afternoon we had a Bowling Tournament with more than 30 residents participating. It was a lively event for both the bowlers and the cheering section. On Thursday we held Yiddish Club and, in the afternoon, our annual Lip Sync battle. Both residents and staff took part in this event and the building was filled with music and lots of laughter! (Photos here) This week’s Baker’s Delight program made some more hamantaschen on Thursday and the lemon cake on Friday—yum!



Our Gallen Center OMA artists were all out for our Sunday event and enjoyed every minute of it. I had a particularly lovely moment near the Gallen Center as a participant was showing his art to his daughter. One of the pieces featured leaves as a central element in his painting and he had entitled it “For My Wife.” His daughter was so moved by this as her mom, who is no longer living, had loved leaves and used them in floral arrangements. It touched her greatly to see her dad’s art pay tribute to her mom in such a beautiful way. On Monday we held our Circle of Friends and also made delicious carrot cake that everyone enjoyed. Tuesday featured a program on nutrition that focused on “Good Fats and Bad Fats.” There was a lot of discussion on that topic and quite a few “ah ha” moments. Tuesday afternoon was our monthly birthday bash featured musician Mary Taylor. On Wednesday we had a session of Delay the Disease as well as a meeting of the participant council. During the council, there was vote to begin to work on a Kindness Rock project at the Gallen Center, a continuation of the program that we began together with Jewish Home Assisted Living residents. We also had “hat chat,” where everyone wears different hats and we talk about them and invent stories about the hats! Thursday we enjoyed yoga and later some piano and on Friday morning we had David Azarch with us to lead our drumming circle.




This was a blog week for me and here is the link: As always, your feedback is welcome!


All the best,

Carol Signature

Carol Silver Elliott
The Jewish Home Family

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week


Volunteers are needed to assist our residents with Passover seders at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh on Friday, April 19th and Saturday, April 20th from 4:15 PM – 6:30 PM. Tasks include turning pages for our residents, pouring wine, and passing around the different festive foods. Volunteers (please register with Stacey in advance) are to report to Rabbi Feld in the synagogue at 4:15 PM.

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.




Our Golf Outing is Around the Corner!

Click the images below for more information!



Jewish Home Family

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

201-784-1414 |