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JCHE Residents Become B'Nei Mitzvah!

Posted: May 6, 2017

On Saturday, May 6, JCHE held a B'Nei Mitzvah celebration at out Coleman House in Newton.

Before a packed audience of friends, family, and JCHE staff, six residents reaffirmed their Jewish identities in a powerful and moving ceremony that was the culmination of months of hard work and preparation.

Arlene, Adele, Nancy, Natalie, Paula and Phil dedicated the last six months to a weekly study of Judaism. For some of them this journey is the result of decades of yearning, for others an expression of a deepening relationship with Judaism, and still others an open-ended curiosity about the process.

Under the leadership of JCHE's Rabbinc intern, Moshe Givental, (a position generously funded by the Kaplan Family Foundation), residents explored and struggled with the meaning of Jewish identity, prayer, and God. Residents studied religious laws, customs and practices, and renewed their commitment to the Torah and Mitzvot.

Additionally, residents worked with our staff on two Mitzvah projects: collecting matzah and Shabbat candles, and visiting friends at Hebrew Senior Rehab. Residents made their own prayer shawls, intricately winding the Tzitzit precisely the way their ancestors have for thousands of years. They attended Friday night Shabbat services together at Temple Beth Avodah and designed their own Kiddish cups.

This was no minor accomplishment for our elderly residents; in fact, it is an impressive feat underscoring their dedication to embracing their Jewish identities.

It's also an apt reminder that we are never too old to learn new skills and reinvent ourselves.

Finally, the B'Nei Mitzvah reinforced the role supportive housing plays in enriching the lives of senior citizens. Because without JCHE's staff guiding our residents throughout this process, it would have been inordinately difficult--if not impossible--for our residents to become B'nei Mitzvah.


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