A number of years ago, Project for Holocaust Survivors created a socialization program especially for religiously observant men. Few attended local senior centers, and Bikur Cholim decided to create weekly gatherings that would be seen as both purposeful and enjoyable. With a male-run exercise class, Torah study in Yiddish, current events discussions, and hot kugel, participants have a good time bonding with other Survivors. We introduce guest lecturers from local medical centers from time to time, to speak on wellness issues. Feedback from participants and their grown children has been overwhelmingly positive. The coordinator of this group is in a unique position to see seniors who are struggling and to help them get connected to available resources.
I felt right at home when I came to the Chevra. I’ve met a couple of men from shul and from the neighborhood, and it’s good to have a chance to get out in the afternoon and not stay in like I normally do. I used to be so busy with work, but now that I’ve retired and am by myself, I like having a place to go to for exercise and nice company. There’s even a minyan for Mincha, which is so convenient. And there’s nothing like a hot piece of potato kugel!” – Mr. K.