“We consider it an honor to help sustain Cafe Europa,” she said gift and premium, “and the other important work federation is doing for our survivors.”
Tom Beck, executive director of JFS of Central NJ, which runs the Elizabeth gatherings, said, “We are delighted to have the additional resources for our Cafe Europa program. As a result of the generosity of the Wilf Family Foundations funding, we will now be able to expand our cultural and socialization program for our aging .”
Geriatric social worker Maris Chavenson, who coordinates those events, said, “We’ve already had some wonderful people come, and this means we can reach out to really high-caliber entertainers.” Between 20 and 25 people come to the lunches on the third Thursday of each month. She said the gatherings offer “an invaluable chance to get gift premium fair gmd685fes a pulse of how the survivors are doing and to see if additional interventions are needed.”
The oldest of those currently attending is 92. Pearl Zalmanovics, in her late 80s, is one of the younger ones. As a teenager during the war, she survived the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She came to the United States from what was Czechoslovakia in 1949 and now lives in Elizabeth. Four years ago, when her late husband was hospitalized, a friend persuaded her to come to a Cafe Europa lunch, to help lift her spirits.
JFS of Central NJ “has been very good to me, and I appreciate Cafe Europa very much,” Zalmanovics said. “Most of us are alone, and it is very nice to be able to get together with people who all went through those things.”
Reuben Rotman heads up JFS of MetroWest NJ,gift and premium which runs the Lore Ross Cafe Europa serving seniors in Essex and Morris counties. It draws about 100 people to each of its twice-monthly gatherings at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange. He described the program as a “jewel.” He said, “It gives our social work staff a chance to reach out to these people, to see if they need more home care or counseling and so on, without them dealing with the stigma of having to call to ask for help.”
The Oheb Shalom group draws people from senior housing communities in South Orange and West Orange, as well as those living further afield. In addition to the lunch gatherings, the Cafe Europa participants go on some field trips, or meet in sub-groups for activities like writing or quilting. “Some members drive or carpool, but an increasing number need transportation,” Rotman said, and the Wilf gift will help fund that crucial service.