Posted by Marjorie U. Sokoll
On the eve of the Exodus, Pharaoh asked Moses, “Who are the ones who will be leaving with you?,” and Moses replied, “We will all go, young and old.” (Exodus 10:9)
Just as all the Israelites left Egypt, this past Sunday I experienced the many ways JF&CS touches the lives of different members of our community, through the lens of the Passover story.
Each year, I am privileged to lead the Friendly Visitor Passover Seder, organized so beautifully by the coordinator of the program, Sue Spielman. What was unusual this year, however, is that while Sue and I were setting the tables for the 70 frail elders and volunteers who would be arriving for the Seder, more than 50 children and adults from Temple Beth Zion of Brookline were on the other side of the room packing hundreds of bags with Passover food and ritual items for JF&CS Family Table recipients. We also heard their rabbi, Moshe Waldoks, share inspiring words with his congregants about the important mitzvah of feeding the hungry. His words really resonated with me; through our Seder we were feeding the spirits of frail elders. For some, this is the only Seder they will attend.
At the same time, Sandy Slavet, the director of Jewish Life – Services for People with Disabilities, was leading a Passover “Brunch and Learn” in another part of the building. When Marsha Frankel, Clinical Director of Senior Services learned that a deaf elder couple had arrived at our Seder, she went to find Sandy, who just happens to be an interpreter of American Sign Language. When Marsha explained the situation, Sandy said she would be delighted to spend the next few hours interpreting for this elder couple so they could truly feel part of this caring community!