As we approach Thanksgiving, we are reminded of our Federation’s essential and unique role in our community. Our attention turns to our families, our friends and our loved ones. I will be travelling to Boston to visit my elderly mother who is struggling with many health and life issues, just as my mother-in-law is here in Los Angeles. I am so happy that they both live in strong and supportive Jewish communities.
Here in Los Angeles, our Federation has made caring for the most vulnerable seniors in our community a top priority.
Recently, I had tea with Ida, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor from the Ukraine. She lost her husband almost a decade ago and has no living relatives. She told me her life story over a cup of Lipton tea and the cookies I brought from Schwartz Bakery. We shared her memories of family members lost and years of cold, hard winters. During my visit, she had the biggest smile. Her smile was not just meant for me. It was meant for all of us because we have been caring for Ida for many, many years.
Ida receives in-home support and respite services through our dynamic partnership with Jewish Family Service. She gets help with little things like housekeeping, shopping and transportation, and big things like doctor appointments and personal care.
Five years ago, I was travelling in the Ukraine where I met another woman with a similar story. I felt proud that, across the world, we were wrapping our arms around her as well.
As I stood to leave Ida’s apartment, she smiled again. “Thank you.” she said.
“Thank you,” I said.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and those you take care of,
President & CEO