On Purim Day, residents at the famed Jamaica Hills nursing and rehabilitation center were treated to a lively holiday celebration that included traditional amenities showcasing the devotion of Margaret Tietz’s staff and administration to delivering quality programming and services in an environment steeped with home-like qualities for over half a century. The lively Purim festivities and delectable seudah prepared by the talented on-site kitchen chefs embodied the spirit and foresight that Linda Spiegel, Director of Public Affairs, works to bring onto the facility’s halls daily.
Rabbi Eliezer Feder, Project Manager, Office of Student Life at Lander College for Men / Beis Medrash L’Talmud, was invited to bring a group of his yeshivah bachurim to provide a freilich and uplifting environment for the Purim afternoon entertainment. The program began at noon as the collegiate young men enthusiastically danced with residents to the enthusiastic singing and keyboard selections of Tzvi Bennett, son of Dr. Ellie and Sarale Bennett, an up-and-coming one-man band based out of Kew Gardens Hills. With holiday tunes in the air amid the cheerful décor, neighborhood families connected to the wonderful Queens Chesed Program brought along adorable children dressed in costumes to distribute 100 mishloach manos for residents. Thanks is extended to the Danesh, Gavrielov, Gurgov, London, Niyazov, and Pinhasov families for bringing the Margaret Tietz Purim experience to new heights. Many brought along their bright smiling children, a pivotal part of the Purim experience, who gladly assisted in passing out the gift packages with warm open arms. Their delightful Purim costumes – from Waldo and Spiderman to police officers, a clown, a playing card, and even a cow – brought much needed relief to the residents who were seemingly reliving formative experiences of these Jewish customs. Izzy Root, as has become tradition, brought along another 100 mishloach manos prepared by Queens and 5 Towns volunteer. For upwards of an hour, BZ and his fellow LCM peers excitedly danced in joyful circles amongst the residents successfully bringing forth the essence of the chag in a frelich and respectable fashion.
Ricardo Rosa Sola, Director of Recreation, spends considerable time orchestrating appropriate activities that best engage the recovering residents and this Purim was no different. Rabbi Zavel Pearlman the fulltime rabbi at Tietz, has a visual presence at Tietz with his daily rounds. The residents and family members feel comforted that they can always reach out to the rabbi with a myriad of religious life needs that arise. The rabbi worked with the dietary staff to plan the special and very delicious menu for the lavish seudah offering authentic Jewish cuisine like sautéed liver, stuffed cabbage, and salmon.
A beautiful megillah reading, necessary for the senior population, was the most apropos Purim accompaniment to set the tone for the Purim celebration. On Sunday prior to Purim, a group of energetic high school girls from Shevach visited the facility bringing beautiful mishloach manos for the residents.
“Margaret Tietz extends a tremendous thank you to all those that made this Purim so special for the residents and families,” said Mrs. Spiegel who brought along her husband Ted for the event. “We are fortunate to have such special friends in the community that give so much of themselves to others and make life joyous for those in our care. We treasure these very special relationships.”