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What is Purim and How is it Celebrated?

While many Jewish holidays have pretty serious religious underpinnings, Purim, coming up on February 25th, is one of the most joyous and fun of the Jewish holidays. It’s a little bit of Mardi Gras, Passover, and Halloween all rolled into one. Traditions of this holiday include giving care packages to those in need and baking delicious Jewish staples. But how did these traditions emerge? What exactly is Purim? 

The Origin of Purim

The story of Purim commemorates the events that took place in the Bible: Book of Esther. The protagonists of the story are Esther and her cousin Mordecai who raised her as if she was his own daughter. Esther was a young and beautiful Jewish woman living in Persia. She was taken to the King of Persia, Ahasuerus, who immediately took a liking to her. So much so, that he made Esther queen. However, the king did not know an important part of Esther’s identity. She hid her Judaism from him per her cousin Mordecai’s advice. 

The antagonist, or villain, of the story is Haman. He’s the smug and self-absorbed advisor to King Ahasuerus. Haman decided he wanted to destroy all Jewish people just because Mordecai wouldn’t bow down to him. He told the king, “There are certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other person’s, and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore, it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” Esther 3:8. Since he was the king’s trusted advisor, Ahasuerus decided Haman could move forward with whatever plot he had in mind. When Mordecai found out about Haman’s evil plans, he persuaded Esther to speak to the king in order to save the Jewish people. To prepare herself for an unpredictable outcome from the king, Esther fasted for three days before going to speak to him. 

Luckily, the king welcomed Esther with open arms and she decided it was the right time to reveal her true identity. Later, she told him of Haman’s evil plan against her people. Because of Esther’s bravery, the Jewish people were saved.

Celebrating Purim at Lester Senior Living

Purim is preceded by a minor fast, the Fast of Esther, which commemorates Esther’s three days of fasting in preparation for meeting with the king. The primary commandment related to Purim is to hear the reading of the book of Esther, which we read to our residents every year. While listening to this reading, it is custom to boo, hiss, stamp one’s feet and rattle noisemakers whenever Haman’s name is mentioned in the service. After all, he is the bad guy.

But arguably the most fun way to commemorate this holiday is to eat, drink and be happy! If you are looking for a sweet treat to make for Purim, check out our signature recipe for Hamantaschen cookies: https://jchcorp.org/how-to-make-delicious-hamantaschen-cookies-before-purim/. These delicious triangular fruit-filled cookies are supposed to represent Haman’s three-cornered hat. In addition, Jewish people are commanded to share these treats with others or make donations to charity, also known as shalach manos (lit. sending out portions). 

If you’d like to know more about how we are celebrating Purim at Lester Senior Living, or have any other questions regarding our senior care services, please contact us today. We’d love to hear from you. 

National Assisted Living Week: Assisted Living with Creative Flair

National Assisted Living Week (NALW) takes place every September and at Lester Senior Living, our residents embrace it with great enthusiasm. We celebrated every day in our Weston Assisted Living Residence from Sunday, September 8 through Friday, September 13.

Thanks to our community life coordinator, Keisha McDonald, the week is always filled with great programs aligned with the year’s theme. This year, it was “Spark of Creativity” and featured daily ways in which our residents could express their creativity. All programs were open to everyone throughout the community with one exception: a special all-white dinner party for our Weston residents.

The week kicked off with Movies & Mimosas and a screening of the film, “Woman in Gold.” On Monday, the Heller multi-purpose room became an art studio for those who like to paint, and we enjoyed musical entertainment by David Elgart. Continuing the art theme on Tuesday, residents attended an art lecture titled, “Impressionists: The Rebels of Their Time.”

That evening was the “Diner en Blanc,” an all-white dinner party for seniors in our Weston Assisted Living Residence, which was just beautiful. The Weston dining room was decorated with white ostrich feather centerpieces, white balloons, and crisp white table linens. Residents wore all white, sipped on sauvignon blanc wine, and feasted on an elegant meal. Everyone was in good spirits, buoyed by live entertainment by Frank Musumici. It was a great evening!

Our seniors were on a creative roll for the remainder of the week with an improvisation acting class, a decoupage class, a trip to the Morris Museum, and “We’ve Got Talent,” the Lester talent show. This multi-faceted event showcased the many talented residents who call Lester Senior Living their home and it was so much fun. The broad range of talent in our community is really something to behold. The talent included:

  • Songs performed by members of the JCHC Resident Choir as well as some soloists
  • Artwork on display
  • A dance routine
  • Comedy acts
  • Poetry readings

Our talented lineup included David Rozen, admissions and marketing manager at Lester Senior Living, who played guitar and sang “Sunrise, Sunset” to everyone’s delight, and musical entertainment by Mitchell Goldberg, JCHC’s Regional Director of Dining Services. You can see pictures from NALW and other programs our residents enjoy on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/LesterSeniorLiving.

These activities and many others on our monthly calendar are among the ways we support healthy minds and bodies, cater to a diverse range of interests, and promote an active lifestyle at Lester. We invite anyone who is interested in learning more to contact David Rozen at davidr@richardc95.sg-host.com or 973-929-2725 to arrange a tour-or reserve a spot at our next open house on Wednesday, October 23 (3:00 to 5:00 p.m.) and discover what the Lester lifestyle is all about.

When it’s Time for a Change—and Assisted Living

Many older adults wish to maintain their independence for as long as possible, remaining in their home. However, as we age, this often becomes potentially dangerous for many seniors without taking certain precautions or without help (as well as increasingly challenging).

For older adults who need help in the house, companion services or home health aides can offer some needed assistance such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, errands, bathing, and dressing. However, as helpful as these services are, they don’t provide the 360-degree supportive, active lifestyle that an assisted living community offers. Plus, staying in one’s home may necessitate making changes to the environment for safety and security—adjustments that are already part of an assisted living residence, alleviating any concerns.

It’s understandable that emotions or fear may drive the decision to stay in the home. However, given the freedom from worry and concern that assisted living provides, staying put may not be in the person’s best interests.

Assisted living opens doors to a refreshing new lifestyle with the support needed to maintain a healthy level of independence . . . and the freedom from the chores and responsibilities of keeping up a home.

At Weston Assisted Living Residence at Lester Senior Living, you’ll find an assisted living community that offers a social circle of peers, a range of programs and events to choose from, and just the right amount of daily support that help our residents get up and go—whether that’s help getting dressed in the morning, bathing at night, or making sure that medication is taken on time. And, your loved ones are assured of always being in a safe, secure environment that caters to their needs.

Imagine enjoying meals with new neighbors, exploring new hobbies or interests, or learning something in a class or on an outing; it’s all right here for the taking. Assisted living brings a new lease on life that also eases the family’s worries about their loved ones’ welfare and well-being on a daily basis, knowing that there is a wellness team on staff, aides to help with tasks of daily living, meals in a beautiful dining room with others, and plenty to do as desired—all under one roof. Residents and their family members will be confident in the knowledge that they are surrounded 360 degrees by safety, security, and comfort.

For a tour or more information, contact David Rozen, admissions and marketing manager: DavidR@richardc95.sg-host.com or (973) 929-2725.

When it’s Time for a Change—and Assisted Living

Many older adults wish to maintain their independence for as long as possible, remaining in their home. However, as we age, this often becomes potentially dangerous for many seniors without taking certain precautions or without help (as well as increasingly challenging).

For older adults who need help in the house, companion services or home health aides can perform housekeeping, cook meals, shop for groceries or other essentials, take the person to appointments, and much more. However, as helpful as these services are, they don’t provide the 360-degree supportive, active lifestyle that an assisted living community offers. Plus, staying in one’s home may necessitate making changes to the environment for safety and security—adjustments that are already part of an assisted living residence, alleviating any concerns.

It’s understandable that emotions or fear may drive the decision to stay in the home. However, given the freedom from worry and concern that assisted living provides, staying put may not be in the person’s best interests.

Once you do your research (and can make a decision based on information) you’ll find that assisted living opens doors to a refreshing new lifestyle. with the support needed to maintain a healthy level of independence. Life is not over but rather, is renewed—free from the chores and responsibilities of keeping up a home.

At Weston Assisted Living Residence, you’ll find an assisted living community that offers a social circle of peers, a range of programs and events to choose from, and just the right amount of daily support that help our residents get up and go—whether that’s help getting dressed in the morning, bathing at night, or making sure that medication is taken on time.

Imagine enjoying meals with new neighbors, exploring new hobbies or interests, or learning something in a class or on an outing; it’s all right here for the taking. Assisted living brings a new lease on life that also eases the family’s worries about their loved ones’ welfare and well-being on a daily basis, knowing that there is a wellness team on staff, aides to help with tasks of daily living, meals in a beautiful dining room with others, and plenty to do as desired—all under one roof. Family members and their loved ones will be confident in the knowledge that they are surrounded 360 degrees by safety, security, and comfort.

For a tour or more information, contact David Rozen, admissions and marketing manager: DavidR@richardc95.sg-host.com or (973) 929-2725.