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JCHC Honors National Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, January 27, 2021, we remember all 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the 11 million additional innocent victims of the Nazi regime. We are also commemorating the brave stories of Holocaust survivors. During the Holocaust, small acts of courage were a matter of life and death. The strength to stand up for what was right when all felt hopeless is the legacy of the survivors. Now more than ever, the Jewish Community Housing Corporation feels it is our responsibility to keep these stories of survival alive, especially for our residents who were survivors themselves. Here are some of the ways in which we will commemorate this day.

Survival Stories from JCHC Residents

January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The United Nations designated this day to honor the memory of Europe’s Jews and others who were targeted by the Nazi regime. As this day means so much to our organization, we only felt it was right to capture the real-life experiences of residents who lived through the Holocaust. Their powerful stories of strength and courage deserve to be heard and remembered for years to come. To watch the emotional interviews, follow our Facebook pages as we will be posting their recollections throughout the day.

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#WeRemember: International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021 Virtual Ceremony 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with two digital events. While the museum is closed due to COVID-19, this day cannot be postponed. #WeRemember at 9:30 am will begin with Susan Eisenhower, discussing her grandfather, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his prediction that people would one day deny that the Holocaust took place.

Following this, the Museum’s annual commemoration at 1pm will feature Holocaust survivors and leaders, who will explain how important it is to preserve the lessons and truth of the Holocaust. Since the museum’s opening in 1993, they have showcased the true recollections of Holocaust survivors every year. Their stories continue to remind us to confront hatred head-on and defend the truth today, and every day. 

To watch the virtual ceremony in full, please visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWQC3P4psZP763jsXRI-DfX0ppJ5M-pdU

How You Can Get Involved 

“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.” – L. Frank Baum. It’s as simple as sharing the stories with others, while also learning about what really happened during the Holocaust. History can repeat itself, if we do not remember or learn from it. One easy way to get involved is to repost the interviews from our senior living residents on social media. When reposting, make sure to use the hashtags: #WeRemember and #HolocaustRemembranceDay to keep the stories alive and circulating throughout the world. You just never know whose life you could change with the power of information.

To learn more about the core values of our senior living communities in Morris and Essex County, NJ, please visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/

Music is Good for the Soul—and Health—at Any Age

As babies, we fell asleep to lullabies. As young children, many of us enjoyed banging on drums and participating in singalongs. When we got older, we danced to popular tunes and turned up the volume in the car radio when a favorite song came on. During one’s retirement years, there are many reasons to continue enjoying music.

From piano concerts to drum circles, listening to and participating in musical activities have been shown to be quite beneficial to older adults. Music helps relieve stress and may sharpen cognition. It’s a big factor in the success of the Music & Memory® program (which we have implemented in the Memory Care Suite at Lester Senior Living). The American Music Therapy Association cites studies pointing to music activities providing comfort and relief to seniors with dementia.

Listening to music affects our moods, triggers memories, and gets us talking to each other. It has also been shown to reduce pain and recovery time from injury, increase relaxation and lower heart rate, and allow for a better night’s sleep. Music provides motivation when exercising, and dancing to music is great for increasing mobility. Taking music lessons at an older age also helps keep minds sharper as well (as does a great game of “Name that Tune”).

There is research that supports music’s positive effect on mental and physical health, and its value to older people in particular. How many of us can relate to that feeling of well-being as we hum along to a beautiful tune, or that relaxed feeling when we hear a ballad?

At the JCHC, our communities offer residents many ways to enjoy the joys of music, including:

  • Seminars on jazz greats and classical music
  • Live performances by musicians and singers
  • Musical holiday celebrations
  • Presentations on famous composers and different music genres
  • Drum circles, Kids’ Cookies n’ Concerts performances by area students, and dances

The JCHC has also hosted symphony concerts with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra that were absolute delights for all who attended.

All of these programs, which are often interactive, are always well attended. They are living proof that music is uplifting for everyone in the room—at any age.