A year unlike any other

We have all experienced a year unlike any other.

Every plan, desire or opportunity literally went out the door on the 27 March 2020 when we went into lockdown for, what we thought was three weeks. Who would have thought that 47 weeks later (more or less 329 days) many of us would still be indoors, isolated and not knowing when the curfew and lockdown will end!

As an organisation working with the senior members of our community, we really felt the pressure. All our members really enjoy visiting each of our centres, the daily programmes we provide, the interaction with the members, the special outings and social suppers which came to a standstill.

Without missing a heartbeat, the CJSA team met via Zoom to plan our way forward. At that stage we thought that the arrangements would be for a couple of weeks, but how wrong we were.

The shift from physical contact to virtual contact with members for activities, counselling and intervention began immediately. WhatsApp, emails and telecommunication is the usual manner of interaction and Zoom has been the platform we have used the most to maintain psychosocial support for our members.

The majority of our members had never been on Zoom, WhatsApp was not extensively used so we had to get in gear and begin to educate and assist members in becoming more tech savvy and opening a new world to all. We were so pleased with the responses we received and the fact that the majority of our members grabbed the opportunity with open arms and embraced the new tools of interaction. The Pandemic, loneliness and isolation has brought in new members as the various Zoom programmes we offer has allowed people to interact and not feel so isolated.

Going onto Zoom enabled us to surf the web and offer a unique service; choosing programmes from around the world of interest to our members which we regularly show to the members. Members are offered Ageless Grace exercises twice a week, the bi-weekly quiz sessions are looked forward to, weekly pop in sessions with an interesting speakers have a great following. Weekly Yiddish with both beginner and intermediate participants from all over South Africa and the highlight of the month being the concert organised by Cantor Ivor Joffe with a host of superb artists who entertain our members.

Social workers meet with their own members weekly to meet and greet, chat, and generally catch up. This is appreciated and the groups grow weekly. Social workers have had to be more accessible — boundaries are stretched and have been difficult and often office hours are not adhered to, nevertheless we are all adjusting.

We have also introduced a weekly Shabbat Meal in conjunction with Berkies and Merle and members from as far afield as Tableview and Muizenberg and every suburb within have incredible volunteers who drop off the meals in time for Shabbat. To date we have served over 4500 three course meals to our isolated and house bound members. Those who are able to afford to pay for this service have done so, but no one is turned away. Thanks to generous donors, we have received sponsorship for the meals which are delivered at no charge. Donations for these meals, will always be gratefully received.

Members have shown appreciation for the services offered to them during this time and the realisation that CJSA is a valuable organisation has fast set in the minds of many as an essential service and not a nice to have organisation.

We warmly welcome social worker, Rebecca Yoko to our CJSA Team. She is working with our Sea Point members and is already proving to be making a difference as she is getting to know members via Zoom and when she delivers Shabbat meals. Rebecca is also working very hard to encourage more of our members to join the zoom sessions and her patience and perseverance is paying off.

We do not know how long we will be continuing to work in this lockdown way, but assure everyone that the service we provide will be in the best interests of every member. Hopefully we will be able to open our doors in the near future.

Wishing everyone Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach. Stay Safe and healthy wherever and however you observe this Festival.

Diana Sochen, Director

Please note that the CJSA Wine is available and Kosher for Pesach at a donation of R80 per bottle. Please Support this fundraising initiative !!

Social and Personal
Even during the lockdown period, there have been numerous occasions of celebrations.

We welcome new members
Kathy Eberlein, Herschel Ginsberg, Darryl and Marilyn Krook, Selwyn and Marilyn Levin, Gary Manta, Karen Miller, Rodney Roberts, Arnold and Lily Roth, Phillipa Wener and Tessa Zieve

Mazaltov to the families celebrating births
Ruth Katzenberg — great granddaughter
Esther Maisel — granddaughter
Connie and Balfour Valkin — granddaughter

Mazaltov to families celebrating Bar Mitzvahs
Henny Bernstein — great grandson
Edmund and Gillian Cress — grandson
Debbie and Harry Epstein — twin grandsons
Brian and Gail Kirsch — grandson
Ada Newman — great grandson

Mazeltov to those who got engaged
Hannah Abramsohn — granddaughter

Our sincere condolences to members and families of members who have recently passed away:
Marcelle Almelah and family on the passing of her husband, Solly
Glicky Bloom and Phoebe Chernotsky on the passing of their brother
Barry Berkowitz on the passing of his brother
Sheila Burland on the passing of her husband, Bugs
Debbie Cohen and family on the passing of her husband, Ian
Judy Dadon on the passing of her mom, Truda Goldman
Issy Goldman on the passing of his wife, Truda Goldman
Barbara Kahn on the passing of her sister-in-law, Truda Goldman
Eve Joffe on the passing of her brother, Michael Lang
Rhona Handler on the passing of her sister, Molly Sandler
Susan Jacobson on the passing of her mom, Tania
Rebbetzin Maizels on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Maizels
Averil Myers on the passing of her brother, Ivan Katz
Samson Family on the passing of Eric Samson
Rica Schlosberg on the passing of her husband, Benny
Audrey Shantal on the passing of her brother-in-law

Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691, director@cjsa.org.za
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691, admin@cjsa.org.za
CJSA on Facebook

PROFESSIONAL STAFF:
Sea Point: 021 434 9691
Milnerton: Hajiera Safidien–Maloon 021 555 1736
S/Suburbs: Monique Nieuwenhuys 021 761 7960
W/Coast: Stacey Melmed 074 405 5186

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