Archive for “Life Enrichment” Categories

Putting on the Schnitz

Hyman Freedman playing the fiddle.

Hyman Freedman playing the fiddle.

Tonight residents of the Rose Schnitzer Manor will be putting on a variety show, “Putting on the Schnitz.” There will be 6 performers dressed in Red White and Blue to kick off the holiday celebration. These individuals are part of an ongoing troop that puts on a couple of shows annually.

The show will consist of short stories, poetry, singing and a fiddle performance. The sonnets and poems are originals, and the musical pieces will include a couple of songs from the Carpenters. Each entertainer had to try out and participate in weekly rehearsals. Elizabeth Moore, Life Enrichment Director, “loves that our community has people who are so vivacious and creative that we as the Life Enrichment professionals only help to support their ideas come to fruition. ”

Hyman Freedman, our prized fiddle player will play three songs. He began learning to play the fiddle when he retired in 1982. He enjoys having the opportunity to perform,

It is going to be a wonderful event. We hope you can join us at 6:45 tonight in the Zidell Hall!

Staff sharing their talent and cheer!

Staff sharing their talent and cheer!

Thank you PSU interns!

graduationLast week we said goodbye to our wonderful Portland State interns. This year we had three people join us from the master’s in social work program to learn about what social workers do in a nursing facility. They provided hands on assistance We have been working with interns for many years and are known to be one of the best placements. This could be due to the fact that people can tell that we put our residents first by deeply caring about them.

Elizabeth, who graduated this past week with a certificate in gerontology, valued her experience with Cedar Sinai Park. Elizabeth declared that she “learned a lot including new medical terminology, systems, and applying the skills I’ve learned throughout my program. I feel more confident about looking for a job in the field and being prepared.” Portland State is the only accredited social work program in Oregon and is highly competitive. We are honored to be able to provide Mentorship to the students who will be doing important work in our community.

One Elizabeth’s last day, she lead a “timeslips” activity for our Robison Jewish Health Center residents. It is a creative process that encourages individuals to unleash their imagination. The room was filled with laughter as our elders took their turn telling their story. A fun image of a woman jumping in the air on a beach was passed around and each participant shared their interpretations. Our residents are creative!

We are grateful to our interns for all of their contributions. We look forward to having more friendly faces around next fall. Congratulations to everyone who graduated from all levels of education this last week!



Keeping Up With The News


Sharon & Priscilla laughing about their memories of drive in movies.

Sharon & Priscilla laughing about their memories of drive in movies.


Every morning at Cedar Sinai Park’s Adult Day Services program a review of the news occurs. A discussion of the big new stories as well as what has happened in the past on this date, kicks off the day. Daily the staff will introduce themselves, remind people of the date, and provide the weekly weather forecast.

This routine is comforting to the participants as they know that it will happen each time they come in. As many people have read newspapers their entire lives, it is an opportunity to continue their habits. Nancy Heckler, Program Coordinator, mentions that the news hour stimulates memories that encourages reminiscing and thoughts about current events that leads to great conversations.

Recently, the Adult Day Services has utilized technology to make this daily activity more interactive. They have an IPad that syncs up to a television that shows images to the entire group at once. This device enables the staff to find on-demand information about facts, songs or images to share in quickly. Often, these ques help the participants remember stories of their past.

Last week, we talked about Portland’s Junior Rose Parade and saw images of the Portland youth who were dressed in costumes and participating in marching bands. We then discussed the history of drive in movies, the first opened in 1933. Images of movie posters, tickets, and old cars filled the screen. A lively conversation about drive in movies brought to light the love of popcorn and the chance to neck.

The news hour wrapped up with opening the floor to the participants to share stories that they had heard or read recently and a snack of cookies and juice. What a great daily tradition!

Roger is enjoying the news about current events

Roger is enjoying the news about current events

Sing A Familiar Song

PJA-4th-GradersYesterday afternoon at Robison Jewish Health Center, music filled the air. We were fortunate to have the fourth graders from Portland Jewish Academy visit us with Ukuleles in hand. Residents congregated in the living room to hear the youth perform songs that they have been working on since February. We heard “You are My Sunshine,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Bicycle Built for Two.”

One of the elder’s was so impressed that she cheered, “Whoa they are good! They should sing it two or three times.” The joy of our cherished citizens was visible in their eyes, dancing, and desire to sing-a-long. One could tell by the volume that “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” was a favorite of the participants and kids alike.

Kim Palumbus, PJA’s music instructor extraordinaire, reflected on the importance of inter-generational programing. She led many discussions with the young-ins about who lives here,the importance of doing a mitzvah, and the gifts they are providing and receiving by performing at Cedar Sinai Park. The children were encouraged to talk with the residents. Kim emphasized, “when talking with the elders, you look into their eyes and remember they were your age once and have had many experiences that you can learn from.” One of the young boys asked “what it was like to be in a war?” A couple of residents informed them about their time serving our country and where their travels took them. Another child asked, “What did you do growing up?” and heard about sewing dresses from scratch and saving money to buy a new pair of shoes.

Cookies, conversation and music was enjoyed by all. We look forward to when Portland Jewish Academy visits again!


A Sweet Challahbration!

Joe - reworkedFor the last Shabbat of May, the residents had the opportunity to Challabrate! At Robinson Jewish Health Center, we spent the afternoon making Challah.

The participants joined Life Enrichment Director, Jennifer Felberg, for a lively baking session. As the dough was being passed out, everyone joined together to sing “Do Re Mi,” a familiar tune from the musical, Sound of Music.

We proceeded by kneading the dough and rolling them into “snake” shapes. As this occurred, individual’s began to share their family traditions about bread making.  One participant recalled joining her two sisters in the kitchen every Friday afternoon, while another confessed it was one of her least favorite activities growing up.

A lively discussion took place regarding whether raisins, chocolate chips, or sesame seeds are the best addition to this fluffy bread. Some of us made the traditional braided bread while others showed their creativity by assembling unique shapes. Jennifer shared her family’s tradition of dipping the bread in honey every Friday night in appreciation of a sweet week.

The smell of the cinnamon sugar covered fresh bread filled the room with excitement for the warm weekend ahead. It was a very fun Challabratation!

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon held a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participated in great numbers. Winners were announced publicly on February 28; 50 top-rated pieces were also be published in Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.

The following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

Here’s the eighth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch

Some people swore that the house was haunted. I agreed. The one time I had the courage to go in proved that images, smells, and sounds from unknown sources existed. The house was built in 1850, a beautiful four story Victorian mansion. It had all kinds of decorative work on the roof. It was painted white, with lilac colored trim on the windows and doors. We lived on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky and I passed that lovely old relic on my way to school each day. Jimmy double dared me to go in. You can’t refuse a double dare. As soon as I opened the front door, I turned back and saw Jimmy running away. Well I wasn’t scared, not much. As I entered the foyer, the door shut behind me. Oh well, maybe it was the wind. It’s funny but I smelled lilacs and it wasn’t even May. Why did the owners leave all the furniture? There was a big ancient clock leaning up against the wall. It was still ticking. How come? Who was winding it? I heard a clatter of dishes in the kitchen. Well, I got this far, I might as well go on. The huge old kitchen had an adjourning butler’s pantry. The kitchen table was set with pretty dishes and a silver coffee pot. There was no one in sight. Who set this up? I touched the silverware and got a shock as if there was electricity emanating from the spoons. Ok. Don’t touch. I went into the parlor, because that’s what they used to call it, way back when. The staircase was curved and the banister was made of oak with onyx knobs. I climbed slowly upwards with great trepidation. I had to, as I was double dared and I was brave and curious. The first door I opened showed a huge mahogany four poster bed. There were indentations on the pillow, as if someone was just laying there. Again the odor of flowers and suddenly the rocking chair in the corner started to rock back and forth and creak. I wanted to run, but now I couldn’t move and I got very cold as a breeze was blowing into the room. Then the humming began, a baby’s lullaby. A sweet voice was singing Rockabye Baby. It was the song my granny sang to me a long time ago. Suddenly I felt calm and tranquil as I knew no harm could come to me from this voice. Suddenly my legs were taking me down the hallway and I opened another door. There was a woman dressed in a great shawl covering her hoop skirt standing at the window. She turned and smiled at me. I wasn’t afraid. She seemed to be so nice. Then she vanished. The smell of lilacs was so strong. I have always loved lilacs. I guess she did too. Slowly I went back down the steps and each creaked as I stepped on it. But it was ok. Nothing to fear. Nothing to be scared of. Nothing was the same anymore.
The end.