Archive for “Teaching & Learning” Categories

Checkmate! Adult Day Services Chess Club

Twice a week participants at Cedar Sinai Park’s chess club meets for an afternoon of gaming. Playing chess encourages focus, concentration and mental strategy retrieval. Daniel, an activities assistant says that, “the group members ask me everyday if they can play and that they clearly enjoy themselves.” Daniel’s chess game has improved tremendously with the help of the participants explaining their secret strategies.

The players often help each other and discuss their options out-loud. The tournament style chess boards are world recognized with high contrasted colors. Many of the players learned to play before or during their participation in the war and have found memories of their competitors. The club is open to anyone interested in stopping by the Adult Day Services on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoons at 1pm.2013-07-18 13.24.32 2013-07-18 13.37.54






Welcome Rabbi Abby Cohen!

IMG_5595  Cedar Sinai Park is thrilled to have Rabbi Abby Cohen join our team. She proclaimed that “this is my dream job in my dream city!” Rabbi Abby heard of the opportunity from a knitting colleague and looks forward to doing crafts with our residents.

Rabbi Abby grew up in New Jersey, studied art and music at Bennington College and attended Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theology Seminary of America in New York City. Prior to moving to Portland, she completed Chaplaincy training in Berkeley California. Her experience e doing hospice work and serving in a hospital will be a great asset to our mission.

She is passionate and committed to social justice. Abby mentioned that our society is stratified by age and is primarily a youth culture while noting that age and health is fluid. She is excited to work with this population by providing a listening ear and sharing what she has learned. Cedar Sinai Park is honored to have Rabbi Abby Cohen as Director of Spiritual Life!

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!

Third Time the Charm for the ESL Class

2013 ESL GraduationAs we informed you back in October 2012, Carolyn Caldwell has been teaching an English-as-a-Second-Language class for Cedar Sinai Park employees. On Tuesday, April 30, the third ‘term’ graduation ceremony took place at Rose Schnitzer Manor’s May Living Room. The class comprised 9 students from 5 countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Ukraine.

The program brochure summed up the class thusly: “We come from all over the world to meet in a small room on the 3rd floor at Rose Schnitzer Manor. There we all learn from each other. The students are also the teachers. We laugh and cry. We embrace our differences and discover our similarities we are thankful!”

That gratitude, in large part for the opportunity to deepen their experience with the English language, beamed from the stories the graduates shared with the audience. They spoke about where they came from, how they got to the U.S., and what they do here. The last to speak, Benito Lopez, who teaches Spanish to the residents at Robison Jewish Health Center, conquered the room with a recording of his homeland Guatemala’s national anthem and the display of its flag (see photo).

The class wishes to thank the Culinary Department for the celebratory spread, the administration and management of Cedar Sinai Park for their support, class instructor Carolyn Caldwell for her loving dedication and commitment to the growth of the group, resident Arnie Silver for his ongoing support, and class assistant Elizabeth Moore for her knowledge, time, and kind support of the program.