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Leadership In Community Service

Below are outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations that are deserving of recognition and deemed as valuable community resources.

Pride of Judea Community Services: Rechel Schoenfled, LMSW, JBFCS Queens regional coordinator for Partners in caring

RB: I was first introduced to you through a member of L’Orech Yomim’s Advisory Board to assist in a particular case referral. Can you describe the problem and what you were able to do for the family?

I received a call after a tragic incident (in Queens) involving an elderly gentleman who was in a car accident, and his wife sadly, was killed. The husband was beside himself. The children, aside from mourning the tragic loss of their mother were very concerned for their father who appeared to be very depressed and becoming increasingly so. The community liaison from LOY called me seeking resources for this family. After speaking with you and then speaking with the son and doing a phone assessment it was clear that Pride of Judea had services which could support  the  bereaved father, who had been withdrawn, shown decreased appetite, lack of motivation and loss of interest in things. Because of the direct connection between LOY and Pride I was able to monitor the referral and ensure that it was a smooth process from intake onward.

RB: I had followed up with the family, and they were very much relieved to have the support of Pride of Judea. If I may ask, on a personal level, how  did you get involved in this field?

I went into social work to serve the community. We have a responsibility to help others and I enjoy doing so whether through direct intervention or in linking people with the resources which could help them. Kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh. I started out working at The New Homestead, an assisted  living  facility in Queens. Ultimately, I became the director of social work there and was very involved in marketing and admissions as well. It was an incredible experience! I loved working with the seniors and felt it was a very precious responsibility to care for people’s loved ones. I became very close with many of the residents and collaborated with the activities director to create a dementia unit. Many years later, I’m very gratified working for JBFCS and being able to service a broad population of the Jewish community in a wide variety of ways.

RB: What is the scope of elder care service available at the Pride of Judea Counseling Center?

Under the aegis of JBFCS, we offer counseling services for all ages. Our hours here are Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday 9-5. We are staffed by social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists and are sensitive to the special needs of the Orthodox Jewish community. The lead psychiatrist is Sabbath Observant.

Pride of Judea is located at 24302 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston, NY 11362, and is accessible by mass transportation and by car. Our phone number is (718) 423-6200. Intake is extension 230, and my extension is 233. We are very attentive to maintaining the confidentiality of our clients.

 JCC of Coney Island Senior Center: Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Executive Director

The  Jewish   Community  Council of Greater Coney Island, under the leadership of Rabbi Wiener, was recently given recognition for its outstanding community service and ability to develop an innovative senior center, only one of two to receive such an award in the borough of Brooklyn. This award required support from Congressmen, Senators, the Mayor’s Office, the Commissioner of the Department for the  Aging,  the  Borough  President, and a host of additional community leaders. This honor was bestowed based on the Center’s prior performance and confidence level regarding its competency to deliver a new core set of services for older New Yorkers. It will also serve as an active partner with the Mayor’s plan for the revitalization of Coney Island.

Renamed the Coney Island Seaside Innovative Senior Center (ISC), it promises to “go well beyond the boundaries of providing traditional services to our borough’s Baby Boomers, young seniors, as well as our ‘super’ seniors,” states Marty Markowitz, Borough President.

On the operational side, the program is being administered by Ms. Grace Brandi, JCCGI’s Supervising Senior Center Director. She was instrumental in developing the structure and outreach efforts to assure a successful project. It includes breakfast, lunch, transportation and a menu of innovative programming, such as use of fitness equipment and the swimming pool at a local gym.

For  additional  information,  feel  free to contact Ms. Brandi directly  on  her cell, (917) 250-6147, or call the general JCCGI office at (718) 449-5000, and ask for Rabbi Wiener’s office.

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