Faith In Brooklyn for April 17
Brooklyn Celebrates Israel Independence Day
Get set for Brooklyn’s weeklong celebration of Israel Independence Day, as synagogues around the borough host special events. #IsraelBKLYN67 runs from Sunday, April 19 through Sunday, April 26.
The Park Slope Jewish Center (1320 Eighth Ave.) hosts Yom Israel, a festival for children and families, on April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will travel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, from the Negev and the Dead Sea to the Galil — without leaving Brooklyn! Enjoy Israeli dancing, food, art, “Play Me a Story,” the music of Timbalooloo and much more! (The Park Slope Jewish Center notes that this activity is not sponsored or endorsed by the Department of Education, or by the City of New York.)
Congregation Beth Elohim (274 Garfield Place in Park Slope) holds a Yom HaZikaron ceremony, a memorial service commemorating those who lost their lives in service to the State of Israel. This service takes place on Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m.
The Kane Street Synagogue hosts the program “Celebrating Israel, its Founding and its Vision” on Wednesday, April 22.
Professor Ruth Gavison will speak on “A Vision of the State of Israel: Then and Now.” The evening includes local community luminaries presenting “In 67 Words,” their reflections on Megillat Yom HaAtzma’ut, the founding document of the State of Israel. The evening will conclude with music by Milk and Honeys and cocktails.
This free program begins at 7 p.m. RSVP is necessary, via email, to [email protected]. The synagogue is at 236 Kane St. in Cobble Hill.
Special guest Matisyahu joins the closing event, Hadag Nahash, on Sunday, April 26. Congregation Beth Elohim (274 Garfield Place) hosts this 7 p.m. concert. Tickets are available via the website http://israelbklyn67.splashthat.com and range from $28 to $180.
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Jewish Service Agency Provides Meals to 3,000 Homebound Seniors
Many senior citizens in the Brooklyn area are confronted with a daily challenge that most adults do not think twice about — how will I get my next meal?
The Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) ensures that these vulnerable, frail and homebound seniors are able to stay in their own homes and communities without having to worry about how they will get their next meal.
Founded in 1968, JASA is one of New York’s largest and most trusted agencies, serving more than 43,000 older adults in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Long Island. JASA’s mission is to sustain and enrich the lives of the aging in the New York metropolitan area so that they can remain in the community with dignity and autonomy.
“We provide meals to seniors who are not able to grocery shop or cook for themselves,” said Alla Pliss, Brooklyn district director at JASA. “The individuals we serve have all different reasons for needing meals delivered to them — some are homebound, some are recovering from an illness, some are too weak to cook for themselves. Whatever the reason, we do everything possible to ensure that no senior goes hungry when they can’t leave their home.”
Proper nutrition is particularly important for seniors, as the elderly population faces an increased risk for malnutrition compared with other adults. JASA is committed to mitigating and overcoming persistent hunger and malnutrition among seniors that, if left unaddressed, can lead to multiple chronic diseases that result in expensive hospitalizations and nursing home or other long-term care placements.
JASA’s case management program assesses and evaluates all potential clients to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. In addition to the nutritional benefits, JASA’s food deliverers serve as important social contacts for older adults, who are often otherwise isolated from the world outside their homes. Food deliverers are frequently the first responders to a senior in danger and carry cell phones to quickly report emergencies.
“We want seniors and their families to know this service exists,” said Pliss. “JASA is here to help – just give us a call.”
Readers needing meal services for themselves or loved ones can call 212-273-5272, email [email protected], or visit www.jasa.org for more information.
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Milestones in Faith
Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Ninety-nine years ago, on April 16, 1916, the cornerstone was laid for the present church building of Saints Constantine & Helen Cathedral. The cathedral, on Schermerhorn Street, just east of Court Street, marked its centennial on May 21, 2013.
From the time of the congregation’s founding in 1913 for Greek immigrants, members had joined their resources, collecting donations from all parts of the United States, ranging from a few pennies to $100. They then acquired the Schermerhorn Street property on which the present church sits.
Then, in 1922, as Brooklyn’s Greek population grew, the expanding Saint Constantine community purchased a building on State Street. This building was used to provide an afternoon school for its youth and a community center for its many functions.
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