Message from Adam Berman, President of JGS Lifecare

January 11, 2022

Dear Residents and Families,

Over the past month we have seen infection rates rapidly rise across the state. The speed of transmission and total number of cases bring back memories of the dark days of March and April of 2020. But this is not then. Owing largely to vaccines and boosters, infections are generally milder. Concerns around PPE, testing capacity, and general knowledge of the disease, things that occupied so much of our mental energy at the beginning of the pandemic, are non-factors. The only real parallel is with challenges related to staff being out due to infection, but even here we are better positioned than we were 22 months ago. In all areas we are much better prepared for this wave.

The next several weeks are going to be incredibly challenging, but in a month or two, things could be looking very different. Together, we’re going to get through this surge and find ourselves on the other end well positioned to do great things in 2022!


Adam Berman
President & CEO
JGS Lifecare


Soup’s On: Celebrating National Soup Month at JGS Lifecare

January 13, 2022

January is designated as National Soup Month, and appropriately so. After all, what is more soothing than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day? At JGS Lifecare, residents and staff alike look forward to the mouth-watering soups prepared daily by Sharon Ritchie and her staff. Sharon, who is the Food Service Director at JGS Lifecare, believes soups are somewhat magical. “Soup warms a person’s body and soul,” explains Ritchie. “There is really nothing like freshly prepared, homemade soup.”

Undoubtedly, the hands-down favorite soup among residents is the delicious Matzo Ball Soup. There are many variations, and recipes are often handed down in families one from one generation to the next. For Sharon, the secret to the perfect chicken soup are the homemade matzah balls. “We never use a pre-produced product, always making our own matzah balls from scratch,” noted Sharon. “They are light, fluffy and very flavorful.” Richie varies the soup by adding noodles or rice instead of the matzo balls, but the matzo ball version continues to be the most popular option.

Featuring 10-12 different soups, the JGS menu offers a variety of tastes and textures. Sharon’s personal favorite: cream of broccoli. “It’s creamy, satisfying and nutritious, plus the vibrant green color enhances the visual appeal.” Other soups in the rotation include Split, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Spinach, Navy Bean, Lentil, French Onion, Cream of Carrot, Carrot Potato Chowder, Tomato Rice, and Vegetable and Mushroom Barley.

With National Soup Month now underway, it seems clear that the appeal of soup is universal. And fortunately for us, homemade soup will remain a year-round staple at JGS. The best news of all: soup is featured on the dinner menu seven days a week. How comforting.


Matzo Ball Chicken Soup
Serves 10-12


  • 1 large kosher roasting chicken, giblet bag removed, trimmed of excess fat and rinsed
  • 12-14 cups water
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves
  • 2 large onions, halved
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and ends chopped off
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Homemade matzo balls, noodles, or rice


  1. Put the chicken in a very large pot and pour in about 12–14 cups water, making sure the chicken is covered. With the pot uncovered, bring to a boil, using a slotted spoon to skim and discard the foam that accumulates. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the celery, onions, carrots, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for 2-3 hours. Skim occasionally as foam appears.
  2. Remove the chicken, veggies and herbs from the pot and set aside. Strain the soup through a sieve or colander, returning the clear broth to a clean pot. Shred the chicken and add to broth. Discard the onions and parsley. Roughly chop the carrots and celery and add them back into the soup.
  3. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls. Add one matzo ball (or ¼ cup noodles or rice) and garnish with dill or parsley.


State Funding Supports Enhancements to Building Surveillance System

January 11, 2022

We are pleased to share that state funding has made possible the enhancement of the security system at The Leavitt Family Jewish Home. (the “Home”) A grant awarded from the Fiscal Year 2021 Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program (managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research) has made possible the installation of eight new 360 Degree Cameras and a new audio- video door station intercom system.  The eight new cameras provide 24/7 surveillance of the entire perimeter of the Home, including entries, parking and delivery areas.  The new audio-video intercom system communicates with three separate locations in the Home, allowing staff to see visitors and verify their identity, before permitting them access to the building.  This is especially helpful for providing safe after-hour access to the Home.

“With safety and security in the forefront of today’s world, securing this grant was a top priority for JGS Lifecare. The addition of enhanced surveillance and systems for after-hours security is a great improvement for the campus,” remarked Rob Whitten, Executive Director of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.

“At JGS Lifecare we take the safety and security of our residents and staff very seriously,” commented Susan Halpern, Vice President of Development. “We offer our sincerest thanks to Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Tom Turco and his team, Senator Eric Lesser, Representative Brian Ashe, and the legislature, for making these safety grants available.”


Behind the Scenes at JGS Lifecare

January 10, 2022

Residents and staff across our campus welcomed in 2022 with festive holiday gatherings, lively entertainment, delicious refreshments and a huge dose of holiday cheer! We even enjoyed an old-fashioned Yankee Swap with our local Veterans. Our oldest Veteran, Stanley Lyko, is still going strong at 102!! Together we gave a heartfelt toast to usher in the New Year.

Thank you to all our supporters who gave so generously to our 2021 Annual Stand by Me campaign. Gifts to our Annual Campaign support critical programs and services that enrich the lives of the people we serve. For example, computer technologies keep our residents active and engaged; exercise programming helps keeps their bodies limber and strong; and concerts and performances feed their soul and lift their spirits. Programming like this is made possible by donations from our community of supporters. If you would like to sponsor a performer or support the Life Enrichment activities at the Home, Ruth’s Home or Wernick Adult Day Health Care, please make a gift to our 2022 “Stand By Me” Annual Fund or call Susan Halpern at 413-567-3949, ext. 3533.

Our upcoming virtual Lunch and Learn is taking place on February 19. Entitled “Understanding Your 3 Medicare Options,” the event promises to be both informative and educational. For more information, please contact Mary-Anne Schelb at or call 415-935-1791.


People are Talking!

January 10, 2022

Family feedback is truly invaluable to our staff. We continually ask our families for feedback about their experiences in our residences and we are so appreciative of their responses. Take a look at some recent comments. They really do help us be the best we can be.

“The ease of the conversation during our care plan meeting helped me feel confident that the nursing staff has a good handle on my mom’s care.”

“We feel that Mom is in an organization that has a heart. We are fortunate that she was able to get her care at your facility.”

“During visits, I like to see how respectful, kind and gentle the staff acts with the residents.”

“Even when busy, the staff is always courteous.”

“Being able to sit and play board games in the library makes my dad feel like he is at home.”

“The ease of the conversation during our care plan meeting helped me feel confident that the nursing staff has a good handle on my mom’s care.”

“I appreciate your efforts under difficult health mandate circumstances!”