Message from Rob Whitten, President of JGS Lifecare

March 14, 2023

Dear Residents and Families,

As Passover is soon approaching, we wanted to touch base with you regarding this special holiday and the unique traditions that accompany it.  Due to our traditional observance of Passover at JGS Lifecare, we also have a few requests.

This year, the Passover holiday will be celebrated from Wednesday evening, April 5 to Thursday evening, April 13. There are many traditions and customs that are observed during this important Jewish festival. Most commonly, families gather for the Seder, the “ordered feast” when the story of Passover is told, along with special foods and festive songs.

There are a significant number of food restrictions during this eight-day festival. Specifically, anything containing chametz (leavening) is forbidden. In addition, Ashkenazi Jews refrain from eating beans, peas, lentils, rice, corn, and legumes. Our preparation for Passover, therefore, is quite extensive. Observant Jews traditionally engage in a kind of “spring cleaning.” paying special attention to cleaning and removing all chametz from the household (e.g. cereal and crackers, leftover bits of doughnuts and bagels, pizzas and pretzels.) To be certain that all Passover products are free of chametz, we at JGS, like many other Jewish communities, buy and serve only those foods that are marked “Kosher for Passover.” Across the campus, we will be in Passover “mode” from Sunday, April 2 to Thursday evening, April 13.

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming Passover holiday, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself of our Rabbi Devorah Jacobson.

Thank you,



JGS Senior Prom was the Place to Be!

March 17, 2023

Remember how excited you were to attend your senior prom? Well, that same excitement was in the air as seniors from the Leavitt Family Jewish Home and Ruth’s House prepared for our JGS Lifecare Annual Senior Prom, which we celebrated with students from Longmeadow High School’s Key Club. Staff helped residents select their best outfits, get their hair and nails done, and prepare for a night of dancing, singing and celebrating.

Mary Greeley joined her mother, Jeanne McGrath, who was beautifully dressed for the affair, and happy to be a part of the celebration. “My mom was so excited about the Senior Prom! She had me go out and find her a sparkling gold jacket and had me make arrangements for her hair and nails to be done!” Irving Lewis had the room hopping with his amazing oldies and show tunes. The Key Club students enjoyed visiting and dancing with our residents.

The highlight of the evening was the crowning of Ruth’s House residents Mike and Barbara Mohajery as King and Queen of the Prom. The couple sang, held hands, kissed and, from the looks of their smiling faces, had a marvelous time.

“We were totally shocked!” said Barbara. “The first night I met Mike, I followed him around until he finally asked me to dance to Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” which, thereafter, has held a special meaning for us. Irving Lewis was kind enough to allow me to harmonize with him as we sang that song to Mike.”

Barbara and Mike moved from Florida to Ruth’s House last August, to be closer to their daughter who lives a only mile away. Mike was in need of the support provided by assisted living, and they chose Ruth’s House as their new home. “We are both happy here and have adjusted pretty easily,” remarked Barbara. “While I don’t require assisted living, Ruth’s House provides a safe environment for Mike and I have found a way to be useful, productive and helpful. This has worked out well for both of us.”

“Barbara takes great pleasure in giving back to the residents at Ruth’s House, and has found multiple ways to enrich the lives of our residents,” remarked Christina Tuohey, Director of Ruth’s House. “She and Mike have recently underwritten the purchase of a new electric piano and Barbara looks forward to playing for the residents. She has reorganized the Ruth’s House library by subjects and enjoys reading to resident in what she calls “Fireside Stories”. She has also been an enormous help to Delila Jones, Director of Life Enrichment, with resident activities. We are so happy to have Barbara and Mike in our community and I am so pleased to hear that they were crowned King and Queen of the Senior Prom!”


What’s Happening This Month on the JGS Lifecare Campus

March 17, 2023

There have been lots of celebrations this past month, keeping our residents and staff energized, entertained and engaged. On February 28, residents gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of Janet Lemieux. Representative Brian Ashe joined us to present Janet with a citation from the House of Representatives commemorating the special milestone. Cake and ice cream were enjoyed by all. When asked how she felt about turning 100, Janet remarked it was shocking to her and gave a chuckle!

Holly and Hortense, members of our Life Enrichment staff, came up with a fun activity entitled “Tie-Dye Day! Staff and residents tie-dyed t-shirts and wore them while enjoying music and tie-dyed cake. Holly baked the tie-dyed cake and Hortense made tie-dyed finger sandwiches. Other activities have included a bowling tournament, a Veteran’s gathering, and spiritual life planning.

On March 7 residents and staff enjoyed celebrating the Jewish Holiday of Purim, commemorating when the Jewish people were saved from persecution during the time of the ancient Persian Empire. The story is told of the near-destruction of the Jewish people as decreed by Haman, an adviser to the Persian King Ahasuerus. However, Ahasuerus’ newly crowned queen, Esther – who replaced Vashti when she was thrown out of the kingdom – is secretly a Jew. Due to her courage and eventual role in saving the Jews, the story of Purim is known as the “Megillat Ester,” or the Scroll of Esther.

On the morning of Purim, staff came dressed in costumes and reenacted the story of Esther. Residents enjoyed the play, sounded noisemakers when Haman’s name was said, and enjoyed hamantaschen, triangle-shaped cookies, named after Haman, the evil villain. Celebrations continued in the afternoon, with a concert from singer-songwriter Laura Wetzler. It was a fun and joyous day!