Message from Adam Berman, CEO of JGS Lifecare

April 18, 2022

Dear Residents and Families,

As we embark upon the spring season, I am truly grateful we are able to hold activities again. It’s important to interact with others, share special occasions and participate in outdoor events. While COVID cases are up in the country overall, the good news is that the vaccines offer protection from the virus and we remain vigilant in our efforts to keep the virus at bay in our residences.

For our residents and families who celebrate Easter, I hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed this special holiday. For those who celebrate Passover, may the weeklong festival be a time to reflect on the significance of the Passover rituals.

To all our families, residents, friends and loved ones, thank you for your continued support. I look forward to the days ahead!


Adam Berman
JGS Lifecare


Fire Safety Training

April 14, 2022

On Thursday, March 31st staff at The Leavitt Family Jewish Home attended a Long-Term Care Fire Safety Training Program, presented by Andy McGuire, CEM, EMT-P, a Lead Fire and Emergency Management Consultant working with Jensen Hughes, a leader in safety, security and risk-based engineering and consulting. At the Leavitt Family Jewish Home we provide annual fire safety training like this, as well as monthly fire drill trainings for all staff in coordination with the Longmeadow Fire Department.

The presentation was very informative and realistic. Attendees critiqued real-life scenarios and reviewed procedures: for responding safely and correctly to a fire; for safe resident evacuation techniques; and for proper fire extinguisher use. A live and controlled resident fire, fictitiously caused by a smoker, was ignited and extinguished. Even though smoking is prohibited on our campus, staff need to be prepared for how to respond should such an event occur.

“At JGS Lifecare we take the safety of our residents as our highest priority,” remarked Rob Whitten, Executive Director of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “Andy’s presentation was highly informative and realistic. The real-life fire scenario caught everyone’s attention and drove home proper procedures for extinguishing a fire in a swift and safe manner. I feel confident that our staff are prepared to respond appropriately in the event of fire.”


Behind the Scenes at JGS Lifecare

April 13, 2022

There’s a lot going on at JGS now that activities are back in full swing. Here’s a look at what’s happening around the campus:

Artists in Residence
The 3D paintings created by our residents are really beautiful. They tear out a photograph from a calendar and paint over the image with acrylic paint. And the results are magical. The image pops out in 3D! Our residents are proud of their efforts —as they should be.

Purim Celebrated with Laughter and Smiles
Purim is a festive celebration at the Leavitt Home. Residents enjoyed the performance of our well costumed staff telling the story of Purim through the reading of The Megillah, The Book of Esther. Entertainment was provided by the talented Laura Wetzler. Across our campus , residents enjoyed the 40 bags of Shalach Manot (Purim gift bags) assembled by the students at Sinai Temple. The hamentashen were baked by the 7th graders and the other goodies were made by pre-K to 7th graders. A great time was had by all.

March Birthdays Celebrated with Cupcakes
To celebrate our March birthdays, residents helped bake delicious cupcakes. Clearly, baking is a favorite pastime of our residents, and the smell of freshly made cupcakes is simply divine. Almost as good as eating them!

Donations to The People of Ukraine
Thank you for the many donations we received for the people of Ukraine. Our lobbies were filled with bags and boxes of blankets, sleeping bags, children’s clothing, diapers, medical supplies and first aid kits. Two large deliveries were made to Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ludlow. Fr. Andriy Krip is managing the delivery of the items to Poland, where they will be distributed to civilians though The Center for Social Support as well as to wounded soldiers through the Garnison Lviv Department of Support. Funds from Rabbi Devorah Jacobson’s Discretionary Fund are being donated to help with the cost of shipping. We are grateful for this mitzvah opportunity and truly appreciate the donations we have received from staff, resident families and the community.


Bequest from JGS Lifecare Past President Paul Salvage

April 5, 2022

Continues a Longtime Commitment of Caring

Wise, even-tempered, approachable, thoughtful and caring — these are some of the words people share when asked to describe Paul Salvage. And care he did, not only for the people in his family and close circle of friends and colleagues, but also for the many people served by the JGS Lifecare family of services.

Paul served as chairman of the board of JGS from 2000 – 2003. These were the years immediately following the completion of the JGS Regeneration Capital Campaign, which funded significant renovations to the 25-year-old Leavitt Family Jewish Home and made possible the expansion of services to include assisted living, with the building of Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence.

Paul was instrumental in all of the planning, as an active board participant and as a member of the Assisted Living Planning Committee. He understood in the late 1990’s that the nursing home needed modifications and upgrades to serve increased medical needs, given that the average age of long-term care residents was increasing.  And he recognized the gap that existed for elders who could no longer live independently but were not yet in need of a skilled-care nursing home. The answer was Ruth’s House Assisted Living, a home-like residence designed to assist with one’s activities of daily living, while also encouraging greater independence, dignity and well-being. “Paul was committed to its success,” remarked Marian Broder, past president of JGS and chair of the Assisted Living Planning Committee. “I recall that Paul advocated for a private dining room where families could gather and enjoy family functions, and it became a part of our plan. Paul was willing to make solicitations and telephone calls to raise the necessary funds, and it was hard for people to turn him down.”

As chairman, following the opening of Ruth’s House, Paul led JGS at a crucial time in its history. He oversaw the integration of all of the JGS entities and lent his strong financial acumen to help ensure the operational success of Ruth’s House. Paul co-chaired a marketing and community outreach event that succeeded in bringing over 800 people of all ages to the JGS campus for a day of fun, food and family, and the opportunity to learn about the JGS system of care. “Homecoming” offered intergenerational activities, presentations, crafts, entertainment, food and tours, and attracted many younger families who otherwise would not have reason to visit the JGS campus, exposing them to the integrated system of health care services for the elderly, located right in their own community. It was a tremendous success.

Stephen Krevalin, one of Paul’s law partners and past president of JGS Lifecare, reflected, “Paul grew up in Springfield, and always felt close to the nursing home. He was very committed to helping take care of our community’s elderly and needy. Paul clearly understood the importance of JGS Lifecare and all of its entities to our entire community. His presence and contributions were enormous and invaluable. There are very few people as genuine and caring as Paul Salvage. He was the epitome of a “mensch”, the Yiddish word for a person of great integrity and honor.”

Mike Hurwitz, past president of JGS reflected, “Paul was a part of a generation of volunteers at JGS who set the bar very high for me and others to follow.”

“Paul was sincerely interested in our organization and in bettering the services we provide to elders,” remarked Theo Glickman, long-time JGS supporter and past president of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.

Paul’s wife Phyllis Salvage, reflected, “Paul first became active in the Home when his close friend Dr. Leon Kruger was president in 1973. But Paul’s involvement ran in his family, as Paul’s grandmother Rebecca, was one of the founders of the Daughters of Zion Home for the Aged, located on Massasoit Street in Springfield. It is so important to me that Paul be remembered for his lifelong dedication to the Home and his concern for continued excellent care for the residents. Although we have moved away our hearts will always be in Longmeadow and Springfield.”

Sadly, Paul passed away on March 12, 2020. He was surrounded by his loving family at his home in Carlsbad, CA. Paul is survived by his wife Phyllis, his son Peter and wife Joanne Fowler (of New York City) and his daughter Andrea Salvage Motawi and her husband Wade Motawi (of Carlsbad, CA), and grandchildren, Olivia and Ella Salvage, and Alex and Erik Motawi. He left a bequest to JGS Lifecare that will serve as a reminder of his steadfast commitment to the JGS residents. His gift will support the purchase of a computer technology system that provides meaningful and accessible content to seniors at any level of physical or cognitive ability, through the use of a mobile touch screen. This technology provides new ways for residents to connect, explore, learn and be engaged, helping fight feelings of isolation and loneliness that all too often plague the elderly. The system is called iN2L for “It’s Never Too Late.” For Paul Salvage, it’s never too late to have a positive impact on the quality of life of the JGS Lifecare residents.

To recognize Paul’s commitment to JGS Lifecare, a tree planting ceremony will take place at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home in the spring. Friends and family will gather to honor this special man. The tree, a symbol of life, is also the symbol for JGS Lifecare. It’s a fitting tribute for a special man. The exact date of the dedication will be announced soon.


Running the Marathon Every Day at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare

April 4, 2022

As athletes from all over the world toe the line on April 18th for the 106th Boston Marathon, we are reminded that our residents and patients are also marathoners in terms of their rehab and recovery efforts. In the same way that runners prepare for their “big day,” our long term care residents work to prepare for life after surgery or illness.

For the first time in the remarkable history of the Boston Marathon, COVID-19 prevented the race from being held in 2020. Then In 2021, the event was held in the fall rather than its traditional spring date. This year, the race is on and everyone is excited about returning to normal! Our rehab patients and long term residents, like this amazing event, prepare every day for their own recoveries and personal marathons.

Notably, many of our healthcare providers are runners in their spare time. Meet a few staff members who have run marathons in addition to supporting our residents and rehab patients.

Nikki Lee, Director of Rehab at Brudnick Center for Living

Nikki sets the stage for the rehab team and all those who come through our doors to take their next steps. Having run in 7 marathons, Nikki challenges herself every day.






Adam Ernst, Executive Director at Leonard Florence Center for Living

Adam puts his running skills on display throughout his days caring for our specialized population. He ran the Boston Marathon in support of Newton Wellesley Hospital. He’s run in two marathons: the Eau Claire Marathon in 2016 and the Boston Marathon in 2017. Additionally, Adam has raced in Wisconsin and North Carolina.





Hernando Rodriguez, Director of Facilities at Brudnick Center for Living

Hernando makes sure we are “race ready” to accept each new residents each time they are admitted to us for care. He is known for his sub 3 hour marathons and has participated in 35 marathons throughout the world, including 12 Boston Marathons. At the Chicago Marathon his best time was 2:46:41. He placed #294, out of 45,000 runners!




Beverly Burns, Unit Manager at JGS Lifecare

Beverly runs in many local charity events and is now training for an Ironman triathlon, which is a 2.5 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike, and then a full marathon. For the Mont Tremblent in Quebec, Beverly completed the course in just over 15 hours. What an incredible accomplishment. Beverly demonstrates grit and determination in her work as our unit manager at JGS Lifecare.






Success begins by taking the first step for residents, patients, and staff. There’s no doubt that our rehab patients and long term residents prepare for their own recoveries by running their own personal marathons.

Wishing all of the runners a successful race on April 18. To our residents, patients and family and friends who support them every day, best wishes for your success in all that you do.


Leavitt Family Jewish Home Celebrates Centennial Birthday of Resident and Army Air Corp Veteran Armen Tashjian

April 4, 2022

On Thursday, March 30th residents and staff of The Leavitt Family Jewish Home, a skilled nursing facility at JGS Lifecare, gathered to celebrate the birthday of resident Armen Tashjian, who turned 100 on Wednesday, March 29th. Attendees enjoyed the live musical performance of Irving Lewis singing the golden oldies, together with cake and ice cream sundaes to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Armen is a Veteran of the Army Air Corp, having served at the end of World War II. Representative Brian Ashe of the 2nd Hampden District presented Armen with a citation of congratulations from the House of Representatives in recognition of the grand celebration of his 100th birthday. “We are in session today, but I felt it was important to break away because 100th birthdays don’t happen all the time,” remarked Representative Ashe. “To see you walk in here was so uplifting, you look fantastic! I want to thank you for your service in the Army Air Corp and wish you a very happy birthday!”

Earl Godfrey, Commander of Longmeadow Post 175 of the American Legion presented Armen with a veteran pin in honor of his service. Commander Godfrey remarked, “We understand and appreciate the feeling of camaraderie that our veterans have for each other and for knowing what was… it is important for us to acknowledge and be with the people who had our back. Through the presentation of this pin we honor their service.”

Joining Armen at his table were Bernie and Lorraine Gaudette, long-time friends and neighbors, and now fellow residents at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. Thursday’s birthday celebration was the culmination of a week of festivities, following a Friday, March 25th family gathering attended by east coast relatives, and a Sunday, March 27th centennial celebration at Armen’s beloved St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church.

Born in Springfield on Marcy 29th, 1922 to Anna and Eghishe Tashjian, Armen comes from a close and devoted Armenian family. He is the oldest of three children. His younger brother Haig, now 98 years old, also served in the Air Force as a navigator and bombardier in World War II and is an IBM retiree who now lives in California. His sister Nancy Sellarole, nearing 92, attended AIC and enjoyed a career in real estate in New Jersey until she retired at the age of 80, and now lives in Delaware. The Tashjian siblings have been blessed with great longevity! Armen has four nieces and nephews: Sandy Tashjian Kalvonjian and her husband Harry; Bruce Tashjian and his wife Beryl; Bonnie Sellarole Inserra; and Theodore Sellarole and his wife Tammy. He is also blessed with eight great nieces/nephews and eight great great nieces/nephews.

Armen’s father and uncle owned a confection store “Tashjian Brothers, – Nobility Candy Store,” located at the corner of Concord Terrace and State Street in Springfield, just south of American International College, where they sold ice-cream, candy and fruits. Armen graduated from Tech High School. He then worked at the Springfield Armory as a precision tool maker. He wanted to join the Army Air Corp as a pilot. After three deferments he joined the Army Air Corp stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, OH. The base was primarily used as a training base for B-17 and glider crews from 1942-1949. Armen served from 1943 through the end of the war. He worked on airplane engines as a flight engineer.

After his service, with the help of the GI Bill, Armen received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, where he studied photography. He enjoyed a career as a professional photographer where he worked for a time for Milton Bradley, Progressive Machines, and Westinghouse, taking photographs of their products for their sales catalogues.

While working at Westinghouse, Armen met his wife Shirley, who worked in the office. They were married for 57 years until her passing in 2015. They did not have children of their own, but they embraced others like family, including their next-door neighbors Sharon Dandy and her son Colin. Draped on Armand’s bed is a beautiful quilt with family photographs of his beloved family members who mean so much to him!

Armen is a beloved parishioner of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in Indian Orchard, where until just 5-6 years ago he was the organist. Over the years he used his talents to take photographs of everything in the community, amassing a lifetime of memories which will become a “community album”. The parish recently created a standing committee to organize his 75 year portfolio and to eventually digitize it for perpetuity, as a historical resource and to honor Armen for his contribution and recognize his lifetime of selfless devotion to others.

His sister Nancy summed up her older brother beautifully, stating, “Armen is a gentle soul, one of the good guys!” We take this opportunity to thank Armen for his service to others, to recognize a life well lived, and to wish Armen continued happiness and good health.



About Leavitt Family Jewish Home

The Leavitt Family Jewish Home offers 24/7 long-term skilled nursing care including cognitive and memory impairment care, as well as full service rehabilitation therapies, palliative and hospice care, and certified music therapy. People of all faiths put their trust in the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. Resident-focused services are provided in a setting that is as home-like as possible, including 112 private rooms, spacious social areas and inviting dining spaces. Staff prioritizes every resident’s adjustment to illness or injury and design services to meet every resident’s individual needs. Patients’ families are also part of every comprehensive care plan, receiving support and counseling to make a smooth adjustment to care. For more information, call The Leavitt Family Jewish Home at 413-567-6211 or visit

About JGS Lifecare

JGS Lifecare, founded in 1912, is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care (The Leavitt Family Jewish Home), rehabilitation services (Sosin Center for Rehabilitation), assisted living (Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence), adult day health care (Wernick Adult Day Health Care), home health, hospice and palliative care (Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care) and independent living (Genesis Lifecare). For more information, call JGS Lifecare at 413-567-6211 or visit