Friday, December 14, 2018

Helen Rubenstein (center) reminiscing with Rabbi Ira Kronenberg (right), former chaplain at Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute, and his wife, Faigie Kronenberg (left).

Clifton—As Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute approaches its 100th anniversary, the Center’s long connection to families in the northern New Jersey area often stretches between generations. When Helen Rubinstein’s son Robert helped her move into the Daughters of Miriam Center for rehabilitation on her fractured shoulder, he showed the social worker assigned to his mother a photo from the 1990s of his grandmother, Sadie Greenberg, receiving a volunteer award from Daughters of Miriam Center for her decades-long work at the Center. Little did he know that the social worker, Debra Berliner, would clearly remember his grandmother, known affectionately by staff and fellow volunteers as “the general.”

Sadie Greenberg was a woman who didn’t stop—she raised her two children, worked in the family bakery until it closed, and instead of quietly retiring she volunteered well into her 90s and never looked back. According to her son-in-law Herbert, when Sadie was asked, at age 95, “Why are you doing this?” she answered, “When I get old, I hope they would do the same for me.” Obviously, Sadie never got old.

When she was 91, Sadie Greenberg received the 1990 Passaic County Volunteer of the Year Award for devoting 21 years to volunteering at Daughters of Miriam Center. She also received several annual awards from Daughters of Miriam Center as the volunteer with the most hours, including in 1988 when she logged in 12,500 hours, 2,500 hours more than any other volunteer that year.

Executive Director Fred Feinstein remembers Sadie as a diminutive woman who was a powerhouse at selling raffles for the Center’s Paterson Auxiliary. According to Mr. Feinstein, “Sadie was a stalwart, dedicated worker. She just loved to work and she was always at the Center doing something.” Sadie volunteered at the Center through the mid-1990s, leaving a strong legacy for other dedicated volunteers to follow.

Rabbi Ira Kronenberg, formerly the head of the religious services department at Daughters of Miriam Center for over 30 years, is well-acquainted with Helen and her husband, Herbert Rubinstein, from the Clifton community and fondly remembers Helen’s mother, Sadie. “Sadie used to come here on snow days when even the staff didn’t make it in. She was still pushing residents in wheelchairs into her 90s.”

Sadie also passed along her passion for giving to the community to her daughter Helen, who volunteered in her local public library, with Hillel International and with children throughout the community. A long-time Clifton resident, Helen worked for 25 years as the buyer at Ginsburg’s Department Store, a well-known Passaic institution until it closed in the 1980s. Now retired, Helen and her husband enjoy their status as new grandparents of 21-month-old twin girls and look forward to the time they spend time in Florida with their son’s growing family.

Happily, after finishing her rehabilitation at Daughters of Miriam Center, Helen was discharged and is now home completing her recovery. Spending time at the Center brought memories of her mother and her volunteering days back to Helen and her husband, Herbert. “My mother always wanted to help seniors; it was important to her,” remarked Helen.

The Gallen Institute for Subacute Care is a 30-bed multi-level nursing and subacute care center designed for the patient who requires rehabilitative or medically complex services. The state-of-the art program is a cost-effective alternative to an extended hospital stay or when the patient is not yet ready to return home. Located inside Daughters of Miriam Center, our experienced post-acute care team uses the latest advances in therapies to provide the highest-quality care. Whether getting back on your feet after a fracture or a stroke, the Gallen Institute has the most experienced staff to help seniors achieve the best outcomes.

Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute is a state-of-the-art long-term care and subacute facility providing broad-based services to seniors. Emphasizing a continuum of care focus, Center divisions include a skilled nursing facility, a subacute care wing, a dementia care pavilion, a rehabilitation program, a sheltered workshop, hospice care, a respite program and senior housing with supportive services.

Founded in 1921, the Center is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health, accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and serves as a university-affiliated teaching center.

The Center’s mission is to provide quality health care services and housing for seniors in an environment that enhances and respects individualized traditions and lifestyles. We work to meet the emerging needs in our community and to advance geriatric care through research.