Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Enjoying his bar mitzvah celebration in the Garfinkle Chapel at Daughters of Miriam Center, Noah Greenbaum (bottom left) and his brother, Eli, flank their grandmother Greta Greenbaum, with parents Ben Greenbaum and Risa Goldman standing behind.

Clifton—Continuing a family tradition, Noah Greenbaum celebrated his bar mitzvah in the Garfinkle Chapel at Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute a few years after his brother, Eli, first stood at the bimah. Marking the time when a boy becomes a man in the Jewish tradition, a bar mitzvah is deeply meaningful to a family, a time to joyously come together. Standing next to the rabbi and chanting a portion of the Torah with confidence, Noah was proudly watched by his grandmother Greta Greenbaum, a tenant at the Miriam Apartments II, along with his older brother, parents and members of the congregation.

Noah and his family chose to come to Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute’s synagogue, within steps of his grandmother’s apartment, so that she could share in this important event. With limited mobility in her wheelchair, grandmother Greta Greenbaum has lived independently at Miriam Apartments II for nearly five years and is able to participate easily in events taking place at her home base in the Esther and Sam Schwartz Building or at the Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute’s main building. The Garfinkle Chapel at the Center was a naturally warm, inviting and accessible venue for the Greenbaum family, with its colorful wall of stained glass biblical scenes brightening the wooden walls and pews.

In this intimate setting, the focus was on the young bar mitzvah man, Noah, as well as on his family’s participation in this milestone event. Noah’s father, Benjamin, and brother, Eli, joined in the morning services by reciting prayers standing next to Noah, while his mother Risa and grandmother Greta joined in the congregational portion of the prayers. At the successful completion of his portion of the services, Noah was showered with candy thrown with wishes for a sweet and joyful adult life.

Rabbi Moshe Mirsky, religious chaplain of the Center, praised Noah’s singing of the haftarah and said, “It is such an honor for all of us here at the Center when a young man who is just starting his journey into adulthood joins us here, with the elders of the community, to participate in one of the most meaningful rituals that bind us from generation to generation.” Family, friends and congregation members were then asked to participate in the ritual kiddush, or drinking of a symbolic portion of wine, before gathering together for a celebratory brunch sponsored by the Greenbaum family. Wishing Noah mazel tov on behalf of Daughters of Miriam Center’s staff, Board and Administration, Rabbi Mirsky led the kiddush prayer and welcomed Noah to taking his place among his fellow Jewish men.

The Garfinkle Chapel is located on the first floor of Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute and hosts daily services. Jewish holidays and b’nai mitzvah are also celebrated in the chapel and all are open to the local community. The Garfinkle Chapel graciously accommodates the needs of the elderly, whether they are wheelchair bound or visually impaired. A reconfiguration of the bimah allows for wheelchair accessibility while a two-level reader’s table with handrails and an enhanced lighting system enables Daughters of Miriam residents to easily participate in services. Upon entering the chapel, residents can touch one of two mezuzahs, one at the traditional height on the entrance door or a second one, which is positioned lower and is easily reached from a wheelchair.

Situated on the campus of Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute, the Esther and Sam Schwartz Building (Miriam Apartments II) consists of 150 one-bedroom apartments with 28 units specially adapted to make them accessible to persons with mobility impairments. Tenants at the Esther and Sam Schwartz Building enjoy the independence of their own home while also benefiting from the community atmosphere created by the many active gathering places. Whether enjoying a restaurant-style dinner meal in the main dining hall or a casual lunch at the grill in the coffee shop, there is ample opportunity to engage in social activities.

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, nonsectarian 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 individual traditions and lifestyles. It works to meet the emerging needs in the community and to advance geriatric care through research.