I remember evenings when my young children would transform our family room fireplace hearth into a stage, creating songs and dances, complete with musical instruments and costumes. Their comedic roles and self-made “stage names” never failed to send us into fits of laughter. Even the adults, especially my dad, would join in, dazzling us with magic tricks or showing off his double-jointed feats of strength.

Now, the next generation — my grandchildren, great-nieces and great-nephews — keep this beloved tradition alive. Recently on the patio after another family dinner, my brother’s grandson and my granddaughter performed a well-rehearsed show with handmade signs, costumes and a choreographed dance, all inspired by their adventures at Camp Tamarack. There’s something magical about those spontaneous bursts of joy.

Often, I feel that same warmth when attending events like Reader’s Theatre at Meer and Hechtman, resident performances of the Live Wire Choir, or when talented community artists strum guitars, sing and play violins to receptive resident audiences. Nothing beats the surprise of an especially delightful Meer resident cracking us up with her stand-up comedy routine. Laughter is truly the best medicine. At Jewish Senior Life, the residents are treated to a treasure trove of phenomenal entertainers. The staff and families also appreciate experiencing the laughter and delight that fills the air.

I’m not going to lie, managing the entertainment budget can be complicated in the mix of other necessary expenditures. JSL is blessed with generous community donors who support special events. Art classes and out trips are funded, and recently, a big-hearted JSL family member offered to sponsor Sunday musical entertainment for residents on the 3rd floor Memory Care unit at Fleischman. Sundays, often quiet and lonely with few activities, will now be filled with music and good cheer.

So how do you spend your Sundays? Would you consider bringing your joyful noise to the JSL campuses? Picture yourself teaching a skill, performing a skit, or letting your kids create an improvised script of their own for “The First Day of School,” “The Doctor is In,” or “The Road Trip.”   Funding special programs for residents at JSL adds a splash of magic to their lives. By contributing you can recapture those heartwarming feelings, knowing you’re making a difference, and at the same time you can enjoy the pleasure of giving. On behalf of the residents we serve, we are always so grateful for your support.

Share your thoughts with me by responding to this email or give me a call 248-592-5027, and together we can brainstorm ideas to bring joyful OYS to all our mothers and fathers at Jewish Senior Life.

Shabbat Shalom.

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