The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Shmuel has been holding down a regular job for many years. Before taking his current position, as an “order picker” at the Paskesz kosher candy warehouse in South Brooklyn, he worked at the Kedem winery in Williamsburg, and continued working with Kedem when the winery moved to New Jersey, commuting back and forth to work on his own every day.
Sara Leah keeps busy until 3 o’clock each afternoon volunteering for various schools and communal organizations as part of a day habilitation program. She serves lunches to the students at a local yeshiva, and particularly enjoys visiting nursing homes, where she gets a chance to exercise her musical talents. Sara Leah is an accomplished piano player. One of her most precious possessions is a Casio electronic keyboard, which her father gave her as a present not long before he passed away. She often brings the keyboard with her to entertain those living at the nursing home.
When Sara Leah comes home from day-hab in the mid-afternoon, a HASC Center counselor is at their apartment to provide whatever assistance Sara Leah might need with the normal household tasks, including the shopping, cooking and housekeeping. The same counselor has been working with Shmuel and Sara Leah since they got married thirteen years ago. She says that during that time, they have become more capable and independent. For example, Shmuel and Sara Leah can now handle their money and household finances by themselves. Sara Leah boasts of the cooking and baking skills that she has learned in her day-hab program, and the varieties of challah she bakes every Thursday for Shabbos.
The HASC Center residence manager in charge of their apartment said that Shmuel and Sara Leah had been living there for the past six years, having previously lived in a much smaller supervised flat in a different part of Boro Park. She recalled that Sara Leah took an active role in the preparations for their move six years ago by picking out the furniture and linens for her new home.
The couple has won acceptance and put down roots in their local community. Shmuel davens at a nearby Breslover minyan three times a day, and regularly attends the Gemara shiur in Mesechtas Yuma given by its Rav. A few weeks before this interview, he and Sara Leah hosted a seudah in honor of the yahrzeit of Shmuel’s mother, and more than 50 people from the shul came to their apartment. One of the highlights of their social calendar is going to the Rav’s home every year for the Purim seudah. Sara Leah also enjoys her close relationship with the Rebbetzin and the wives of other members of Shmuel’s shul.
Sara Leah has a very close relationship with her stepmother, who comes to visit and have lunch with her every Sunday. Sara Leah also takes the credit for being the shadchan who arranged the first meeting between her father and her stepmother.
Shmuel and Sara Leah enjoy going to their families’ simchas, and visiting the homes of their siblings to spend time with their nieces and nephews, who adore them. During Shmuel’s summer vacation time, as well as for Pesach and Sukkos, the couple enjoys going away to a kosher hotel, with HASC Center providing the transportation, support and supervision needed to make the trips possible.
Shmuel and Sara Leah understand who they are, appreciate the assistance they receive that allows them to lead a productive and satisfying life together, and made it very clear that they want their story to be told. Sara Leah says, “I take good care of my husband, and he takes good care of me. My life is full of flowers.”
By the time the interview was over, I felt that I had made two, very interesting, new friends. Meeting this happy couple and getting to know them on their own terms was an enjoyable experience, which I highly recommend to all of you.
Yaakov Kornreich is the Senior Editor of Building Blocks.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.
How is it possible that some of our people cannot see what I see, the miracle of the existence of the state of Israel?
Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters
She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.
Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.
Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.
“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]
To what extent is your child displaying defiance?
This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.
Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.
“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.
American society as a whole has accepted the view of the medical establishment that childhood vaccinations are both safe and necessary to protect the health of our children. But there are parents who accept the views disseminated over the Internet and social media by a small but vocal minority of doctors and researchers who claim that current vaccines, and the way in which they are administered, present significant risks to the health of very young children.
Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increased almost fourfold, according to the National Health Interview survey. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health indicated that 1.1 percent of all children born in this country are on the autism spectrum.
By 2015, 46 million Americans will be over the age of 65. As members of the baby boomer generation pass the traditional retirement age, our standards for aging are steadily changing.
One of today’s fastest growing new dietary trends is the proliferation of foods labeled “gluten free” on the shelves of supermarkets across the country.
What does an elected official in his fifties have in common with a young Chassidic father, a young mother who works as a freelance copy editor, and a 21-month old infant? All four individuals, from very different backgrounds and walks of life, suffered a stroke which robbed them of some of their previous abilities, and prompted an individualized recovery process which is likely to last for the rest of their lives.
We have all been raised in a culture which we are taught to believe in the “miracles of modern medicine.”
For many years, autism was considered to be a rare, mysterious and severely disabling condition. But in recent years, due at least in part to a broadening of its medical definition, the incidence of the diagnosis of autism and related disorders has risen to about 1 in every 150 babies born in this country.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/meet-the-family-next-door/2009/06/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: