Photo Credit: COJO Flatbush

It’s one of the signature occasions on the COJO Flatbush Seniors Special Events calendar, and this year’s Pre-Purim Luncheon met all expectations. The festivities, held at the Boro Park Y, drew close to 100 enthusiastic seniors who delighted in an afternoon of spirited conversation, uplifting music provided by vocalist/musician Michael Abramovshchik, and a delicious meal.

Stealing the show was a contingent of 6th-grade students from Yeshiva Torah Temimah who dressed as clowns and danced and kibitzed their way into the hearts of everyone in the hall. The boys were led by Rabbi Avi Pearl, who for a number of years now has been bringing students to COJO’s pre-Purim and pre-Chanukah luncheons to sing and dance and schmooze with the guests.


“To the seniors,” said Rabbi Pearl, “particularly Holocaust survivors, the youngsters are living testimony that despite Hitler’s best efforts, the Jewish people are alive and well, and our future, as personified in these young students, is a vibrant one.” The students, in turn, “experience the difference they can make in the lives of others and in their own lives by performing acts of Chesed, of loving-kindness.”

COJO Flatbush CEO Louis Welz considers the agency’s seniors division “a vitally important part of the work we do.” As people get on in years, he said, “they’re confronted with new challenges – health issues, adjusting to life on a fixed and usually reduced income, the loss of longtime friends and, worst of all, a spouse. We can help by offering encouragement and assistance on many levels. One of those ways is with events like this luncheon, where seniors come together for a shared afternoon of good fellowship, good entertainment, and all-around good cheer.”

COJO’s Director of Social Services Shulamis Shapiro praised Boro Park Y Executive Director Ellie Kastel for “her ongoing partnership with us, gracious hospitality, and carrying the bulk of the effort and responsibility in making these luncheons such a big success.”

In addition to regularly scheduled luncheons and arts parties, COJO Flatbush offers eligible seniors a wide range of programs and services. For further information, call 718-377-2900, ext. 342.

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Jason Maoz served as Senior Editor of The Jewish Press from 2001-2018. Presently he is Communications Coordinator at COJO Flatbush.