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Joan Chernoff Epstein of Birmingham, granddaughter of Bessie Spector, assists her father, Louis Chernoff of Bloomfield Hills, as he recites the Motzi, as his wife, Betty (far right) and other Bessie Spector family members look on
Joan Chernoff Epstein of Birmingham, granddaughter of Bessie Spector, assists her father, Louis Chernoff of Bloomfield Hills, as he recites the Motzi, as his wife, Betty (far right) and other Bessie Spector family members look on

95 And Older Brunch fetes our most senior seniors

Brunch co-chairs, Sofen and Schlussel look out at the crowd while Rabbi Aaron Starr delivers the Blessing of the Elders

Brunch co-chairs, Sofen and Schlussel look out at the crowd while Rabbi Aaron Starr delivers the Blessing of the Elders

Imagine being in a group of 165 individuals — and being the youngest included. And on your 95th birthday!

Marian Gaber made it just under the wire as an honoree among members of our Jewish community recently identified as 95 years or older.

Among those, 85 men and women, including Gaber, were feted at the 17th annual Bessie Spector Oldest Jewish Americans Brunch at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield.

“The brunch allows us the opportunity to recognize Older Americans Month, led nationally by the Administration on Aging, in our local community,” said Barbra Giles, executive director of Aging Services at Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit (JSL).

 Joan Chernoff Epstein of Birmingham, granddaughter of Bessie Spector, assists her father, Louis Chernoff of Bloomfield Hills, as he recites the Motzi, as his wife, Betty (far right) and other Bessie Spector family members look on

Joan Chernoff Epstein of Birmingham, granddaughter of Bessie Spector, assists her father, Louis Chernoff of Bloomfield Hills, as he recites the Motzi, as his wife, Betty (far right) and other Bessie Spector family members look on

“The month emphasizes that you are never too old — or young — to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference, and we are honored to recognize older adults in our Jewish community with this special event.”

The theme of this year’s program, chaired by Rosie Schlussel and Carol Sofen, was “Celebrating the Greatest Generation in the D.’’

The event, attended by 320 individuals, including two married couples, was sponsored by the Bessie Spector family and community supporters in partnership with JSL, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service, JVS and Jewish Federation, all of which provide programs and services for older Jewish adults.

Giles, Schlussel and Sofen display the theme of the day.

Giles, Schlussel and Sofen display the theme of the day.

Among those in our community identified as being 95 and older, 22 are more than 100 years old, including Manny Hauer, who is 107 and lives at JSL’s Coville Apartments in Oak Park. He was unable to attend the brunch.

“It was especially touching to see 12 of those older than 100 at the program,” Giles said. “And they included the oldest in the crowd: Bertl Reis and Rachel Fox, who are both 102 years young.”

For details of the 2019 Oldest Jewish Americans Brunch, call Beth Tryon at (248) 592-5026.   

 

Shelli Dorfman

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