by Ozzie Nogg
In the past weeks, residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home went Hanukkah shopping at Target and Walmart. The group included RBJH residents Vera Bernstein, Rita Biniamow, Annette Fettman, Chickie Gilinsky, Ethel Grossman, Lydia Linde, Marvin Parilman, Shelly Pichik, Joan Raduziner, Jerry Rosinsky, Joie Simon and Dr. Steve Skulsky. They were accompanied by Mary Heiman, Karen Hook, Karen Menagh and Doug Smith of the Activities Department; along with C.N.A. Deb Simon and volunteers Amy Bluxome, Mark Kazor and Emily Leisher. Connie Coco chauffeured the shoppers in the RBJH bus.
Every resident received $10 to spend on gifts for others or for themselves. “Joan Raduziner bought two toys and she mentioned that she wanted to donate them to a family for Hanukkah,” said Shelly Fox, Director of Admissions and Community Outreach for Jewish Social Services. “So I connected Joan with Sandy Nogg, Jewish Family Service Assistance Coordinator. Sandy came over to the Home immediately, met Joan, and received the toys to use in Project Dreidel, the JFS program that helps support families who need extra assistance to purchase holiday gifts. Joan was thrilled that her gifts would be enjoyed by Jewish children in Omaha who were celebrating Hanukkah. What a wonderful act of kindness by one of our Blumkin Home residents.”
The outing prompted keen observations by several Residents. “Lydia Linde, who emigrated to Omaha from Russia in the early 1990s, considered the visit to Target a display of capitalism at its finest,” explained Doug Smith. “Lydia told us she once stood in the rain for five hours to get a pair of boots back in Moscow, and here we have too much to choose from. We’re spoiled.” According to Activities Director Karen Menagh, “Chickie Gilinsky was mystified by the enormity of Target and speechless when she saw how large turkeys and ham have become.” Some residents chose to visit Target’s grocery department and enjoy a free sample of pie.
“An afternoon like this allows Blumkin Home residents to experience life outside the facility, like everybody else,” Doug Smith said. “These activities bring normalcy to their days. It’s our pleasure to offer these diversions.”