South Orange Senior Residence is Host Site for Essex County  Kosher Congregate Nutrition Program; JESPY Participants Gain Life Skills as They Assist with Senior Lunches

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Twice a week, seniors from South Orange enjoy nutritious lunches and opportunities to socialize at Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation. The senior living community, located in the heart of South Orange Village, is a host site for the Essex County Kosher Congregate Nutrition program, organized by the JCC of MetroWest NJ. Helping to make those meals happen are clients and residents of JESPY House, also in South Orange, which offers vocational assistance and life skills training to adults with developmental and learning disabilities.

JESPY House participants obtain work experience performing various jobs at Village Apartments, including help to set up, serve and clean up at the congregate lunches.

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On June 25, the tables were turned when Village Apartments hosted a special luncheon to recognize the JESPY clients who help with the senior lunch program. The guests of honor were served lunch by the dining room and program staff and each received a certificate of recognition and a gift bag from the JCC and Village Apartments. The volunteers were thanked individually for their service, with remarks noting their work and the special qualities they bring to the program. Everyone enjoyed a piece of celebratory cake after the honors.

The program is a joint effort between the JCC MetroWest, JESPY House and the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey (JCHC), the non-profit organization that owns and manages Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation and three other senior communities. The JCHC prepares about 50 meals a week for these lunches, which are served every Tuesday and Thursday and are available to all seniors in South Orange.

“The congregate lunch program program’s success is due in large part to the help of the JESPY volunteers,” said Cheryl Kasye, site manager of Village Apartments. “We are delighted to work with JESPY and the JCC to create such meaningful connections with South Orange seniors and to provide a place where JESPY clients gain the skills they need to become more independent.”

Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation is located at 110 Vose Avenue in South Orange, within walking distance of shopping, dining, entertainment and more. It offers a range of housing options with services to adults ages 62 and up. For more information about the senior residence or other JCHC communities, visit