WEST ORANGE, NJ — Seniors who hadn't seen each other in more than six months recently had an opportunity to catch up from afar and listen to some music outdoors during a collaborative event between the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of MetroWest NJ, B'nai Shalom and Homewatch CareGivers.

Most of the seniors attend regular programming at the JCC, which has been suspended since the pandemic began. 

“This was so wonderful," said Myra Cohen of Livingston. "I got to see people I haven't seen since March. I wanted to see them so badly." 

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Cohen added that when she moved to the area from Florida, the JCC quickly became her "second home" and a large part of her social life.

According to Randi Brokman, Director of Community Outreach and Client Care for Homewatch CareGivers, pointed out that seniors like Cohen are "hungry for connection.”

She stated that the company typically sponsors senior activities several times a year, and so she coordinated with the Margulies Senior Center at the JCC and the senior group at the synagogue to create the concert for the fall holiday of Sukkot. The event took place safely in the B'nai Shalom parking lot, with each chair more than six feet apart.

“It was a joint effort in order to bring some happiness during Sukkot to our seniors,” she said.

Some 30 seniors attended to hear songs from many decades and each came away with a goody bag with snacks.

“I'm thrilled to be able to do something that the community was desperately screaming out for,” said Larry Aronson, owner of Homewatch CareGivers. “It's really cool to be part of it.” 

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