Religions and Spirituality

Press Releases

Dreams Come True For Older Adults Who Will Attend Wilf Campus For Senior Living’s Upcoming Trip To Israel

4396516a633160323f8b_Israel_trip_2012_ipad_photos_1156.jpg
Wilf Campus residents at the Western Wall during the Israel Trip 2012 Credits: Toby Ehrlich
4396516a633160323f8b_Israel_trip_2012_ipad_photos_1156.jpg

By Michele Daino

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living in Somerset will embark on its second trip to Israel with its senior residents, Rabbi and support staff in November 2015 where they will have the opportunity to relive memories of younger days and make new memories as they visit some of the holiest sites in the world.

A crowdfunding site has been established online to help The Wilf Campus Foundation defray the costs of the 10-day excursion.

Sign Up for E-News

Rabbi Bryan Kinzbrunner of the Wilf Campus explains, “Contributions in any amount can help toward uplifting another group of our residents as they experience the sacredness of the Holy Land.”

“For our seniors, it really becomes a once-in-a lifetime opportunity because they are in their twilight years and most of them didn’t ever think they would have the chance to make this life-changing journey for many reasons – affordability, age, and being limited because of their mobility,” adds Susan Harris, Wilf Campus chief executive officer.

Kinzbrunner and Harris recall the impact that the first trip, which was held in 2012, had on its seniors. Jacob Weinglass, for example, had left Poland and lived in Russia from age 39 to 46. He lived in Israel from 1957 to 1961, but had not returned since his trip with the Wilf senior residents.

Weinglass, who met his great-grandson for the first time during that trip, remarked, "Being able to add my family’s names to the list of Holocaust victims and survivors at Yad Vashem was very satisfying.”

He had been moved to tears during the visit to Yad Vashem when he saw photos of his old neighborhood in Poland which brought back a flood of memories he was excited to share with Kinzbrunner.

Holocaust survivor Inge Markowitz, who traveled with the seniors for the first time to Israel in 2012, had escaped Europe and fled to Cuba with her family. She said, “I loved the trip. It was fantastic – an experience I never thought I would have. The staff worked very hard. It’s a blessing that we could all go.” Inge was one of the last groups of children that were able to safely escape occupied Germany as a part of the Kinder Transport.

Ellen Kabot, another resident who was on the 2012 tour said that the trip continues to inspire her. She is taking art classes on campus and the Israel trip was the muse for some of her recent artwork.

Harris said that she is proud that Wilf is able to offer such an opportunity to its residents. We want to offer this trip over and over again. There will always be new residents who will want to make the trip with us.

That is why we decided to run this special time limited campaign.  All donations will help us to keep this trip funded for what we hope will be a very long time. We pay the total expenses for every resident which runs between $5000 to $6000 per person.  The campaign, which ends on June 30, 2015 has only a few weeks left.  Our goal this year is to raise $50,000.

Harris urged all those who want to be part of a true feel good opportunity to consider making a gift to the campaign.  She added that all donors can also “like” our Wilf Campus Facebook page and follow the trip every day of the 10-day journey.  We post photos, stories, and videos.  It is very heartwarming to watch the travelers as the wonders of Israel unfold before their eyes. It is also very heartwarming to know that you have helped to make dreams come true. 

Harris, as one of the campaign contributors said, “This is by far the most important gift I will ever make. It feels great she said, to know that I have helped to perpetuate this experience for seniors.

“To see all of the sights, such as touching the Wailing Wall, climbing to the top of Masada – these are the things you hear about your whole life,” she says. “For some, the ability to physically go on this trip is still a consideration, but it is modified to meet the residents’ needs and the staff is always there to tend to them.”

“During our last trip, our oldest resident Lee Cohen, of blessed memory,  who was 98 years young at the time, was able to go to the top of Masada. One of the scribes was so moved by her presence that he came out and offered to write a prayer in Hebrew for her. She asked simply for a prayer for everybody’s good health. She passed away recently at 100 years old. She was determined to go on the trip, and she did it,” recalls Harris. It was believed that Lee was perhaps one of the oldest people to ever climb to the top of Masada.

Kinzbrunner adds, “The opportunity to provide our residents with the chance to travel back to a land that is the center of much of the history of Western civilization, Western faiths, is a blessing, not only for them, but for us as well. It was an honor to escort them. Seeing Israel through their eyes gave a whole new meaning of the holy land to the staff who were with them on the trip.”

Remarking about the 2012 trip, he says, “People described feeling uplifted to have the opportunity to walk on land that their ancestors walked on. For some it was the first time, for others it was the trip they never thought they would be able to do again. For at least one person who hadn’t been in Israel since he left about 50 years before, this was the first time he had gone back.”

“The trip brought the residents a chance to deepen their faith by seeing, feeling, and touching the actual sites that they’ve been connected to by what they have been taught through the years,” says Kinzbrunner.

Harris adds that the itinerary will be modified slightly this time around so that attendees can rest a bit on the first day after the long flight from New Jersey. But, the excursion will be filled with the same fulfilling experiences as the 2012 trip.

“As Jews, we talk about the concept of helping people one at a time and helping in general and that is something as a Jewish population that we are called upon to do. Offering a contribution for this trip to Israel helps older adults to have their dreams realized,” concludes Harris. “By doing so, you are making the dream of a lifetime happen for somebody. There is no greater mitzvah or good deed than that, she added.”

To make a donation to the 2015 trip to Israel, visit http://israeltrip2015.causevox.com/ or call Rina Richard at (732) 873-5948.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood at Stein Assisted Living, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, Wilf At Home, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Education Government Green Home & Garden Other

Wed, May 30, 7:30 AM

South Brunswick High School - Auxiliary Gym, Monmouth Junction

South Brunswick Community Blood Drive

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Wed, May 30, 6:30 PM

Cooper Conference Room, The Erdman Center, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton

Artists' Round Table with Performing Artists from ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Annual Immaculate Conception Carnival On Tap

May 23, 2018

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Immaculate Conception will host their annual carnival on June 12 through June 16. The carnival will be open on Tuesday, June 12 through Friday, June 15 from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Fireworks will close out the five-day event on June 16.

The Immaculate Conception Summer Carnival is a family-friendly, community event that includes ...

PayPal CEO says Rutgers grads need to "Help Repair the World"

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, called on the Class of 2018 on Sunday to take a stand for social justice as they graduate during a time of unprecedented technological and social change.

He talked about the decision at PayPal to rescind plans to build a global operations center in North Carolina following legislation many considered discriminatory ...

3 Stabbed in Late Night Assault at Party

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Three people were stabbed following a fight at a party late Saturday on Delafield Street between Bristol and Courtland streets, Rutgers police said in an alert sent out to students.

The assault, which was not on the Rutgers University campus, occurred about 11:45 p.m., police said.

They said the victims are not affiliated with the university. All three victims reported ...

Belmar Mayor’s Pardoning of Lobster Will Kick Off New Jersey Seafood Festival

May 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — With the start of the New Jersey Seafood Festival tomorrow, Belmar Mayor Brian Magovern wants to show a lobster some love.

At 3:30 p.m. on May 18, he will kick off the annual three-day event by pardoning “Lucky Larry the Lobster” on the Fifth Avenue beach and then releasing it into the ocean … hopefully.

“In my power as mayor, I want to pardon a ...

Inclusion Center to Start Programs on June 2

May 23, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Disability Allies, Inc. (DA), a 501(c)(3) organization based in East Brunswick opened the Young Adult Inclusion Center on April 28, 2018 is featuring a variety of programs to Young Adults with Special Needs in the following areas: Technology, Music, Theatre/Drama, Cooking/Baking, Arts & Crafts, and Poetry & Creative Writing. The programs are set to begin on June ...

Senator Robert Menendez to Give the Keynote Address to Progressive Grassroots Group

Senator Robert Menendez will be the keynote speaker that the Inaugural Gala presented by Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ), the state’s largest progressive grassroots organization.

“I am honored and humbled that Action Together New Jersey asked me to keynote this year’s gala,” Sen. Menendez said. “After a 2016 election that shook many New Jerseyans to their core, ...

"Itʼs Time for New Leadership" Say Middlesex County Republicans

On Tuesday, June 12th, elected county committee members of the Middlesex County Republican Organization will have a choice on who will be their next County Chair and party executive board.

Sharon D. Hubberman, former Middlesex County Freeholder Candidate, and current Perth Amboy Republican Chair has announced she will accept her nomination for the Middlesex County Republican Chairmanship ...