Weekly News & Updates
Caring for Older Adults Since 1907
Ask us how you can save on rent!
Contact Janet Antin
248-967-4240 jantin@jslmi.org
By Jo Strausz Rosen
I admit that a lot of what I thought I knew about the aging process was wrong. My father in his childish wisdom led by example and showed me that life could become even more fun in your eighties and nineties. This didn’t cross my mind when I was younger. His joyful clarity was rooted in awareness, not denial, that time is short and should be savored.

We should simply “carry on,” as my mother used to say. I see it on the campuses of Jewish Senior Life and have been told by any number of residents, who live full and vibrant lives with great histories and delightful stories to share. What still surprises and delights me is the discrepancy between what I’d simply assumed it was like to be eighty or ninety and what I was encountering firsthand.

So, I tell myself not to worry about getting older. It turns out that over three quarters of people ages eighty-five and up go about their everyday activities without any personal assistance. Most older Americans live interdependently. As for dementia, it’s a terrifying prospect, but even as the population ages, dementia rates are dropping. The real epidemic is anxiety about memory loss. So, STOP WORRYING about it and do what we can to live full and fulfilling lives. Aging is not easy. We can choose to worry about some aspect of getting older, whether it’s running low on money or getting sick or ending up alone, and these fears are legitimate and real. Worrying does nothing for you.

American culture is youth centric. Depictions of older adults tend to be extreme, revealing great bias. At one end of the spectrum, the silver haired tan-skinned man runs a few miles then showers, heads to the office, and later goes out dancing. At the other end, a tiny older wrinkled woman withers in a hospital bed surrounded by monitors and tubes. These folks exist, but they are hardly typical. Most of us end up in the middle, muscles, and memory a bit slowed, but out in the world and able to enjoy our lives to the end. So why do so many of us buy into the unexamined narrative for all these years that aging is bad?

Are you buying into ageism, the assumption that all members of a group are the same? It’s why people characterize older adults living at JSL as old. Residents can range in age from 55 to centenarians. All "isms" – ageism, racism, sexism, homophobia… lead to oppression in the lives of individuals and groups. It’s time to examine our own thoughts.

Ashton Applewhite wrote This Chair Rocks, A Manifesto Against Ageism. “Ageism is everywhere. It is the last socially sanctioned prejudice. We know that diversity means including people of different races, genders, abilities, and sexual orientation; why is age typically omitted? Age is a criterion of diversity.”

We must wake up to the biases around us and embrace a more nuanced and accurate view of growing older. Cheer up, push back, and get out there and live big, full, exciting lives. Every morning is an opportunity, a brand new day. Just do it!

Head to our DEI corner each week this summer for some thought provoking articles.
JSL seeks vaccinated volunteers to help on our Oak Park campus!

1) Alzheimer’s Walk
June 20 from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm on the Oak Park campus. We need volunteers to assist in set up, clean-up, snack passing, goody bag table and balloon handling.
2) Teitel Store
We need volunteers to run the Teitel store M-F 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Will need to tender cash transactions, handle merchandise, inventory and assist shoppers.
3) Prentis Store
Looking for volunteers to run the Prentis store M-F 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Will need to tender cash transactions, handle merchandise, inventory and assist shoppers.

Interested? Contact Leslie Katz
248-321-1437 lkatz@jslmi.org
Brown Memory Care residents expressed themselves creatively in art class this week by painting birdhouses!
Prentis Apartments resident, Rabbi Yosii Rosenzweig, celebrated his conclusion of the study of two complete Torah books during the Covid period, with Rabbi Polter as his daily study partner over the phone.
Attendees from our 2021 Zoom event
JSL is grateful to our sponsors, donors and honorees who supported the 2021 Eight Over Eighty event in May.
By Rachel Levin

I never thought I’d understand how to play mah jongg. 

I grew up watching my mom play the American style of the game. I’d hide in my room, planning my opportunity to steal some snacks, and listen the echoes of “one bam,” “three crack,” and “nine dot” carry up the stairs.

Over the years, my mom, along with so many of my relatives, tried to teach me. They’d lay out the racks and tiles, but I’d take one look at the American mah jongg card and think, “Oh, hell no.” 

As someone with ADHD, focusing, seeing patterns, and linking concepts in my brain is difficult. I assumed I’d never understand the game — there were so many rules, the card was overwhelming, and, frankly, I didn’t think I had the brainpower.

Even if you don’t have ADHD, I understand how mah jongg can seem intimidating, especially if you have no prior knowledge of it, or its history outside of pop culture.  

Luckily, when I found myself back home during Covid, I realized I had nothing but time to learn how to play — ADHD be damned. Of course, the first time I sat down in front of the tiles, I issued a disclaimer to my mom, saying, “I’m warning you now: I’ll have a lot of questions and I probably won’t get it.”
Income based affordable housing featuring one bedroom and barrier free apartments
Contact Valentina Shub
vshub@jslmi.org 248-967-2224
BEHIND THE MASK: Meet our Devoted JSL Family
Jill Michalak grew up in Berkley and now lives in Ferndale. She was a dedicated office specialist who worked in the Brown Adult Day Center, but when the center closed due to COVID, she stepped in and worked wherever she was needed at Prentis, Teitel, and Meer.

She loves the residents and says they are “the absolute best – funny, helpful, loving and so grateful.” Jill enjoyed participating in the initial vaccine clinics, saying, “It was the most joyful I had seen people all year!”
Her advice to staff and residents who are coping with the pandemic? “Remember that we are all here for each other! We are all spending our days in a safe and loving environment and I feel like we are all family. Reach out if you need anything! Help is never far away.”
Jill married her middle school crush, Jim. They celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary recently and have 2 wonderful children. Her daughter, 25, is a medical social worker. Her son, 23, is a Colorado adventurer, enjoying biking and skiing. “They are my loves!”
Jill is a vegetarian and loves all comfort foods – “Soup, chili, grilled cheese all day for me!” Her first European trip was cancelled last spring due to COVID, and she cannot wait to rebook it. In the meantime, Jill has come to love the quiet nature of northern Michigan. She says, “COVID has helped turn my husband and me onto hiking nature trails and we go whenever we can!” She loves peaceful places, a good podcast or book, her covered front porch, and a craft beer. In her spare time, she enjoys design and scavenges for vintage furniture - midcentury is her favorite and she loves a great find!
Beloved Fleischman resident, Rachel Fox, celebrated her 106th birthday today with an outdoor concert and a visit from the West Bloomfield fire department!
Our online boutique has a wide variety of gifts to choose from, like our cook books! Support JSL and give a gift your loved one will appreciate by visiting:

Understanding Bias and Reflection on Personal Bias
What is Bias? Bias is a natural inclination for or against an idea, object, group, or individual. It is often learned and is highly dependent on variables like a person’s socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, educational background, etc. At the individual level, bias can negatively impact someone’s personal and professional relationships; at a societal level, it can lead to unfair persecution of a group, such as the Holocaust and slavery.

What is unconscious or implicit bias? People are naturally biased – they like certain things and dislike others without being fully conscious of their prejudice. Bias is acquired at a young age, often as a result of one’s upbringing. This unconscious bias becomes problematic when it causes an individual or group to treat others poorly because of their gender, ethnicity, race, or other factors.
Psychology Today, 2021

To learn more about bias

The Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture publishes articles and resources that explore race and racism. This article explores Bias.  
Trevor Noah interviews social psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt, author of “Biased” on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”.  
A short New York Times video explains bias.  
Project Impact, a research initiative of Harvard University gives an opportunity to explore personal bias. Even if you have taken these tests before you might want to explore more areas.  
  • How have you experienced bias in your own life?
  • Are you aware of biases you might have?
  • How might your biases towards others impact how you treat them?
 1–2 pounds (450–910 grams) tuna steaks

 2–3 tablespoons Gefen Soy Sauce
 1 tablespoon Haddar Dijon Mustard
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 cube Gefen Frozen Ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Prepare the Dijon-Ginger Tuna
1) Combine marinade ingredients and add tuna. Marinate for one to two hours.
2) When ready to cook, heat a frying pan over very high heat and sear each steak for about 30 seconds per side. (I do all six sides.)
3) To serve, top with Israeli salad or salsa.

This recipe is from kosher.com
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter, Community Chaplain
The Clock

In one of his travels, a Chassidic master lodged for a night at a wayside inn. In the morning, he sought out the innkeeper. “The clock you have hanging in my room — where is it from?” he asked excitedly.

"Why, it’s quite an ordinary clock. There are hundreds like it hanging in homes throughout the village", said the surprised innkeeper. "No, no," insisted the master. "This is no ordinary clock. You must find out for me where this clock comes from."

If only to humor his guest, the innkeeper made some inquiries, which yielded the information that this clock once belonged to the famed "Seer of Lublin," Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz. An heir of the "Seer" had been forced by poverty to sell all his possessions, and so the clock passed from owner to owner until it came to hang in one of the guestrooms of the inn.

The Chassidic master exclaimed, "Of course! This clock could only have belonged to the ‘Seer of Lublin.”

"Your standard clock strikes such a mournful tone. Another hour of your life has passed you by,” it says. “You are now one hour closer to the grave.” But this clock proclaims: “Another hour of galut (exile) has gone by. You are now one hour closer to the coming of the Moshiach (Messiah) and the Redemption…"All through the night," concluded the Chasidic master, "whenever this clock sounded the hour, I leapt from my bed and danced for joy."

Shabbat Shalom by Phone - Enjoy some inspiration
Dial Toll free: 605-313-4107 Access code: 270368#
(Reference number not needed)
Dial # to hear the most recent recorded message.
Rabbi Dovid S. Polter Jewish Community Chaplaincy Program Jewish Senior Life
248-592-5039 • dpolter@jslmi.org
This newsletter was created by Jo Rosen and Amanda Martlock

We’re human, prone to mistakes, so if we erred in our newsletter, please forgive us!
Shabbat Shalom
Nancy Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer
Jennie Klepinger, Chief Financial Officer
Barbra Giles, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives
Jo Strausz Rosen, Executive Director, Development
Dianne Azzopardi, Executive Director, Human Resources
Ron Colasanti, Executive Director, Dining Services
People of all faiths and beliefs are welcome.
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