CHAI Seniors Programs

Co-Chairs: Bernice Lieberman and Joan Miller
Members: Judy Braunfeld, Loretta Dessen, Ann Martel, Joyce Nagel, Sybelle Timberlake
Frequent Volunteers: Susan, Hannah, Sarah Rachel and Drew Donohue, Djavid Novoruzov

"By the time you're eighty years old you've learned everything. You only have to remember it."-- George Burns 1896 – 1996, (born Nathan Birnbaum) 

The CHAI committee delivers holiday gift bags, presents daytime programs, and visits the sick.

Holiday Gifts Bags:
On Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Purim, and Pesach we deliver gifts of food, greeting cards and holiday information to nursing home residents and people who are ill or bereaved. Please inform the CUJF office of anyone ill (any age) who would appreciate gifts or a visitor. Electric menorahs are loaned to area nursing homes for Chanukah. We appreciate additional volunteers for any of these mitzvot.

Weekday Daytime Programs:
These popular programs, attended by between 30 and 60 people, are held at Sinai Temple. Dessert programs are free; lunch donation is $5. Everyone in the community is invited, no age limitations. This year’s programs were:

  • Dance with Kate Kuper: Aesthetic Movement for Young Imaginations and Older Bodies (October); Kate Kuper led the group through a seated dance experience.
  • The Prairie Prayer Shawl Series: How They Relate to The Sanctuary Ark doors and The Torah Covers (December); Rosalind Weinberg, a local artist and designer of the Sinai Temple Ark doors, made a presentation and exhibited some of her embroidery work.
  • "Image Before My Eyes" (February); Matti Bunzl, Director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at UIUC, introduced and led a discussion of a film about the culture of Polish Jewry in Europe before World War II.
  • Adventures of a Christian Holocaust Educator (March); Dr. Carrie Burns gave a presentation on her travels as a Christian Holocaust Educator, including a special exhibit from a Holocaust Museum in honor of Rabbi Neuman created by the Christian Homeschoolers of Champaign County.
  • Yiddishe Lider (Yiddish Songs) (May); Paul Weischel and Harry Dankowicz presented a program of Yiddish and Jewish music.

Home And Hospital Visits:

Federal HIPAA regulations limited CHAI’s ability to visit ill members of our community, but we will honor requests to do so. Please inform the CUJF office (367-9872) if you know someone who would appreciate a visit.

CHAI is funded by grants from the Goldberg-Gordon-Yairi fund for seniors and the Libby and Harold Miller Memorial Fund (both of the CU Jewish Endowment Foundation) and donations from participants. CUJF provides publicity, postage, accounting, transportation, supplies, organization, and support. For weekday daytime programs, Sinai Temple provides space, kitchen access, audiovisual equipment, janitorial service, beverages, and paper goods.

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