I have been conducting a mini Shabbat service at Harbor Chase Memory Care in Tamarac for several weeks now. It is different than the Court At Palm Aire as that, number one, it is in the afternoon, and number 2, the clientel is more challenged. The atmosphere is wonderful! I thoroughly enjoy the people that run the facility and I enjoy the caregivers. I think now we are getting in the grove of things because it was slow starting, and now the past couple of weeks, I have more of a crowd. It is difficult to get the residents to a destination at an appointed time, therefore, flexibility is a must. The first couple of weeks, it was just me and my voice with a sidur (prayer-book), conducting the service in Hebrew and English. A couple of the residents were responsive. Then I offered to make prayer books for the service. Harbor Chase did not have any because I am the first Jewish clergy to come in and conduct a Shabbat Service, an actual service. I started to make the booklet, then the more the weeks went by and saw the abilities of the residents, I decided that was not the way to go. I started taking my guitar, playing and singing upbeat and beautiful Shabbat music, and it has been great! Some of the residents do show that they remember some of the prayers, some clap their hands, some tap their feet, and some have been sharing some beautiful memories with me. Last week was the best! A couple of people shared memories of Israel! We have fresh challah and grape juice every week. What a rewarding experience. I truly believe that the guitar brought more of a positive light to the service that more of the residents are responding too. We have non-Jewish residents and caregivers that stay for the service and I love it! I am so glad that I am there! One of the assistants that usually helps me out is a wonderful young lady. She handles the residents so beautifully. She is patient and loving. This past Friday, she was dancing with one of the residents during one of the prayers/songs! How cool is that! And, the assistant hugged the resident after that! That is even cooler! We spoke after the service, and she told me that she is not there for the money, she is there because she loves it. She has a passion for the residents and just loves being with them. It definitely shows! Harbor Chases is giving ME some beautiful memories.
In my last blog, I said, break is over. I started filing today! I can see more of the beautiful counter tops Ron made for the filing cabinets. I can only do a little at a time because of the asthma, so I bought some masks, did an hour today, whenever I work out and work on music, I will file a couple of things and throw things out! I know I will probably find some cool things to use this school year. I am also seeking out new music for the upcoming school year.
Do you have suggestions for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Services? What would like to hear the Rabbi/Cantor talk about? Let me know!

About cantorrisa

I am a Cantor, Judaic Studies, and music teacher. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and help people from young to old love being Jewish. I teach and sing in several synagogues and schools in the area. I officiate all life cycle events and teach students, children and adults, privately for their b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. I also enjoy studying Bible with all faiths either individually or in small groups (chevruta). I conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services at K'hilat Bayt Shira and Senior Communities in the area. In my spare time, I teach key board and guitar. I am married to a wonderful man, have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies are writing, playing and listening to music, learning, reading, crocheting and knitting.
This entry was posted in All In A Day, Music, Shabbat, synagogue, Teaching, Teaching music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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