THE COMPLETED EXPANSION OF Ohel Yaacob Congregation, LAWRENCE AVENUE SYNAGOGUE

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ATERET AVOT SENIOR LIVING – NURTURING THE BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT

By: Ellen Kamaras



Studies show that senior citizens are living longer, and often healthier, lives.  Their quality of life, however, is dependent upon several factors including the extent of their support network and their degree of mental, physical, and social engagement. Ateret Avot Senior Livingclearly operates its facility with those principles in mind. They routinely provide physical activity, intellectual stimulation and social connection, all for the wellbeing of their residents.

I met with Michael Tabbouche, Executive Director of Ateret Avot for a tour. When he met me at the entrance, I was struck by so many positive sensations! Ateretlooks like a townhouse and is beautifully maintained. Its interior is bright and clean and the atmosphere radiates with warmth and positive energy. 

The front desk is manned by a concierge, who is there to respond to every request. Call buttons are situated near beds and in bathrooms, alerting staff to residents’ needs. Like a high-end hotel, Ateret Avot serves three gourmet meals daily and caters to individual preferences. Each apartment has a kitchenette with a refrigerator and microwave, and   housekeeping and laundry services are executed on premises.

As Michael showed me around the facility, he greeted every single resident by name. Then he introduced me to them and shared how the staff was able to fulfill their requirements (and even dreams, as you’ll read below!) This should come as no surprise considering the staff is well-versed in everyone’s likes and dislikes. This thorough knowledge base, applied when needed, ensures that residents feel recognized, appreciated and happy.   

Ateret Avot offers apartments for seniors who want to remain as independent as possible.  Residents are encouraged to be self-sufficient but also urged to ask for help when needed. If a senior requires assistance, Ateret’s on-site agency or an agency of the resident’s choosing can provide someone qualified to aid with bathing, dressing, or whatever is necessary. The goal is to keep the resident living safely and comfortably, avoiding transfers to nursing homes or other facilities. The safety and welfare of its resident is the establishment’s top priority.

Those who require physical therapy are amply provided for. Therapists conduct treatment in a special exercise room set up for that purpose.  A doctor and nurse are also on staff to assess whether Ateret is the right place for prospective residents.

The senior living center’s mission is to “meet the social and spiritual needs of [the] community and address and nourish the person as a whole.”  It accomplishes this by developing a “setting that provides the opportunity and inspiration for continued personal growth and independence.” These values are embodied in Scharf family, who own the facility. Their objective is to provide seniors with a stimulating, nurturing, and engaging environment. They aim to keep residents physically fit, spiritually fulfilled and socially connected. 

What differentiates Ateret Avot from other senior residences is the staff’s utmost respect for those they care for. Daily, they employ infinite patience in their commitment to ensuring that their charges feel healthy, safe, engaged, and pleased.

In addition to the amenities on site, residents are given the opportunity for an extensive social life and supplied with a full schedule of activities. These include but are not limited to: meals, daily prayers, exercise, singing, games, lectures, Daf Yomi, social hour, movie night, birthday celebrations, counting of the Omer, trips, and outings.  Some of these activities are even led by residents, who might presume to give a Torah shiur or lecture. Eight years ago the residents proudly started their own “Salute to Israel Parade,” which was televised on News 12 in 2016. 

Alan Magill, Ateret’s Recreation and Social Director, hones in on each resident’s skills and empowers them to use those talents for the benefit of the community. A female resident recently wrote an article for The Jewish Press. Mr. Magill recognized her writing ability and arranged for her story to be published! His efforts didn’t end there. One resident dreamed of owning a grocery store. Magill arranged for him to operate a snack store at Ateret Avot. That’s not all. Under the guidance of the social director, one woman employed her flair for fashion to spearhead a clothing drive. Similarly, a retired Rabbi experienced a renewed sense of purpose by giving shiurim to fellow residents. In this way, he kept his mind sharp and did the same for others, giving them spiritual nourishment in the process.

Ateret Avot is always looking to improve the quality of its residents’ experiences. The owner, Moses Scharf, says, “We’re staying ahead of the curve, with changes that will appeal to today’s seniors, making improvements that will offer a better quality of life to residents and families.” Modern-day examples include walk-in showers, the expansion of the lobby and the addition of a coffee bar.

As life wanes, it is so important to age gracefully and live in a safe and stimulating environment. Ateret Avot is such a place, offering warmth, support, convenience and socialization. All of these components keep its residents agile, purposeful, and spiritual. Theirs is a family-based approach that has truly changed the landscape of senior living.  Check out the testimonials of residents and family at http://ateretavot.com.To arrange a tour, please call 718-998-5400 and ask for Michael.

Ellen Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach.  Her coaching specialties include life, career and dating coaching.  Ellen helps people find their passion, purpose and positivity in life and love.  Ellen can be contacted at ellen@lifecoachellen.com(www.lifecoachellen.com)