Selfhelp Community Services applauds the unanimous passage of a Congressional resolution to support programs that meet the distinct needs of aging Holocaust survivors.
Virtual Senior Center Launches in Nassau County
We are delighted to announce the official launch of the Long Island Virtual Senior Center – a new collaboration of the Selfhelp/Kimmel nonprofit partnership – and a high tech innovation designed to help reduce the crippling emotional and physical effects of social isolation among homebound seniors.
We owe the Long Island VSC’s speedy development to the tireless work of our Kimmel and Selfhelp team members, to a planning grant from the Long Island Community Foundation, a game-changing $100,000 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, and additional critical support from the Manhasset Community Fund and Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies. (read the press release)
The UUCSR hosted our celebration which drew attendees from a wide range of community groups, elected officials, and our very own VSC participants who told the audience live on a giant screen, just what a difference the VSC has made in their lives.
Long Island’s very first VSC participant, Jamy Kanas Santoro, wowed the crowd in person with an articulate and heartfelt description of what the VSC means to her. “This has the potential to be a great, great thing,” she explained.“ I think it will actually save lives!” She also gave Howard Kimmel, Kimmel’s legendary founder, a personal demonstration of the VSC homepage and offered a rundown of her favorite classes.
Selfhelp and Friends Unveil Tech-savvy, Affordable Senior Residential Complex in Flushing
A shared dream came true for us about a week ago – the culmination of years of effort and collaboration – resulting in the official opening of Selfhelp KVII Apartments. This tech-savvy affordable residential complex for seniors in Flushing sets new standards in terms of quality, security, high tech services, “green” features and more, that are sure to enhance daily life for our residents.
We were thrilled to share the moment with so many who have worked so hard to achieve this milestone and deliver a housing model that may indeed be replicated across the country. Many thanks to our dedicated project partners: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Enterprise Community Partners and JP Morgan Chase, area elected officials and dignitaries whose support, enthusiasm and determination has made this a cause for celebration for many years to come.
We hope you will take a few minutes to enjoy these news features about our 9th affordable residential complex for seniors.
2014 Lifeline of Hope Gala Honors Supporters; Proceeds Will Help Thousands
Close to $1.3 million was raised through Selfhelp’s Lifeline of Hope Gala, touching the lives of 20,000 Selfhelp clients, including Holocaust survivors, seniors in need and others underserved in the New York City area. The life-changing services will include high quality and compassionate home care, our innovative Virtual Senior Center technology programs, senior center activities, affordable housing and more.
Gala revenue will ensure that Selfhelp’s pioneering programs continue to provide those most vulnerable with every opportunity to live independently with dignity. In celebrating our 78th year of service Selfhelp paid tribute to three exceptional honorees, photos at left:
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, a driving force in aiding Holocaust survivors, served as Honorary Gala Chair, assisted by Busso Von Alvensleben, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Gala co-chairs Donald Mullen and James Zelter, and gala committee chair Debrah Lee Charatan set new standards for success through their determination, energy and creativity.
Many thanks to all those who made our 2014 Gala one that will help so many, for many years to come.
Senate Hearing Focuses on the Plight of Country’s Holocaust Survivors
Selfhelp Community Services’ Testimony Reveals Critical Needs as Thousands of Survivors Live in Poverty, Illness, Isolation
WASHINGTON DC – Jan 15, 2014 – Leaders from Selfhelp Community Services, the nation’s largest provider of services to Holocaust survivors, revealed surprising and compelling testimony today before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, spotlighting the critical and escalating needs of the nation’s 120,000 Holocaust survivors.
The hearing, “Aging in Comfort: Assessing the Special Needs of America’s Holocaust Survivors,” comes at a time of increased attention to survivors. Vice President Biden recently announced a four-point White House initiative to aid survivors, which will include the appointment of a special envoy to enhance and expedite efforts to help survivors living in poverty. In addition many elected officials and advocates are supporting an amendment to the Older Americans Act (provision S.999) to provide care and services to aid Holocaust survivors who are dealing with the cumulative physical and emotional trauma that began decades ago.
“Holocaust survivors are growing older and frailer,” Elihu Kover, VP Nazi Victim Services of Selfhelp Community Services, told the committee. “Prolonged periods of starvation, exposure to severe weather conditions… and experiencing and witnessing unspeakable atrocities take a severe toll on body and mind. Many of these problems only surface in old age, having been hidden during their working years when the survivors struggled and made a new life for themselves.” While there are some younger survivors today who are in their late 60’s, the vast majority of survivors are 80-100 years old, Mr. Kover noted.
Video of the complete hearing, and supplemental written materials are available at http://www.aging.senate.gov/hearings for “Aging in Comfort: Assessing the Special Needs of America’s Holocaust Survivors.” (Mr. Kover’s testimony begins at 1:08:20) Click these links to read the transcript of Mr. Kover’s oral testimony and the written materials submitted to the committee.
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center And Learn Why Participants and Media are Calling it “Transformational!” and more…
“My whole life’s changed. I’m not shut out anymore. I’m part of something.”– Yetta, retired teacher, VSC Participant
Lifeline of Hope Campaign Launches; Annual Report Salutes our Supporters
As a fitting tie-in with this celebratory holiday season, the sharing of our annual report also marks the beginning of our Lifeline of Hope Campaign. We are ecstatic to announce that all contributions to the Lifeline of Hope Campaign will be matched up to $500,000, thanks to the extraordinary commitment… (click to read more)
TF Cornerstone and Selfhelp Partner for Mega Development in Long Island City
TF Cornerstone and Selfhelp have been selected to develop Phase II of the City’s massive Hunter’s Point South development in Long Island City. It will stand as the single largest moderate- and middle-income affordable housing project under the Bloomberg Administration. Selfhelp will provide low-income seniors in designated apartments with state-of-the-art home care and support services as well as high tech amenities and programs to enhance daily life.
Congrats to Selfhelp Xbox Bowling Champs!
They came. They Xbox virtual-bowled. And they conquered, becoming the NYC champions of the first Xbox virtual bowling tournament sponsored by Microsoft, NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) and NYC’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. But somewhere along the way, our seniors became fast friends not only of their own teammates, but of their competitors as well.
Our winning team from Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Prince Street Innovative Senior Center in Queens invites you to see some of the highlights from their battle against the SAGE center from Manhattan. These clips are sure to amuse, enlighten, and inspire you as you see them build camaraderie, self esteem, skill, better fitness and a healthy respect for everyone involved.
Congrats to all!
Watch on YouTube: Flushing senior center bowls over Manhattan rivals
Read the Daily News Article: Legends of the lanes! Seniors compete for crown in virtual bowling competition
Selfhelp’s Elihu Kover interviewed on CBS radio station WFAN
WFAN radio’s popular host Bob Salter offers a compelling interview with Elihu Kover, Selfhelp’s VP of Nazi Victim Services. You’re sure to learning something new and amazing about Selfhelp, New York City’s Holocaust survivors, volunteer opportunities to join our "friendly visiting" program, lend a hand in our coffee house social programs for survivors, support programs to address the survivors’ critical needs, help write memoirs or even find out how your high school can learn more about our Witness Theater dramatic collaborations between students and survivors. Whether you have 10 minutes… or 40 to hear the whole discussion, this interview is sure to enlighten you and touch your heart.
Click to enjoy Bob Salter’s interview with Elihu Kover.
NEW: "Holocaust Survivors in New York – Today Through 2025"
Eye-opening information including trends, needs and demographics about New York's Holocaust survivors, from Selfhelp.
Defiant Requiem Earns Thanks All Round
It’s unusual for benefactors to be as effusive in thanks as are the recipients of fund-raiser proceeds. But thanks abound for New York City’s debut of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, the mesmerizing concert drama performed as a re-creation of the Verdi Requiem originally sung by prisoners of the Nazis at Terezín concentration camp decades ago. Whether you were part of the group of 200 Holocaust survivors invited as guests, a major donor, one of the event underwriters, one of the thousands in the audience, a member of the exceptional choir and orchestra, or even one of the lucky ones who somehow managed to garner a cancellation ticket to the sold out concert at the last minute – this was an event that managed to touch the hearts of all in one special way or another.
Maestro Murry Sidlin leads solo quartet and orchestra during an impassioned performance of Defiant Requiem at Lincoln Center.
This event was truly a unique experience. The chorus and orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Murry Sidlin, stirred emotions while unfolding the compelling story through music, lyrics and spoken word. Stark concentration camp footage stunned the audience. The overall performance created an arc of emotions ranging from sorrow and anguish to hope and elation.
A chorus of 136 members and orchestra unite to perform the story of Terezin, as directed by Maestro Murry Sidlin, at Lincoln Center in New York City.
A collaboration among UJA-Federation, the Defiant Requiem Foundation and Selfhelp Community Services, the evening’s amazing concert-drama resulted in a commitment of more than $2.3 million from donors to expand services to New York City’s survivors via UJA-Federation of New York’s Community Initiative for Holocaust Survivors. And the very day of the performance, an extraordinary gift of $2 million was received for the initiative which seeks to raise $10 million for this purpose. Selfhelp will be a major beneficiary of this funding.
New York Debut of Witness Theater
A Poignant Success
More than 850 attendees filled the auditorium to standing room capacity at the NY debut of Witness Theater on the eve of Yom Hashoah, to see the real life experiences of Selfhelp’s Holocaust survivors portrayed by students of Yeshivah of Flatbush at Joel Braverman High School in Brooklyn.
The survivors narrated the scenes as the students reenacted many of their lives’ most memorable moments – at times searing, painful, then hopeful as stories of their rescues and freedom unfolded.
We would like to convey heartfelt congratulations to the survivors, students, directors, YOF administration, JDC Eshel and Selfhelp staff who contributed endless hours in this labor of love to create such a memorable event. As one attendee put it so beautifully as she left after the performance, “I will remember this evening forever. Their stories have touched my heart.”
“Thank you for bringing our stories to life and for giving life to our stories,” remarked a Holocaust survivor from the cast.
The experience also touched the students deeply. “This was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life!” commented a student cast member. Another was eager to convey the impact the experience had on her personally, “Meeting survivors…and the bond we shared…this is immeasurable!”
Selfhelp hopes to expand programming for Witness Theater next year, and is anxious to work with potential donors to make this possible.
Enjoy our annual report and see how your support is helping to change the face of aging.
If, in reading our annual report, you find a particular program or service that inspires you and which you'd personally like to support, please don't hesitate to contact us at (212) 971-7621(212) 971-7621 for sponsorship opportunities. Or you may make your gift online, by clicking here. Your gift can change a life.
Virtual Senior Center
Word is spreading about Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center (VSC). The Virtual Senior Center (VSC), an innovative project made possible by a public-private partnership between Selfhelp Community Services, Microsoft, the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), is changing lives.
The VSC enhances the lives of homebound seniors by using computer, video and Internet technology — in the seniors’ homes and at their local senior center — to create an interactive experience that reduces social isolation, promotes wellness, and provides better access to community services. Read More
Click here for more links to recent articles and videos about Selfhelp’s VSC.
Selfhelp has a new President of the Board, Raymond V.J. Schrag. Click here to read more.
NEW HOUSING OPPORTUNITY -- Click here for details.
Selfhelp Community Services and FEGS Health & Human Services Launch New Care Management Company -- SinglePoint Care Network. Click here to read more.
Elihu Kover was featured in the August 24, 2012 issue of The New England Psychologist in the article, PSTD Support Remains Pertinent for Holocaust Survivors. Click here to read article.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, NYI visited The Selfhelp Fresh Meadows Senior Program where one of our seniors, Claire Goldberg and her friends celebrated her 100th birthday. Click here to view news clip.
Microsoft Accessibility Update published the story, “Technology ‘Saved My Life’: Making Life Better for Boomers, Seniors” on July 09, 2012, which featured Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center. The article discussed how technology solutions help baby boomers and seniors successfully address many of the issues associated with aging. Click here for story.
Selfhelp Volunteers were recognized by Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) for their services. Click here to read story from The New York Daily News (Thursday, July 26, 2012).
The July/August 2012 issue of LeadingAge Magazine published the article, "Transformational Technologies for Seniors: Marrying Dreams with Practicalities" by Stuart C. Kaplan.
Click here to read article.
Selfhelp was awarded the first grant from The Consumer Electronics Association Foundation on June 27, 2012. This will allow Selfhelp to expand the virtual senior center in New York and beyond. Click here to read more about this exciting achievement. Also visit our News & Events 2012 for news items on this topic and more.
Click here for Gary Shapiro's, Forbes Op-Ed, Transformative Technology for Seniors.
Leo Asen, Selfhelp's Vice President of Senior Communities, was interviewed on "Up Close With Diana Williams" on Sunday, June 24, 2012. The show's topic was Aging in New York City.
Click here to view Leo Asen's interview.
Selfhelp's Innovative Senior Center featured in Wall Street Journal online version on May 23, 2012. Click here to read story.
Stuart Kaplan (l-to-r) joins Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Barrios-Paoli at the podium at Selfhelp’s Benjamin Rosenthal Prince Street Innovative Senior in Queens on April 3, 2012.
A Very Special Visit from Mayor Bloomberg
On August 12, 2011, Selfhelp Community Services led 41 organizations in filing an amicus or "friend of the court" brief supporting the New York City Medicaid Program, run by the Human Resources Administration ("HRA") which the U.S. Department of Justice has charged with filing "false claims" for its approval of 24-hour personal care services. For more information see http://wnylc.com/health/news/12/
CRAIN'S Health Newsletter August 17th
TeleHealth Kiosks Help Seniors Age Independently
Selfhelp is collaborating with Jewish Home Lifecare to pilot two congregate telehealth kiosks. The kiosk installations were made possible through a one-year grant to Selfhelp from Enterprise Community Partners in recognition of Selfhelp's innovative use of technology to support older adults living safely, comfortably and independently in their homes. The grant enables Selfhelp to demonstrate how multi-patient telehealth kiosks can be used within two senior housing complexes to improve health literacy and wellness among the residents . Read more.
Selfhelp NextGen – Selfhelp’s new Young Leadership Group
Selfhelp Community Services applauds the unanimous passage of a Congressional resolution to support programs that meet the distinct needs of aging Holocaust survivors.