This week I was in Toronto to move our mother from the hospital she has been in for the past seven months to a nearby assisted living center. We are very blessed, as Toronto has incredible facilities for Jewish seniors. Although it took three years of being on a waitlist, thankfully, she has been accepted. The center is quite incredible: on-site medical clinic 24/7, Kosher food, twice-monthly Shabbat services, an array of fitness and art classes, a monthly council meeting, non-stop Rummikub games in the lobby, delicious meals with off-menu options, swimming pool (under renovation), and helpful and responsive staff.
What struck me as we took the tour is that this place, The Terraces at Baycrest, was built out of the kindness and generosity of many Toronto Jewish families. How a community treats its elderly is very reflective of the spirit of the city. Toronto is known for its Chessed (loving-kindness) and generosity. How blessed we are to have grown up here and can benefit from the incredible Tzedakah that is the foundation of the life-cycle institutions.
Someone I know in Israel told me that her husband’s grandmother just made Aliyah and doesn’t even know it! She has dementia. So although she doesn’t know who her family members are, she is with them, safe and loved. What country would welcome such a person with open arms? No country. Only Israel would take in someone elderly from another country, support them, give them free medical care, and celebrate that they are there.
Because it’s home.
So whether it is Toronto or Israel, being part of the Jewish people means you are a treasured member of the family. And we always take care of our family.