In addition to working on the Peabody campus of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare for over 15 years, Ellen Gordon has closer ties to the organization than most. Staff members have lovingly cared for three generations of Ellen’s family since 1998. It’s no surprise, therefore, that she loves working as Director of Resident Life. For the past nine years, Ellen has been a strong presence in organizing the many activities and programs that keep our residents active and engaged.
For Ellen, the best part of her job is coordinating student/resident projects and programs. “I love it when I’m able to organize game days and special events, allowing students and volunteers to spend quality time with our residents,” said Ellen. She added, “I have no doubt that we will resume these activities when Covid-19 is fully under control. For now, we have maintained activities that are more individualized to help with infection control.”
A graduate of Boston University, Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology as well as a Master’s in Education from Lesley University. Ellen and her husband Stan lived in Marblehead for 45 years. Sadly, Stan passed away in 2016. Three years ago Ellen moved to Swampscott. Ellen is the proud mother of son Seth and his wife Emily, and an even prouder grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters, Sarah (18) and Chloe (13).
Prior to coming on board as an employee of the Peabody campus, Ellen worked for the Peabody Public Schools as a Speech Pathologist, as the Director of their Summer Program for Special Needs Students and ultimately as the Director of their Integrated Preschool. Ellen then volunteered for six years in the Activities Department at the Jewish Rehabilitation Center of the North Shore, which later became Aviv. As a member of Aviv’s Board of Directors, she was very active in the strategic planning for bringing an Early Childhood Center to the Peabody Campus, so it made perfect sense for her to take on the role of coordinator of Community Relations and Liaison for Intergenerational Programming between the NSJCC students and residents on our North Shore Campus. As we know, Aviv became part of the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare family in 2016. The rest, as they say, is history!
When asked about the spirit of the organization, Ellen was quick to respond. “My conversations with our families reflect the true spirit of CJL. Although we are dealing with many COVID-19 restrictions, I am truly moved when the families tell me that they are not only appreciative that we keep their loved ones safe, but also that they understand how hard it is for the staff to be caregivers under such difficult conditions,” said Ellen. What means the most to her? “That’s an easy one, “ said Ellen. “I am thrilled when residents and families praise my staff by name for the loving connections they have established with our residents. Or when they are surprised that we remember little details about each resident’s preferences or the family’s concerns.” Added Gordon, “I am filled with such pride that my staff exemplifies the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare values. They get to know each resident, fulfill their needs, and genuinely care about their families as well.” Our residents and families are lucky to have Ellen on their side – and so are we!