Message from Adam Berman, President of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

January 14, 2022

Dear Residents and Families,

Over the past month we have seen infection rates rapidly rise across the state. The speed of transmission and total number of cases bring back memories of the dark days of March and April of 2020. But this is not then. Owing largely to vaccines and boosters, infections are generally milder. Concerns around PPE, testing capacity, and general knowledge of the disease, things that occupied so much of our mental energy at the beginning of the pandemic, are non-factors. The only real parallel is with challenges related to staff being out due to infection, but even here we are better positioned than we were 22 months ago. In all areas we are much better prepared for this wave.

The next several weeks are going to be incredibly challenging, but in a month or two, things could be looking very different. Together, we’re going to get through this surge and find ourselves on the other end well positioned to do great things in 2022!


Adam Berman
President & CEO
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Get to Know Amy Sanders

January 13, 2022

Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Amy Sanders was surrounded by seniors and those who love them at a very young age. Little did she know at the time, but these relationships resulted in a life-long affinity for working with seniors. In fact, Amy has spent over two decades working in the senior living sector. She is now bringing her talents to CJL and we are all thrilled to have her on board.

Born in Virginia just outside of D.C., her parents moved the family to New England when Amy was just a child. She quickly became enamored with the area and all it has to offer, especially the joys of outdoor life.

“My love for exploring the coastline and mountains has grown over the years,” explained Amy. “On weekends, I can be found walking my dog, Mabel, hiking in Vermont, or paddle boarding on Walden Pond, among other outdoor activities. When I am not outside, I enjoy painting, mostly nature scenes on large canvases.”

Amy comes from a large extended family. She was always close to her grandmother, spending half of each summer with her in Virginia throughout her childhood. Throughout those summers she visited with her great-grandmother nearly every day. She had suffered a stroke a few years earlier and she filled Amy’s visits with descriptive stories about her childhood. “Those summers account for some of my fondest childhood memories,” recalled Amy. “

As a teenager, Amy volunteered with Pets on Wheels and visited assisted living communities with her poodle, Chach. “It was a rewarding experience that combined my love of animals with my desire to work with older people,” said Amy. It was also a fitting introduction to life in an assisted living.

When asked about the last two years and the repercussions of the pandemic, Amy acknowledged that it has been challenging both professionally and personally. “It’s been a difficult time for so many of us who care for seniors and other vulnerable populations,” she said thoughtfully. “There were so many complex situations to navigate when the pandemic started in March 2020. On a personal note, my father had cancer and the COVID restrictions drastically changed our visits. I experienced firsthand what many families of residents were feeling in being unable to experience visits and hugs. Eventually my father began to adjust to frequent FaceTime chats, but it was a difficult transition.”

Looking forward, Amy is excited about joining the CJL organization. “Today, I feel so fortunate to work in the assisted living communities that are part of the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare family,” said Sanders. “I truly enjoy bringing together like-minded people who are kind and support seniors so they can maintain their independence. For me, this organization is the perfect fit!”

Look What’s Happening at Cohen Florence Levine Estates and Florence & Chafetz

January 13, 2022

Residents and staff celebrated New Years with Big Bucks Happy New Year’s BINGO, sponsored by Judy’s Jewels. Judy Weiss, a longtime supporter and very good friend of the assisted living, puts this party on every year. It is wonderful way to ring in the New Year.

Two trips at the end of December were enjoyed by residents and staff alike. A huge variety of food was served at the Mandarin Cafe in Reading, where the menu features a delicious mix of Chinese and Japanese specialties. The Annual Holiday Lights Tour is always highly enjoyable, and this year was no exception. There were beautiful displays in a variety of neighborhoods.

Our beloved Shellie Honohon held a beading session at Cohen Florence. There were beads of every color and the residents made some truly gorgeous pieces. Who knew we had so many talented jewelry designers?

Although the surge in COVID cases across the state temporarily stopped activities as of January 6, our residents remain cheerful, optimistic and very understanding. We salute your amazing spirit!

Soup’s On: Celebrating National Soup Month at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

January 13, 2022

January is designated as National Soup Month, and appropriately so. After all, what is more soothing than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day? At Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, residents and staff alike look forward to the mouth-watering soups prepared daily by Michael Millard and his staff. Michael, who is the beloved Food Service Director at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, believes soup is the perfect menu item. “Soups are the original one-dish meal, incredibly satisfying and extremely flavorful,” commented Millard. “Everyone just loves a bowl of soup.”

By far the hands-down favorite soup among residents is Michael’s delicious Chicken Matzo Ball Soup. There are many variations, with recipes often handed down in families one from one generation to the next. For Michael, the secret to the ultimate chicken soup is making the broth from scratch. “We never use canned both; we always make the base of the soup by simmering quartered bone-in chickens and then straining the liquid, “explains Millard. “It makes all the difference in the world as far as the taste.” Millard occasionally varies the soup by adding noodles, rice or kreplach instead of the matzo balls, however the matzo ball version continues to be the most popular.

Showcasing approximately 15 different soups, the CJL soup menu offers a variety of tastes and textures. Michael’s personal favorite: lentil soup. “It’s super nutritious, substantial and extremely versatile. I make a thick hearty stew or a light vegetable broth, depending upon what’s fresh and what’s in season,” said Millard.” Other soups in the rotation include Split Pea, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Spinach, Navy Bean, Cream of Broccoli, French Onion, Cream of Carrot, Carrot Potato Chowder, Tomato Rice, and Vegetable and Mushroom Barley.

When asked about his least popular soup, Michael was quick to respond. “A few years ago I made a carrot ginger soup that was definitely not a big hit with the residents,” he recalled with a laugh. “But it’s fun to experiment with new recipes and surprise the residents,” he added. “They are very receptive to new recipes.”

With National Soup Month now underway, it seems clear that the appeal of soup is universal. And fortunately for us, homemade soup will remain a year-round staple at CJL. The best news of all: soup is featured on the dinner menu seven days a week. How comforting.


Chelsea Jewish Lifecare Matzo Ball Chicken Soup
Serves 10-12


  • 2 kosher 3 1/2lb roasting chickens, cut in quarters
  • 12-14 cups water
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves
  • 2 large onions, halved
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and ends chopped off
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Matzo balls, noodles, kreplach or rice


  1. Put the chicken in a very large pot and pour in about 12–14 cups water, making sure the chicken is covered. With the pot uncovered, bring to a boil, using a slotted spoon to skim and discard the foam that accumulates. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the celery, onions, carrots, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for 2-3 hours. Skim occasionally as foam appears.
  2. Remove the chicken, veggies and herbs from the pot and set aside. Strain the soup through a sieve or colander, returning the clear broth to a clean pot. Shred the chicken and add to broth. Discard the onions and parsley. Roughly chop the carrots and celery and add them back into the soup. Heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls. Add one matzah ball (or noodles, rice or kreplach) and garnish with dill or parsley.

Leonard Florence Center Residents Attend a Celtics Game

January 10, 2022

We have many sports fans at LFCL, especially when it comes to the Boston Celtics. Instead of just watching the games on TV, four of our vented residents attended a basketball game between the Boston Celtics the Philadelphia 76ers on December 20. The Celtics lost the game by a few points, but the residents and staff still had a wonderful time. Take a look at some photos from the outing.

Behind the Scenes at Katzman Family Center for Living

January 10, 2022

Our residents have been troopers as we continue to remain vigilant due to the Omicron surge. Their spirit, resilience and humor inspire us every day. Residents and staff welcomed the New Year in together as evidenced in the photos of Marie DiCicchio, Selima Benamar and Sharon Levine. They eagerly awaited the midnight hour and the beginning of 2022.

At KCL, residents celebrate the special moments in each other’s life. For example, Virginia Adriani was absolutely thrilled when her granddaughter was chosen from the audience while attending the Ellen DeGeneres Show. She even got to dance with Ellen! Residents and staff were excited to watch the show the day the segment aired. It was an exciting afternoon for all.

With the New Year comes the traditional New Year’s resolutions. Diane Flynn commented that her New Year’s resolution is one she has made before but is determined to keep this year! Diane vowed to stop picking on her 70 year old brother Kenny. She laughingly mentioned that she’s been making this same resolution every year since they were  kids, but still hasn’t been able to keep it. Most likely, Kenny would be disappointed if she did! And Joan Polsanetti  (pictured in a reindeer head piece) announced that her New Year’s resolution is to “always look on the bright side of things.” Great advice for us all. Bernice Berman, at the age of 101, rang in the New Year with her contagious and winning smile.

Watercolor painting on our Dementia Special Care Unit (DSCU) is a popular activity. CNA Maggie Severe and housekeeper Carlos Matute enjoy engaging with residents during the painting sessions. One of the goals of the DSCU program is to engage the residents and form bonds between the staff members and our residents who are living with dementia. The residents are able to express themselves through their art. It’s also a way to create lasting relationships. Additionally, the staff makes every effort to welcome new residents and make them feel at home. Ruth, who recently moved into KCL, thoroughly enjoyed the flower arranging class, playfully putting on sunglasses as she created a beautiful arrangement.

Lastly, December 22nd was a special milestone in Ruth Finklestein’s life. Ruth celebrated her 100th birthday, surrounded by her adoring family. Happy Birthday Ruth!

People are Talking!

January 10, 2022

Family feedback is truly invaluable to our staff. We continually ask our families for feedback about their experiences in our residences and we are so appreciative of their responses. Take a look at some recent comments. They really do help us be the best we can be.

“The ease of the conversation during our care plan meeting helped me feel confident that the nursing staff has a good handle on my mom’s care.”

“We feel that Mom is in an organization that has a heart. We are fortunate that she was able to get her care at your facility.”

“During visits, I like to see how respectful, kind and gentle the staff acts with the residents.”

“Even when busy, the staff is always courteous.”

“Being able to sit and play board games in the library makes my dad feel like he is at home.”

“The ease of the conversation during our care plan meeting helped me feel confident that the nursing staff has a good handle on my mom’s care.”

“I appreciate your efforts under difficult health mandate circumstances!”