Message from Adam Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

February 14, 2022

Dear Residents and Families,

January’s blizzard challenged us to fight a two fronted battle: cold, ice and snow on one front, and COVID-19 on the other. Confronted with near-zero temperatures and over 20 inches of snow, our loyal and hard-working staff rose, yet again, to the occasion. Each department, from environmental services to maintenance to dietary to nursing to activities, banded together to ensure the well-being of our residents. Our employees truly went above and beyond during the severe weather emergency. For this, I am both proud and grateful.

In other news, we are seeing COVID cases drop as quickly as they rose during the Omicron wave. Most staff have received their booster shots, and all eligible will have by the end of February. We may never be free of this virus, but we’re learning how best to live with it. I am optimistic about the days, weeks and months ahead.

Thank you for your continued support.


Adam Berman
Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

Extreme Weather: Preparation is Key

February 3, 2022

With the weather dipping into low digits and even below zero this winter, our Environmental and Maintenance departments are working round-the-clock to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.

To deal with severe cold, heat and weather, our Chief Clinical Officer Ron Anglo and Director of Facilities Marc Richard implement a “Code Black,” which means that we take extraordinary measures to keep our residents safe. “Our organization is prepared and ready for any pending storms and situations,” explains Marc Richard. “Each campus is setup with an approved Emergency Preparedness Plan for all possible emergencies that may occur.” The plan is then reviewed CMS, the state, and the local Fire Department. Marc pointed out that the staff is notified days ahead of possible extreme weather so they can review their Emergency Preparedness Plan and prepare for all aspects of impact that could affect the campus.

Advance planning has proved to be a very effective strategy. For example, there were no repercussions from the late January blizzard because the staff were so well-prepared. Every employee pitched in and did their part. In fact, many went above and beyond to help maintain proper staffing as well as ensure the comfort level of the residents. “I am so very proud of our staff and the pride they take in keeping everyone safe during these extreme times,” commented Richard.

Below is overview of the steps our organization takes when weather conditions get severe. It’s imperative that we take the necessary precautions to protect our residents and staff. Thank you to Ron, Marc and the entire team for your hard work, dedication and attention to detail. You are the real heroes/heroines this winter!

Code Black Procedures:

  1. No outside facility-sponsored activities will be held. Scheduled trips should be postponed, if possible.
  2. Outside appointments will be limited for medical reasons and dialysis only. Our residents need to be clothed properly if they do have medical appointments.
  3. Short terms leave of absences are discouraged for the safety of our residents.
  4. Staff to check all rooms to make sure all our residents have adequate heating. Maintenance directors will make the rounds to make sure that there are no open windows and all heating systems are working.
  5. On-call maintenance staff will be ready to come in when needed during after office hours.
  6. Staff educators and supervisors will educate our staff about proper procedures.
  7. Staff will provide hourly checks on all residents and exit doors.
  8. Executive Directors will issue frequent reports about the status of the building and its residents at the end of every shift. Constant communication among staff is crucial.
  9. Space will be designated for staff members who might have to stay at the residence overnight as well as arrangements for staff transportation.
  10. The organization needs to remain vigilant and make sure that all of our residents safe.

Get to Know Adam Ernst

February 10, 2022

Executive Director Leonard Florence Center for Living

Adam Ernst is proud of his Minnesota upbringing, especially his glory days of playing hockey, but people are often surprised by the fact that he is also very much into music. Growing up, Adam was active in band and choir, and enjoyed being part of the Wind Ensemble marching band, Jazz band, Select Chorale, Showchoir, and a men’s acapella group called “Voice Male.” His talents also extend to healthcare; Adam has quickly become a respected and well-liked member of the Leonard Florence team.

By way of background, Adam was born in Hastings, Minnesota to parents Tim and Judy. He has two older brothers – Ryan and Justin. Engaged to Kelly Nummelin, the two are planning a September 23rd wedding. Adam and Kelly are the proud owners of two beautiful two dogs: Ollie (a Boston Terrier) and Luna (a French Bulldog). Adam. Kelly and the dogs reside in South Boston.

Adam’s career path took a few unexpected twists along the way. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison (Go Badgers!) where he initially planned to major in Aerospace Engineering. After one year, he transitioned to Physical Therapy, and then two years later, switched majors again when he decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. It was quite the adventure! Adam continued his schooling at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration, specializing in long-term care. “An internship at a family-run long term care company allowed me to see all facets of the nursing home industry,” explained Adam. “The internship really reinforced my belief that I had made the right career choice.” He also recalled that his high school Spanish teacher told him he thought he was destined to work with people instead of embarking upon an engineering career. “I never forgot his words,” admitted Adam.

Moving to Boston proved to be a fortuitous step. After completing his Administrator in Training year, he worked as an Executive Director in both nursing homes and assisted living residences. After a time, Adam began looking for a more unique and challenging role. He was excited, therefore, to accept the Executive Director position at the Leonard Florence Center for Living.

Adam truly enjoys enjoy building relationships with the residents. “At Leonard Florence Center we are blessed to have so many unique residents with such diverse backgrounds,” remarked Adam. “In fact, whenever I have free time, I try to strike up a conversation with a resident. Inevitably, I learn something new.”

Working in a nursing home appeals to Adam because he has the opportunity to create intimate and lasting relationships with the residents. In other settings, such as a hospital, the relationship building is limited, and often short-lived. “The nursing home setting allows me to not only learn about who our residents are now, but also the fascinating lives that they have already lived,” explained Adam. “As someone who also loves history, working in a nursing home environment is a perfect fit.”

When asked about the most difficult aspect of the pandemic, Adam didn’t hesitate to respond. “I’m inclined to say that the fear of the ‘unknown’ but I think now that has probably now given away to general COVID fatigue,” said Adam. “Initially I was trying to make sure everyone stayed as calm as possible in the face of the new virus, but we became quickly inundated by it, and that allowed us to become accustomed to it rather quickly. At that point fatigue started to slowly set in.” Adam believes healthcare workers became exhausted by the daily, weekly, monthly, and now yearly requirements of their jobs. Today, Adam wants to inspire hope that this pandemic will eventually end and ensure that we remain compliant with the ever-changing guidance passed down to us by the Department of Public Health.

Along with the challenges also comes some very special and memorable moments. In December Adam coordinated outings to two Boston Celtics games for the vent residents and staff. He noted the significance of the experience. “Attending the first game made me extremely happy and proud to see the Leonard Florence Center vison come to life,” explained Adam. “We want our residents to continue to live life independently and with a purpose. The Celtics game was a terrific example of what we are able to accomplish.”

Outside of work, Adam makes it a point to remain active, indulging in a variety of hobbies and interests. “As a Minnesotan, I do really enjoy playing hockey and used to play in a Sunday league at Boston University before the pandemic,” said Adam. “In fact, I’m always picking up a new hobby, whether it be learning how to brew Kombucha, training for a half marathon, taking up photography, and so forth. “I’m a jack of all trades, but master of none,” he said with a smile. Clearly, Adam Ernst is successful in all his many endeavors.

Behind the Scenes at Cohen Florence Levine Estates and Florence & Chafetz

February 10, 2022

With the winter weather upon us, the activities staff is hard at work keeping our residents busy and happy. Recently the assisted living started a “Bravogram” board, located in the common area of CFLE. This is a wonderful way to recognize employees for their outstanding performance and excellent care. Originally the program was designed for staff to comment on other staff members, but since the board first went up residents wanted to be involved as well. It’s a great group project and staff and residents alike are enjoying reading and writing comments.

In terms of other activities, our bowling matches have heated up and we have some very intense competition each week. Our residents are excellent bowlers! Additionally, it’s important to focus upon daily exercise through structured exercise programs. Kickball remains one of the most popular activities. Residents are also participating in trivia games, sing-alongs, and arts and crafts.

Our tree planting celebration in mid-January at Florence & Chafetz was a huge success. Tu Bishvat, also known as the “New Year for Trees,” is a one day festival dedicated to nature. The holiday revolves around giving thanks to the natural world. Residents and staff enjoyed planting the apple trees in individual pots.

One of the month’s highlights included a visit from Golden Moments, a dog visiting service for seniors. Owner Jeff Cohen offers what he calls “pet entertainment” and brought golden retriever Myles to visit the residents. He was absolutely adorable. “The dogs wear holiday-themed costumes and perform tricks, which the residents really enjoy,” said Cohen. “Most importantly though, our visits may bring health benefits such as reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increased socialization.” We can’t wait to see who he brings next month!

What’s Been Happening at Katzman Center for Living in February

February 9, 2022

Residents are gearing up for Sweetheart Day by creating beautiful paper crafts for the occasion. In addition to the “Sweetheart Cards” made by Salima Benemar, Mary Carroll and Bernice Berman, residents and staff designed beautiful “Sweetheart” décor that will be to be displayed throughout the building. Some residents are even wearing their original creations as necklaces! Resident Laura Kwatkowski prepared her “bag of goodies” that she will pass out to fellow residents. “It’s a wonderful way to brighten everyone’s day,” explained Laura.

In other artistic endeavors, resident Virginia Adriani has been busy crocheting afghans for fellow residents and staff. To date, she has completed several in a variety of designs and colors. Without a doubt, every person is delighted to receive such a lovely gift.

We are pleased to recognize our residents who have celebrated milestone birthdays in their lives. Part of our centennial group includes Ruth Finkelstein, who turned 100; Bernice Berman, who turned 101; and Lena Labella who is now 102. Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all.

Staff Hot Pick: Homemade Onion Soup on a Cold Winter Day!

February 4, 2022

There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup during the cold winter months. Jen Fazekas, Director of Marketing at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, serves a hearty onion soup that gets rave reviews each and every time she makes it. Colleagues, friends, and family members clamor for the recipe.

The original recipe came from Jen’s mother-in-law Jan, who started a beloved family tradition by making the soup every Christmas Eve. When Jen and her husband Nick got married, Jan taught Jen how to make it. Over the years Jen has perfected the recipe. It’s high on the request list from both Jen’s husband and son, especially around this time of year.

Jen believes the secret ingredient is the Sweet Walter Red Wine, which can be found at most wine stores and some supermarkets. “It adds a touch of sweetness and nuttiness that balances the earthiness of the soup,” explains Jen, adding, “I always double the recipe and use extra wine!” And although the soup freezes well, Jen notes that her family usually finishes the soup within a few days. “We rarely have leftovers, “admits Jen. After savoring this delicious soup, it’s easy to understand why!

Jen’s French Onion Soup
Serves 4-6


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cans beef broth (10 ½ oz)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Sweet Walter Red Wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Loaf sourdough, Italian or French bread, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded aged Gruyere or provolone cheese (or mix of both)


  1. Melt butter in heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced onions and sugar and cook until soft, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until onions caramelize.
  2. Add flour and mix until blended.
  3. Add beef broth, water, wine, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for an hour.
  4. Heat the broiler and arrange individual ovenproof dishes on a baking sheet. Ladle soup into individual casseroles or heatproof bowls, and cover top with bread slices.
  5. Sprinkle each portion generously with cheese. Broil for a minute or two, watching carefully, until cheese melts and browns. Serve immediately.