A thank you from Mischa Gelman, service coordinator at The New Riverview.
Rabbi Eli Seidman recently retired after a 25-year run at the Jewish Association of Aging. He followed up in the footsteps of two other long-serving chaplains, Rabbi Ashinsky (who started what is now the JAA) and Rabbi Glatstein, and continued their strong legacy. Rabbi Seidman brought cheer and joy to many seniors with his humorous costumes, jokes, funny ties, and ebullient manner.
Rabbi Seidman not only led the entire service every Saturday and holiday, he passed out snacks and grape juice for kiddush to everyone in attendance, and helped wheel people back to their rooms if needed (and helped wheel them down to make sure there was a minyan when the aides could not get them in time).
In recent years, Rabbi Seidman began producing a parsha packet on each week’s Torah portion, an idea inspired by former Weinberg Village resident Ivan Balk. My family always looked forward to seeing all the different commentaries included – over the years, they included such luminaries as Chief Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Twersky, Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbi Berel Wein, Rabbi Riskin – and we got to share many of their insights over our Shabbat and holiday meals.
Rabbi Seidman volunteered to deliver the “Jews in the News” current events program at Riverview for over 20 years, before we were part of the JAA, and came often to our daily mincha minyan to help with services. Long before the JAA and Riverview became one, he made sure there was no gap between the two organizations.
We wish Rabbi Seidman well in his retirement and will miss him greatly.