The Shmooze

Village Voice Turns Spotlight on Jewish-Staffed Adult Home

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

A 4,500-word story in this week’s Village Voice tells the tale of Solange Lambert and Cosmo Salerno, coupled residents of Brooklyn “adult home” Surf Manor who are fighting to move into a state-subsidized apartment.

But the story carries a heavily Jewish subtext. “As with most other adult homes in the city, Surf Manor’s operator, Robert Lichtschein — who opened it in 1978 — and virtually his entire administrative staff are Orthodox Jewish men,” the Voice reports. And “like Surf Manor’s owners, its resident population is also substantially Jewish,” Norman Bloomfield, president of the Residents’ Council, told the Voice. But “most residents aren’t particularly observant and don’t keep kosher, which can lead to some friction with the home management,” the Voice said.

In New York, Surf Manor’s ownership represents the rule, rather than the exception, according to the Voice. But “No one really knows why Orthodox Jewish families run a high percentage of New York City’s adult homes.” Jeffrey Sherrin, Surf Manor’s attorney, thinks nothing but pure altruism motivates the operators. “They’re a population that has, first, traditionally been in health care and social services, and, second, are very community-minded, charitable-minded,” he tells the voice. “One of the mis-impressions you get is that this is just a group of evil, greedy, money-mongering people. It’s just not the case. There’s not big money to be made in adult homes.”

The Voice also cites a NY State Department of Health inspection report that provides a picture of what the newspaper deemed “institution-wide disorganization and decay.” But residents claim their worst problem is “an epidemic of constipation.”

“It’s one of the main topics of conversation, talking to residents,” Bloomfield tells the Voice. “They blame the matzoh, so much matzoh every day. Residents are being forced to observe these dietary laws, and the majority aren’t even religious…. The whole thing is weird.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Adult Homes, Matzoh, New York State Department, Orthodox Jews, Surf Manor, Village Voice

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.