JCL Residents Celebrate the Joy of Judaism through Music

Jewish Association for Community Living (JCL), a local Federation partner, helps people with developmental disabilities participate fully in the Jewish community through personal empowerment, engagement programs, family activities, and other quality services enhanced by Jewish tradition. JCL Director of Community Relations Sarah Winiarski told us about some recent musical programs that entertained and delighted JCL residents. Sarah’s writeup and a link to a video is below. 

Back in 2013, local violinist Daniel Monyak played for our clients when he began volunteering with JCL for his Bar Mitzvah project. Recently, as we were planning our Tu B’Shevat programs, we remembered the joy Daniel’s music had brought to our residents years ago – and we reached out to him again. 

Daniel went above and beyond, giving an absolutely gorgeous virtual klezmer violin performance for JCL clients. “You’re all that and a bag of chips!” JCL resident David Schuster remarked about Daniel. The performance was funded through an allocation from Federation’s Annual Campaign. 

“Outstanding!” added JCL Board member Susie Namerow. “Absolutely loved the program; great interaction from participants.” 

And on February 21, JCL held a Purim celebration, also supported by Federation’s Annual Campaign! Continuing the musical theme, our celebration featured professional pianist Richard Olmsted. We enjoyed hamantaschen while our Judaic programmers, Bonnie Eisenberg-Greene and Susan Fried, told the Purim story. “It was really good. Susan was reading the book, and Bonnie was using puppets. It was great. I enjoyed learning about Purim, and I had a ball!” said JCL resident Larry Little. Between 25 and 30 clients have participated in our virtual programs since we began them last year.

To learn more about JCL’s work to foster full Jewish community inclusion and participation, click here. To watch a Zoom video excerpt of Daniel Monyak’s performance, click here and enter this passcode: ++F.8NIX

Above: Violinist Daniel Monyak plays klezmer songs for JCL clients as part of the agency's Tu B’Shevat programming. Image courtesy of JCL.