After two years of being unable to meet due to the pandemic, seniors are beginning to return for exercise and classes at the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles’ Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center, located in the Fairfax District. .
“For many of our older adult clients, the loneliness and isolation of the past two years has been devastating,” said JFS President and CEO Eli Veitzer. “For them, the opportunity to see friends again and to be with other people in the centers for the elderly is invaluable. We hope to soon be able to offer this gift in all our centers for the elderly.
The facility, formerly called the Freda Mohr Center, offered enriching programs daily to about 150 seniors before the pandemic, and transitioned to online programming in the past two years, said Susan Belgrade, senior director of multipurpose centers and for elderly for jewish family. Los Angeles service.
Last week, the Jona Goldrich Multifunctional Center opened its doors to seniors for the first time since March 2020, offering services by appointment only. A steady stream of customers has returned, Belgrade added.
“They’re thrilled to be back, and we’re thrilled to have them back,” she said. “Socializing is very, very important, and it’s something our customers have been missing out on during COVID. They want to go back to where they were before.
“I had been waiting for the center to reopen for a long time and when I heard from our [fitness] instructor, Cesar, that his first in-person class at Jona Goldrich was May 3, I was the first to sign up,” said Fairfax District resident Flora Ruben. “It was so good to be in this beautiful building and see my old friend from Romania. I plan to come to class twice a week, come and exercise in the gym once a week and hope to come to the computer lab once a week.I was also very happy to see the JFSLA staff again.
The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles has been cautious about restarting in-person programs for seniors. Customers must book an appointment and classes are held at around 50% capacity.
Belgrade said the JFSLA has adopted a hybrid model and still offers online programming. She added that the hope is to expand service availability soon.
The Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center is located on the ground floor of the JFS Gunther-Hirsh Family Center, located at 330 N. Fairfax Ave. It includes a gymnasium, exercise room, computer lab and classroom.
The building, which was completed shortly before the pandemic hit, also houses offices for the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.
The multipurpose center is named after real estate developer and philanthropist Jona Goldrich, who died in 2016.
Goldrich, a Holocaust survivor who was instrumental in establishing the Los Angeles Holocaust Memorial in Pan Pacific Park, was a longtime JFSLA supporter.
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, said he was happy the center had reopened.
“Older people have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and their isolation has been particularly difficult to overcome. I am so happy that our community is once again able to access engaging health and wellness activities for seniors in addition to educational and social events through the Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center,” said Koretz. . “Thank you Jewish Family Services for continuing to help our older neighbors live healthy and satisfying lives on their own terms.”
In-person classes include current events, as well as exercise programs and fitness classes focusing on stretching and flexibility, as well as gait and balance. Zumba and yoga classes are also offered.
The computer room is open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday.
To return to the multi-purpose center, customers and guests must provide ID and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test taken within 48 hours or negative antigen test taken within 24 hours. They must also complete a daily health questionnaire and always wear a face mask, Belgrade said. Transport to and from the center is available.
“We hope to see more people in person soon,” Belgrade added. “We are happy to welcome everyone to our beautiful new building.”
To RSVP for classes and activities at the Jona Goldrich Multipurpose Center, call Danny Vasquez at (213) 248-8519, or email [email protected]