Breman Jewish Home’s 70th Drive-Thru Gala Celebration
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Breman Jewish Home’s 70th Drive-Thru Gala Celebration

Seven decades of innovation and growth were recognized in Nov. 7 drive through.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

  • Photos by Marcia Jaffe // The first stop had hot apple cider and welcoming staff alongside historic photos.
    Photos by Marcia Jaffe // The first stop had hot apple cider and welcoming staff alongside historic photos.
  • Drs. Mark and Nancy Canter Weiner were in one of the first cars to come through.
    Drs. Mark and Nancy Canter Weiner were in one of the first cars to come through.
  • (L to R): Stephanie Wyatt, Jody Goldstein and Candy Berman kept things lively on the FM station.
    (L to R): Stephanie Wyatt, Jody Goldstein and Candy Berman kept things lively on the FM station.
  • Active board members (L to R) Fred Halperin, Steve Berman, and Irwin Siegel were avid cheerleaders.
    Active board members (L to R) Fred Halperin, Steve Berman, and Irwin Siegel were avid cheerleaders.
  • The Home’s history was documented on display boards.
    The Home’s history was documented on display boards.

The William Breman Jewish Home Auxiliary planned to host their biannual gala at the Atlanta History Center on Nov. 7. In early October, the organization announced that in a “pandemic shuffle” the gala would be reimagined as a drive-thru on the Howell Mill campus. Amid several stations adorned with huge swirls of purple and lavender balloons, kosher food enticements, welcoming staff and volunteers kept up the pace. The Home’s history was featured in exhibits created for the event by Kennesaw State University, from its roots in their original building on 14th Street, to growing into their current campus and opening the Jewish Tower, to what is today the Jewish HomeLife — with three campuses and nine different services that support residents through all stages of aging.

During the event, guests tuned their radios to a dedicated FM channel to hear announcements and music from the ’50s. The drive consisted of four stops arranged throughout the parking lot. Guests stayed in their cars while staff and volunteers helped them celebrate safely. Jewish HomeLife Chief Development Officer Stephanie Wyatt served as DJ with help from Candy Berman, first vice board chair, keeping the broadcast lively. Among the first to arrive were Drs. Mark and Nancy Canter Weiner, who exclaimed “Jewish HomeLife holds a special place in our community! That’s why we are here!”

Drs. Mark and Nancy Canter Weiner were in one of the first cars to come through.

The first stop was outside the Jewish Tower, where hot apple cider and a party with the Tower residents featured live music from the Pace Academy band.

Stop two was the Zaban Tower portico, where visitors grabbed an assortment of sushi and enjoyed a look back at history.

Stop three was a delicious to-go dinner catered by A Kosher Touch, where visitors enjoyed live jazz music from J. Paul Whitehead and his five-piece band. The caterers packed outstanding meals with matzoh balls and chicken soup, squash soufflé, slaw, and vegetarian options of stuffed acorn squash and vegetable soup. Their sushi station featured a salmon and faux crab roll.

At the fourth stop, guests “toasted the future” with a dessert box full of sparkling kosher wine, orange juice, a champagne flute and a “future-gram” newspaper imagining what life might look like at the Home’s 100th Anniversary in 2051.

(L to R): Stephanie Wyatt, Jody Goldstein and Candy Berman kept things lively on the FM station.

Guests also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite resident art project, displayed outdoors on easels. The winner will be featured in the Home’s History Hall to commemorate the 70th anniversary. Auxiliary Manager Cindy Cassano said, “This was especially meaningful as we employed a geriatric art therapist from Georgia State University to help residents bring out their creativity into Jewish themes.”

Co-President Jody Goldstein said, “I’m so proud of the Auxiliary, especially in the last year. We have raised over $100,000 with pandemic-friendly fundraisers. We so look forward to meeting in person and to getting back to including residents in our events. Today’s pandemic pivot event is incredible, and I’m so happy we were able to celebrate all of the many wonderful donors to Jewish HomeLife.”

JHL President and CEO Harley Tabak echoed the sentiment: “The last 70 years have given us plenty of reasons to celebrate. It’s particularly joyous that we are celebrating this milestone immediately following the most challenging year in our existence. The senior care industry has significantly progressed since we opened our doors 70 years ago, and we are proud to have cared for so many generations and for so many more to come. L’dor v’dor.”

Active board members (L to R) Fred Halperin, Steve Berman, and Irwin Siegel were avid cheerleaders.

Board member Fred Halperin concluded, “They do a great job when it comes down to caring for this segment of our community and whatever situation that comes down the pipeline for us to lend a hand.”

Current projects include Mitzvah Mondays (a social media campaign featuring photos of mitzvah projects submitted by families, mitzvah candidates, and groups of all kinds) and the Commemorative Brick Campaign (personalized bricks, now placed in the Home’s outdoor courtyard, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary).

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