Nysha Recent News

Community-leading Hamaspik Senior Program Tapped by JFS to Help Holocaust Survivors

February 2, 2017        

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Shnois Chaim Dining/Social Day Program Staff Trauma-Trained by Jewish Family Service of Orange County

The secret of Hamaspik’s success is several-fold, actually—and constant staff training is one of the several big parts of it.

Driving for the greatest levels of excellence and professionalism since its 1986 founding, Hamaspik has meticulously maintained its ongoing vision of boasting the best possible employees—by regularly “upgrading” them with ever-new skills and competencies. 

In that vein, Hamaspik boasts several training coordinators across its multiple divisions; their full-time duties involve coordinating all required—and optional—trainings for staff.

And that’s why Shnois Chaim recently was trained in PCTI.

A group of seven staff members at Shnois Chaim, Hamaspik of Orange County’s dining/social day program for seniors, were trained this past January 17 in using the PCTI (Person Centered Trauma Informed) Approach to meet the needs of Holocaust survivors. 

The training session, which lasted several hours, was presented by Elise Gold, LMSW, Executive Director of the Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Orange County, one of Hamaspik’s many non-profit partners.

The event, which began at 9:30 a.m., was held in the elegant Hamaspik Terrace social hall on the premises of Hamaspik of Orange County’s administrative building at the gateway to Kiryas Joel.

The professional senior support staff came away even more professional after learning first-hand what “Trauma Informed” means and how it is delivered and otherwise applied.

With close to half of the venerable community elders attending Shnois Chaim being survivors of Nazi Germany’s organized genocide efforts against European Jews, the training was apropos.

The Shnois Chaim (“Years of Life” or “Living Years”) program, under the capable management of coordinator Mrs. Landau, is Hamaspik’s partnership with the Senior Dining Program run by the Orange County Office for the Aging (OFA), a division of the Orange County Dept. of Health.  Mrs. Landau and OFA Director Ann Marie Maglione, and the programs they head, have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship from the get-go.

For its part, having had a positive and mutually supportive relationship with Hamaspik for some time now, the JFS has been able to expand its reach into the surprisingly sizable Jewish population of the largely suburban and rural upstate Orange County region.

And now, having presented PCTI-based Holocaust survivor support to staff at Shnois Chaim, the JFS has reached a leading segment of the Orange County Jewish community—by partnering with a leading agency servicing that community.