Posted by JF&CSJoyce Zakim and Marjie Sokoll.

The Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing helps people feel a sense of connection when facing the challenges of illness, loss, or isolation. It’s a cause near and dear to Joyce Zakim, the Lenny Zakim Fund, and the entire Zakim family.

Joyce Wolf Zakim has always held a strong sense of commitment to Jewish values, as well as a connection to older adults. All four of her grandparents escaped Nazi persecution in Europe, settling in New York. There, they helped Joyce form her Jewish identity, filling her home with Yiddish and the celebration of Shabbat. They encouraged Joyce to further strengthen her Judaism, supporting her on a trip to Israel in her early twenties. This experience led her to later explore a philanthropic connection to Judaism.

Inspired by her connection to Judaism, Joyce has included the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing as part of her charitable giving. “The Center is so critical to the well-being of our community,” shared Joyce. “It’s important to me, and was important to Lenny as well, that all people are served. I am constantly moved by the work of the Center for Jewish Healing and by the work JF&CS does for our community. In my philanthropic giving, I have particularly focused on this incredible program, which is just so essential to our community.”

A legacy gift to the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing was particularly important to Joyce. “I really wanted to include JF&CS and the Center for Jewish Healing in my will. It is important to sustain this signature program, which supports so many people who might otherwise not be served.” For Joyce, planned giving is also a way to make a statement about what is important to her and her family, as well as demonstrating the connection she’s felt throughout her life.

“I am so grateful to my dear friend Joyce, who has been an invaluable member of our Advisory Council since its inception,” shares Marjie Sokoll, Director of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing. “She knows first-hand that the Center relies entirely on philanthropic support. In fact, funding from the Lenny Zakim Fund in 1996 was the catalyst that created the Nursing Home/Assisted Living Shabbat and Holiday Program. My heartfelt thanks to Joyce for continuing to support and be connected to this important work for so many years.”

The Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing provides support, hope, and community, all guided by Jewish traditions and values. Serving individuals facing illness, loss, and isolation, as well as working with the larger community to provide training and education, the Center for Jewish Healing incorporates a large number of programs. The Caring Communities Resource Network supports synagogue efforts to create and sustain caring communities through synagogue and community-wide trainings, consultations, and conferences. The Spirited Aging Program supports people of all ages in their search to find meaning, joy, and spirituality in their lives as they grow older. Bereavement Services offers support groups, spiritual support, and holiday bereavement workshops for people dealing with loss, while End-of-Life Services extends spiritual support for people facing terminal illness. The Friendly Visitor Program matches volunteers with isolated elders for companionship and a connection to the Jewish community. The award-winning Nursing Home/Assisted Living Shabbat and Holiday Program provides regular Shabbat and holiday gatherings for Jewish residents in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Holiday celebrations exemplify the spirit of the program for Joyce and it’s a gift that Joyce wants to continue. “I’ve seen through my personal connections with individuals I’ve met at the Friendly Visitor Chanukkah Celebration and the Passover Seder how the programs enrich lives. These celebrations connect the community through the music, the food, and the companionship,” said Joyce. “I love being a part of it. These celebrations have an incredible moving spirit.

To learn more about the programs offered through the generosity of people like Joyce Zakim, visit our Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Jewish Healing page.