Jewish volunteers lighten load for Christian workers at nursing home

More than two dozen Jewish volunteers made "mitzvahs"

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A Christmas Day tradition continued Sunday at a Longmeadow nursing home. Jewish volunteers lightened the load for some of the Christian workers, allowing them to spend time with their families on Christmas.

There were a few different faces among the staff at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home in Longmeadow this Christmas day. More than two dozen Jewish volunteers made “mitzvahs,” the Yiddish word for a good deed, performing some of the tasks of Christian staff members, so they could have time with their families.

Volunteer Mark Ledy told 22News, “God Bless all of these people that do this. Just from the goodness of their hearts. So that the people can go be with their family and help them, and help the people here.”

The word for someone who does good deeds is “Mensch,” and the plural of Mensch is Menschun. This is Honorable Menschun Day at the Jewish Nursing Home.

There was a lot of activity in the JGS Coffee Shop this Christmas Day. The coffee shop would have been closed, had it not been for volunteer Patti Bassell.

Bassell told 22News, “It’s like a family coming in. We have a great time, and the residents really enjoy it. It’s like they’re home. It’s like a kitchen. We have all the amenities.”

In addition to the coffee shop, volunteer activities range from helping with the laundry, to entertaining and visiting with the residents.

It is all part of the Hebrew concept and mission of “Tikun Olam,” which means “heal the earth.”