From the Desk of Rabbi Moshe Wiener- Jewish Social Service Agency Brings Technology to Survivors and Other Seniors




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Jewish Social Service Agency Brings Technology to Survivors and Other Seniors



On a chilly Sunday a week ago, a group of RAJE (Russian American Jewish Experience - members gathered in the majestic main sanctuary of the Jewish Center of Brighton Beach. Their mission was to launch the Connect2: Connecting Seniors program, which distributes Amazon Fire 10 tablets to Holocaust Survivors and other seniors and teaches them how to get online and use Zoom. The program is an exciting new collaboration between the Leader Family Fund and the Connect2 program of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island – JCCGCI


Elisheva Lock, MPA, LCSW, director at the Connect2 program said, “Jonathan and Dina Leader were very eager to help seniors and Holocaust survivors in our community who have been isolated and homebound due to the pandemic. To alleviate this isolation and loneliness, the Leaders shared their idea with me to design a program to provide and train seniors with tablets that can “connect” them to the outside world and to their friends and family." RAJE volunteers kicked off the first batch of deliveries and trainings, followed by other community volunteers who joined the cause. The seniors were delighted to be connected via Zoom to their families and to other members of the community.


RAJE volunteers shared that one Holocaust survivor, David Einhorn asked, “Do you mean you can show me how to find my favorite Rabbi speaking on here?” The volunteers then were able to provide a trial run for the rather excited survivor to share Rabbi Manis Friedman with them, and then to teach him how he can access Zoom and you tube on his own.


The seniors also appreciate that the community volunteers are not just giving their time to make sure the devices are set up properly, but also following a buddy system where the senior is left with the volunteer’s phone number to follow up with any questions or comments as they learn to use their device, or just to say hello. It is inspiring to see how quickly the survivors and seniors are learning. The day after she received her tablet, Ukrainian Holocaust survivor, Bella C. called and said, “It was amazing to figure out how to read all my all my morning’s Ukrainian and Fox news updates on my new Tablet, especially for a news junkie like me!” Bella continued to express her gratitude to the donors for the device, as well as to the kind volunteers who came to help.



Even more hopeful, is seeing the person-to-person connections being formed over Zoom programs. Survivors and seniors are joining women’s and men’s community zooms, as well as zoom gatherings and lectures, where they can form real bonds, see old friends, laugh and support one another. Some even report going to Synagogue services on their zoom!


Jonathan and Dina Leader of the Leader Family Fund


Jonathan and Dina Leader of the Leader Family Fund commented that "this is a perfect joint effort between a leading social service agency, volunteers, and a donor to bring the advantages of technology to alleviate the loneliness of elderly people." Twenty tablets have already been delivered with a target of delivering thirty more by Passover.


Sincerely yours,



Rabbi Moshe Wiener

Executive Director 




Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI) is a community-based organization with a citywide scope, providing a wide-spectrum of senior citizen, vocational, educational, crime-reduction, community revitalization and related services benefiting all segments of the population. JCCGCI is also a technical assistance provider, offering capacity building services to nonprofits in all five boroughs through its NonProfit HelpDesk division ( With 35 program sites throughout New York City staffed by almost 350 social service professionals, JCCGCI assists an average of upwards of 2,500 needy individuals and families each day.


A Community Based Organization with a Citywide Impact

3001 West 37th Street, Brooklyn NY 11224

718.449.5000 |



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