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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


 

June 14, 2013  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Menorah Manor junior-senior prom is one for the ages

By BATYA LEVY
Jewish Press


Keaton Green, a student at St. Petersburg High, dances with Menorah Manor resident Thomas Russo at the prom, which had the theme, “Golden Moments.” Keaton Green, a student at St. Petersburg High, dances with Menorah Manor resident Thomas Russo at the prom, which had the theme, “Golden Moments.” A junior-senior prom is one of those milestone events that creates lifelong memories.

Often, the girl feels giddy, excited to put on that special dress, have her hair done just right and add some nice jewelry – doing her best to impress her date. The guy is usually nervous but trying to hide that, wondering what to wear, what his date will look like and hoping he can please her.

Perhaps that’s how the girls and guys were feeling at a junior-senior prom on May 20 – this one with a bit of a twist. While the “juniors” at the prom were high schoolers, the seniors were, well, seniors – as in residents of Menorah Manor’s Samson Nursing Center in St. Petersburg.

But the gap in age did not stop the younger or older ones from dressing up, having a great time on the dance floor and creating some “Golden Moments” – the theme of the event.


Elliot Traxler and Florence Kirschbaum pose for their prom photo at the Menorah Manor event. Elliot Traxler and Florence Kirschbaum pose for their prom photo at the Menorah Manor event. The idea for the prom came from Ray Teasdale, director of therapeutic recreation at Menorah Manor, after many of the nursing home residents mentioned they were unable to go to their high school prom due to financial reasons. “Traditions mean so much in people’s lives,” he said, “especially the generation here at Menorah Manor. Too many residents were unable to take part in their proms due to circumstances.”

With that in mind, he decided to create some special memories and had the Ida and Jules Lowengard Synagogue – a multipurpose room at Menorah Manor – decorated with gold pillars, arches, and streamer chandeliers. Prom dresses for the women were donated by the community, including 70 dresses from The Gathering of Women, Inc.


The “Golden Moments” prom group photo. The “Golden Moments” prom group photo. About 30 students from St. Petersburg High’s Rojans, an all-girls service club, and the all-male Interact club attended the prom with the enthusiastic Menorah Manor residents. The juniors escorted the seniors through an archway as their names were called, introducing them and their dates.

Resident Florence Kirschbaum, said she felt like a queen as she walked down the red carpet with a student. “I just loved it all,” she said.

After the grand entrance there was a photo shoot of the prom dates under a beautifully garnished arch, to cement memories of the event. Then, cake and refreshments were served and it was time for everybody to put on their dancing shoes.

Alyssa Kobernick, co-president of Rojans, said it was adorable watching the junior boys get their dates drinks as they took a break from dancing.

Keaton Green, another Rojans member, got in a cardio workout as she danced with a former Brooklyn teacher. Keaton came with her boyfriend. He danced with the senior women while she danced with the senior men. Keaton said she “enjoyed it a lot.”

“It was very interesting to see them mingle together,” Menorah Manor public relations assistant Jessica Garcia said of the juniors and seniors.

Resident Hilda Colick recounted the success and beauty of the event: “It was a grand affair in every sense of the word. I tell you the decorations were just exquisite, the promenade on the red carpet made me want to cry happy tears and those high school youngsters treated all of us with so much genuine respect. It felt like they really wanted to be with us and that in itself made me proud.”


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