Jewish Seniors Alliance board member Pam Ottem, who is chair of JSA’s peer support program, with Baruch Azeroual at the JSA volunteer barbecue. (photo from JSA)
On Aug. 22, Jewish Seniors Alliance held its now-annual barbecue for peer support services volunteers, in appreciation of their work with seniors. This year’s celebration, attended by about 50 people, was a joyous affair, with food and musical entertainment, and speeches from volunteers.
Most of the attendees at the barbecue were volunteers or staff of the peer support services program, and a number of JSA board members also joined in the festivities. The food for the meal was contributed by the volunteers.
Charles Leibovitch, JSA peer support coordinator, and Grace Hann, JSA peer support volunteer trainer and supervisor, spoke and welcomed everyone before introducing JSA president Ken Levitt, who thanked everyone for their hard work and mentioned some of the issues for which JSA is advocating, such as a universal pharmacare program.
After Levitt spoke, Leibovitch called on Serge Haber, president emeritus and founder of JSA, to say a few words. Haber spoke about the needs of seniors and how JSA is trying to advocate for and fill some of those needs.
Hann explained about a crowdshare in which some of the volunteers had participated – a listening program that takes place every second Monday, 5-6 p.m., on Bute Street at Davie. Hann also thanked everyone who helped set up the event, including JSA coordinator Liz Azeroual and Azeroual’s husband, Baruch, who did the barbecuing.
The musical trio of Dave and Julie Ivaz and their son, Harrison, provided a wide-ranging performance. They played guitar and sang many songs familiar to the audience.
For more information on JSA, its peer support services, the listening and other programs, visit jsalliance.org.
Shanie Levin, MSW, worked for many years in the field of child welfare. During that time, she was active in the union. As well, she participated in amateur dramatics. She has served on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and is presently on the executive of JSA and a member of the editorial committee.