Hanukkah 2021 Night 4: Seniors

December 2021

This Hanukkah we are taking a moment to shine a light on the resilience of our community throughout this past year. Tonight, we light the 4th candle of the menorah and read how our community brought light and hope to our senior population.


TASA students with cards for seniors

While it has still not been possible to pay a visit to local seniors these last 18 months due to COVID, the Torah Academy of San Antonio (TASA) wanted seniors to know they were being thought of through these challenging times. In collaboration with San Antonio Jewish Senior Services, students at TASA contributed to a meaningful mitzvah by designing Rosh Hashanah drawings that were transformed into beautiful holiday cards signed by each student. These cards were placed in holiday bundles and delivered to over 350 local seniors.


“Sarah,” a single widow, was forced to retire early due to the pandemic. Her savings exhausted, she applied and received a 0%-interest loan from Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio (HFLA-SA). She needed this loan to cover everyday expenses until retirement and social security benefits began. Many seniors have received HFLA-SA’s San Antonio Jewish Senior Services Loans to help make it through periods of financial stress. To apply for a loan or support our work, please go to www.hfla-sa.org.


San Antonio Jewish Senior Services (SAJSS) is thrilled to bring light to older adults in the community through the SAJSS Older Adult Transportation Program and the arrival of the first SAJSS-owned-and-operated, wheelchair[1]accessible vehicle. This program has been a staple of SAJSS work for many years and has impacted many 60+ adults in the community. Older adults and their family members often send anecdotes like this one about the program: “SAJSS arranged transportation for my father-in[1]law and took so much stress away from me. The caregiver who went with him was very impressed with how well the trip went. SAJSS is certainly helping people during stressful times.”

This year, with gratitude to Jewish Federation, Congregation Rodfei Sholom was able to be a major ray of light to community seniors. Partnering with San Antonio Jewish Senior Services, Rodfei provided bi-weekly Shabbat dinners and challahs for most of the year. The congregation also provided several hundred Passover meals, potato latkes and so much more for seniors.


As Temple Beth-El gradually resumed in-person activities, Temple Beth-El’s senior groups started to pick up their regular events, with many of their regular members happy to be attending functions together again. From pre-Shabbat dinners to Shabbat Chavurah, the senior groups missed joining together for a meal before or after services. Filling up the calendar with events, Temple is always on alert to do what’s best for its older congregants during the pandemic, but happy they can once again provide a setting for members to come together.