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94-year-old Sylvia Boblick recently delighted Jewish Community Services (JCS) of South Florida volunteers with her humor and beautiful outlook on life in her Miami Beach home.
The volunteers visited Boblick to deliver a Rosh Hashanah holiday basket as part of JCS’ annual Milk & Honey Jewish New Year food program for homebound seniors throughout Miami-Dade County. More than 700 volunteers, including many families and children, joined JCS on the morning of Sept. 18 to assemble and deliver Rosh Hashanah food baskets to 600 seniors. This year included the program’s milestone 10,000th delivery to homebound seniors since it started in 2001.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time and it gets better and better every year as we continue to teach the origins of giving back to the community,” said Fred Stock, JCS’ president and chief executive officer. “We have many more families participating this year than we’ve ever had as well as more community groups and more synagogues that benefit from doing this. It’s such a great thing.”
Marian Mendelsohn, JCS’ director of special projects, said: “Milk & Honey is one of JCS’ signature events where the community comes together to help homebound seniors and Holocaust survivors and to tackle food insecurity in the Jewish community.”
“The most meaningful aspect of JCS Milk & Honey is seeing the children and families serving the community and keeping Jewish tradition and values alive,” Mendelsohn concluded.
Aside from the food deliveries, the seniors have appreciated meaningful conversations with the volunteer visitors over the years. Many of these seniors have no family members living here locally and thus would be lonely throughout the entire High Holiday season without these visits.
Boblick was grateful for both the food delivery and the fact that she was able to share her life story, talk about her family, discuss how she still keeps her Jewish religion, how she’s been following this year’s presidential election and also explain to them that she lives her life through the many photos at her home. The volunteers complimented her looks and laughed at her jokes.
“I’m happy today and I’m glad that everyone is here,” Boblick said. “I thank everybody for coming and I’m happy to receive everything. The conversations went along fine.”
Joy Spill – a JCS board member who visited Boblick along with her 12-year-old grandson Logan Spill and State Rep. Daphne Campbell (D-Miami) – said about the conversation: “I’ve had a smile on my face the whole time sitting here with Sylvia because she is a delight to talk to, so I just feel that for the rest of the day I’m going to be in good spirits.”
Spill said that her grandson has been participating in this event for close to a decade, since he was a toddler.
“It’s a wonderful family thing that we do and it’s great bonding experience for us. I know that Logan has a different respect for his elders because he meets so many elders that he wouldn’t ordinarily meet.”
Logan said, on what this event has taught him over the years: “It’s taught me to give back to the community and by keeping tradition, I can lead the next generation to do this.”
Campbell told Boblick: “I’m so humbled and joyful to be here and talking to you and have a conversation with you.”
JCS is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and an Impact Partner of United Way of Miami-Dade. Visit JCSFL.org or call 305-576-6550 for more information.