Sholom’s Millennium of Wisdom Brings Out the Best in Jewish Life

Twelve Sholom Centenarians Share Life Stories and Secrets to Living Life to the Fullest

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are blessed with nearly 1,000 residents who are 100 years old or older – and 12 of these extraordinary centenarians call Sholom Community Alliance home. These amazing residents shared their stories, secrets and wisdom as part of a calendar and portrait gallery for Sholom.

100 Years of Wisdom, Photos and Reflections from Twelve of Sholom’s Beloved Centenarians a 2017-2018/5778-79 calendar and photo installation at Sholom’s Minneapolis campus feature portraits of residents holding photos of their younger selves along with their wisdom. The words and wisdom reflect the spirit found amongst Sholom’s residents, family members and staff.

“I exercise, dance, and eat ice cream every night,” Ceil Schechter, 103, says proudly as she holds a striking photo of herself as a young woman growing up in the Twin Cities.

Sholom’s centenarians come from throughout the world, but all now call Sholom home.

“Just be happy, smile and make every day a good day,” says Mildred Nelson who hails originally from England and graces the November 2018 calendar page, or Russian-born Sam Hodroff who says, “I’ve lived a long life and enjoyed my hobbies. I used to travel and fish a lot. I was an airplane pilot, too. My parents lived a long time; that’s probably why I’ve lived so long.”

Not to be outdone for bringing wisdom from throughout the world, Austrian-born Frances Nemet fled World War II Europe for Colombia before coming to the United States. “My family fled Austria for Colombia. I liked Colombia. It was a beautiful country and very hot. We were lucky we were out of a war zone. We didn’t know anything about the war.”

But the wisdom found on the pages of the calendar exists well beyond the walls on which the calendar is posted. It exists in the hearts, minds, souls and spirits of the residents. And, some days, you find little miracles at Sholom like when a Sholom visitor saw 101-year-old Eleanor Gantmann sitting near her portrait after a stroll at Sholom.

“I was enjoying the photos and the stories when I was amazed to find Eleanor sitting there with a big smile on her face,” said [Rick]. “The wisdom of the photos is nice, but the wisdom and spirits of the residents makes you understand what makes Sholom such a wonderful place for the community.”

© 2022 Association of Jewish Aging Services | All rights reserved.

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