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Sandringham Gardens honours volunteer ‘angels’

  • IMG-20191204-WA0038
The Chevrah Kadisha (Chev) honoured Les Markowitz, Jenny Lichtenstein, and Sylvia Lefevre at a special kiddush at Sandringham Gardens Shul recently for the joy they have brought to the residents of Sandringham Gardens.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Dec 12, 2019

Lefevre and Lichtenstein are often called the “Tuesday angels” because every week, they visit frail residents at the home in six care units as well as those in acute care, bringing with them confectionery, donated magazines, books, and even puzzles.

Lefevre believes that their visits are as much about the chatting as the treats.

“Everyone has a history, and a unique set of circumstances. Relating a memory or being able to share in a current event with someone who is willing to listen is so important to the people we visit,” she says. Lefevre began making the visits in 1993, and Lichtenstein joined her in 2001. Lichtenstein had recently lost her mother who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, and therefore understood the importance of befriending vulnerable people.

Les Markowitz, “The Bingo Man”, is an even longer serving volunteer. Markowitz has been running bingo evenings every alternate Wednesday night for 30 years.

On a good evening, he attracts between 30 and 50 people. “We don’t play for money at Sandringham Gardens. The chocolate prizes are courtesy of the Chev,” he says.

Sylvia and Jenny have handed out more than 10 000 cakes over the years, and Les has called out about 3 500 games of Bingo!

The kiddush was attended by Colin Datnow, the chairperson of the Chev, and his wife Lorraine. Chev Group Rabbi Jonathan Fox spoke about how much the residents look forward to the Tuesday cakes and Wednesday evening Bingo, and the mitzvah of bringing joy and sweetness into the lives of residents.


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