Coney Island, West Side centers serving elderly to shut down for non-budgetary reasons.
Assistant Managing Editor
One of two kosher lunch programs fighting to keep their doors open has won a reprieve, organizers and a city councilman told The Jewish Week Monday.
The city-funded Ocean Parkway Senior Center, which serves about 100 people, will share its current space with a new program for disabled seniors that will receive federal Medicaid dollars. Both will be housed at a building owned by Ahi Ezer Housing Development Fund Corp., a non-profit affiliated with a Sephardic congregation in Midwood.
Last month the organization served the senior center, run by the Jewish Commnity Council of Greater Coney Island with an eviction notice to make way for the new Social Adult Day Care program. But negotations between the two organizations and mediation by Coucilman Domenic Recchia Jr., resulted in a compromise.
“The Ocean Parkway Senior Center is a home away from home for many of Brooklyn’s seniors providing critical services and hundreds of meals on a daily basis to those who need it most," said Recchia, a Democrat who repesents parts of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, in a statement. "Its closure would have devastated our community and those whose lives it touches. That’s why this announcement is such an enormous relief and why it was so important that we fight to ensure that this center remain open to the community.”
Still up in the air is the status of several dozen seniors who meet daily at Club 76 on the Upper West Side for a kosher lunch, companionship, help with services, and entertainment and exercise programs.
Among them is Ruth Shapiro, who moved to the Upper West Side 55 years ago, when her fmaily needed a bigger place than their Lower East Side apartment.
After hearing several clever ideas from the elderly woman in his comedy workshop last Sunday, comedian Tim Davis told her approvingly, “you should have a Web site.”
“I don’t even have a television,” she snapped back. “Gave it to my super.”