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.
It was a “modest” sum of money, said Germany’s consul general in New York, but he, staff members and friends attending a concert at his residence last month wanted to do something to help after realizing the hardship Superstorm Sandy had caused Holocaust survivors living in its path.
“We decided to ask participants for donations,” Consul General Busso von Alvensleben said in an e-mail interview. “We all contributed. With this modest token of solidarity we wish to express our sympathies with those affected by Sandy.”