Hanukkah has always been one of Kim’s favorite holidays. Every year she loves dusting the menorah off so it’s shiny, adding the candles each night, saying the prayer and sharing gifts with loved ones, which is part of her yearly tradition. However, the trip to Israel left an indelible imprint that reminds her how the “miracle of lights can also be the miracle of new beginnings.”
Once Jack and Kim landed in Israel, she felt an extraordinary connection and vibrancy to the energy of the historical city of Jerusalem. Since the couple was early to check into their hotel room, they decided to take a stroll along the local boutique shopping areas. Almost immediately, they spotted a beautiful small gift shop and agreed to go inside where we were greeted by the young shopkeeper who was standing by a traditional golden-bronzed menorah on his work desk. He was delightful and after chatting awhile, he shared with Kim and Jack that he just became a father to a newborn son. He then invited the couple to celebrate the special moment with him before he closed the shop doors for the day. They were touched by his warmth and a sense of connection. The group of three then lit the Hanukkah candles, said Mazel Tov, and shared a little schnapps with a piece of sponge cake. What started off as a simple greeting, became more than a celebration of light and evolved into a celebration of life.
For the next 10 days, Jack and Kim carried this experience throughout Israel. They continued to meet people with diverse backgrounds who held a strong sense of purpose and spirit for the community they lived in. The journey was quite remarkable and inspired Kim to re-create this feeling of “community” in her life.
For Kim, it’s an honor to be Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah while embracing the past and create new experiences for residents and members.
“Corso Atlanta is not just a senior living community, it is a family-living community that feels safe to be yourself with respect for each other’s traditions.”
Kim purposefully wanted to bring Jewish holiday experiences that would have a pivotal impact on cultivating a sense of community at Corso Atlanta. She often works alongside residents and team members to bring Jewish traditions and celebrations throughout the year. These celebrations have created a well-spirited and connected community that embraces tradition and neighborly camaraderie.
She remembers when Corso opened in December 2021. The community’s Jewish population was quaint, but by Passover, the population had grown significantly. To celebrate, Kim invited some of the residents to a meeting to ask them how they wanted to celebrate their holiday this year at Corso. They became excited that we were going to be starting our own new celebrations as a new extended family together.
Kim recalls, “One of our residents had a cookbook with all her favorite recipes for the holiday,” She was able to give that to our executive chef and. As a result, the food and beverage team made us an extraordinary meal. They had gone out of their way to make something really special for us.”
They soon gathered together for their own small celebration and, in doing so, created a new community to feel welcomed in. Collectively, the efforts of the residents and team members empower Corso’s mission to be a diverse community that fosters culture, history, and togetherness.
“Corso is not just a blended community, it is a diverse community,” Kim said. “We keep all holiday traditions that are very important to us.”
By celebrating Hanukkah, Shabbat, and simply breaking bread together, traditions practiced throughout Judaism have opened opportunities for conversation and engagement. Kim explains, “We just really wanted to get together on a Friday, break bread, have some wine and wish each other blessings and talk about the high points of the week.”
These traditional gatherings build connections, create relationships, and remind us of the importance of togetherness, both during and beyond the holiday season which reminds Kim of her special experience in Israel many years ago.