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The Legacy Senior Communities believes in the importance of celebrating shared traditions that create a bond across generations. It’s for this reason that the not-for-profit community recently gathered together to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover with its residents, their families and staff. Each year, the observance is a deeply meaningful experience for the entire community to come together, and this year was no exception. The Legacy Willow Bend, Plano’s first and only life care retirement community, held Seders in independent living, assisted living and memory care. Additionally, The Legacy at Home, The Legacy Senior Communities’ not-for-profit home health care agency, delivered macaroons with a heartfelt Passover message to their Jewish clients in observance of the holiday.

For those like Monty Strauss, a resident of The Legacy Willow Bend, participating in this year’s Passover felt like coming home. Strauss and his wife, Jane Weiner, moved to the community at the end of 2018 and have enjoyed the connection among Jewish residents at The Legacy Willow Bend. According to Strauss, when looking for a place to live, the couple knew they wanted a home where Judaism was prevalent and where they could fully experience their faith. Since moving from Lubbock, Texas shortly before Hannukah, the couple has been able to celebrate various observances surrounded by other Jewish couples and friends, and they have enjoyed every minute of it.

“Having the opportunity to experience Passover here at The Legacy was a wonderful experience,” said Strauss. “Our faith is the foundation of who we are, and being able to share and observe occasions like this surrounded by other members of the Jewish faith in such a natural way has been incredibly meaningful. While observing Passover, it was funny to reflect on the simplest of things, like how difficult it was to get matzah in Lubbock. However, here at The Legacy we had access when we needed it. Being in a community of people who worship in the same way is special and is a reminder that Judaism is more than a faith, it’s a community.”

Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor, led the Seder for independent living residents and their families. The independent living dining room was filled to capacity, with Rabbi Leynor and participants reading responsively the historical account of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt and the celebration of their escape from bondage. Lita Marishak led the Seder for residents in memory support with assistance from Susan Ginsburg of Adat Chaverim, while Eli Davidson led those in assisted living.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to gather together as a community is incredibly meaningful,” said Paul Michaels, chair of the board for The Legacy Willow Bend. “Celebrating Passover is a deeply moving experience, and we value the moments when we can express gratitude for the blessings we share. Commemorating our Jewish traditions is what truly sets our community apart, and it’s an honor to participate in these shared celebrations.”

During each of the Seders, participants commemorated the ancient story of the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery and captivity in Egypt with the traditional prayers and songs. A traditional Seder plate displayed symbolic food items that correspond with elements of the story of the exodus from Egypt.

“At The Legacy Senior Communities, we believe in the importance of honoring all Jewish holidays and the shared traditions that define who we are as an organization,” said Melissa Orth, president and CEO of The Legacy Senior Communities. “As always, it was deeply moving to see those we serve and their loved ones – including our non-Jewish residents – participate in a timeless tradition that’s been shared for generations and celebrate the past as we move towards the future.”

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