by Ellen Bronfeld
When one door closes another opens.
This describes exactly what happened when COVID-19 resulted in the closure of Keshet's adult day program, GADOL. GADOL supports 34 adults who have developmental or intellectual disabilities and assists them with jobs, recreation, and volunteer work in the community. Keshet immediately got creative and developed a daily series of Zoom programs, 3-4 hours/day to engage, educate, and socialize the individuals they support. My son Noah and I loved seeing the wonderful staff and all of his friends. The programs, including book club, health and nutrition, self-advocacy, karaoke, and a variety of physical fitness offerings have been superb. We wanted to give back in some way and so we asked if we could help by preparing some music appreciation sessions. Noah and I love all kinds of music and this gave us special projects to work on together, while providing something educational and fun for his friends, both his peers and the support staff.
We spend a couple of weeks researching, including reading through biographical material and listening to a lot of music, especially searching for the best music and informational videos that illustrate our subject matter.
It is as much fun as it is interesting to us. We have covered the life and music of Beethoven, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. We are looking forward to presenting our next music appreciation program on The Beatles, and then after that, Motown. We have a few other ideas for future programs should we be asked to do more.
We are happy that we walked through the door to Keshet almost 30 years ago. This new door at Keshet, during the “time of COVID-19” presents challenges and opportunities. We are excited and very proud to be part of this new virtual phase of Keshet/GADOL. Let's rock on!