Dreidels spun out of control as nearly 50 seniors representing four of Metropolitan Jewish Health System’s facilities competed in the organization’s annual spin-to-win dreidel tournament at Metropolitan Jewish Adult Day Health Center in Borough Park.
With quick wrists and the eye of the tiger, Sophia Tselikman, 87, of Brighton Beach, trumped the opposition to emerge victorious. She won a year’s worth of bragging rights along with a lovely gift basket as she claimed the ultimate prize of “Interfacility Dreidel Champion 2008” amid a crowd of cheers from staff and participants. “I practiced with my dreidel for weeks in preparation for the competition,” said Tselikman. “It feels great to be a champion.”
Ready to claim their “pot” of Hanukkah gelt, clients from Adult Day and residents from Metropolitan’s skilled nursing facilities – Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center (MJGC), Menorah Home and Hospital (Menorah) and Shorefront Jewish Geriatric Center (Shorefront) – gathered to compete and trade trash talk.
Each facility entered two teams of six players into the three-round elimination style tournament. After a grueling first round, one team from each facility moved on to the second round. Subsequently, five players – Sophia Tselikman and Pasquale Marchese (Adult Day), Madeline Knutsen (MJGC), Nettie Delorenzo (Menorah) and Molly Goldsmith (Shorefront) – snuffed the competition and advanced to the finals.
More than just fun times, the spin-to-win competition is part of Metropolitan’s therapeutic recreation regimen to help seniors remain active and healthy. “Our team developed this program to help foster healthy social feelings within our clients,” said Director of Adult Day Barbara Krinsky. “Each year, we host the competition and extend an invitation to Metropolitan’s skilled nursing facilities so our clients may interact with peers while doing an activity that’s fun and also beneficial to their well-being.”
Other highlights of the event included a special performance by international singer Ricky Pen followed by the lighting of the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah.