Birthdays are a highlight of life at The New Jewish Home. Visits from family members who come to celebrate with residents infuse energy into the entire facility. Even during the pandemic, when visitors are not permitted, thoughtful staff members have found ways to make birthday celebrations possible amidst the crisis.

As Morton’s milestone 85th birthday approached, his family felt panicked. His children and grandchildren had planned to visit him for a big celebration, but it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. His daughter contacted the nursing home to brainstorm. How could they collaborate to make the day special? 

Together they hatched a plan that would help Morton and his family celebrate together, even though they would be physically separated. At The New Jewish Home, Morton was surprised by balloons, cards, and a gift—a portable radio. Then each family member in turn, including four grandchildren, had a chance to speak to him individually. 

“From the bottom of our hearts, we want to truly thank you so much for your time with our dad/granddad today on his special milestone 85th birthday,” Morton’s daughter wrote. “It took so much for me not to get emotional during our FaceTime talk. I remain strong thanks to you, knowing that he was in good hands and no need to worry on my part. I know that he, along with the rest of us, truly appreciates all that you all are doing for his well-being.”

If you would like assistance arranging a virtual celebration for a resident, please email us at

Note: some names were changed to protect the family’s privacy