34 years young: Canarsie senior center celebrates anniversary in style

Cake bosses: Program Director Sue Ann Partnow, left, Treasurer Frieda Bitran, middle, and Program Coordinator Lillian McPhaul, right, cut the ceremonial cake.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It was a very hip celebration.

A Canarsie senior center celebrated its 34th birthday with a raucous dance party on April 7.

The Jewish Association Serving the Aging at the Hebrew Educational Society hosted 174 seniors for the anniversary celebration at 9502 Seaview Ave., according to the group’s Program Director.

“It was a great celebration. There was live music and dancing, a full course luncheon, desserts, gifts,” said Sue Ann Partnow.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and local state Sen. Roxanne Persaud delivered keynote addresses to the crowd during the four-hour celebration, which also featured a candle lighting ceremony and party favors, said Partnow.

“The District Attorney gave me a certificate to celebrate our 34 years. People exchanged anniversary gifts, everyone was dancing, relaxing, and having a good time,” she said.

The organization, founded in 1985, hosts events for seniors to exercise, learn, and take trips around the city.

“We host yoga classes, painting classes, design classes, and sing alongs. We’ll take trips to Broadway shows,” said Partnow. “It’s really a wide variety of activities.”

Guest speakers, from politicians to business leaders, treat seniors to seminars and holiday celebrations throughout the year, said Partnow. The group recently wrapped up its Women’s History Month festivities with a keynote address on March 29 from Schneps Media President and Publisher
Victoria Schneps.

“Vicki spoke for Women’s History Month. She told the inspiring story of her life, and talked about how she got involved in her organization,” said Partnow.

The Hebrew Educational Society chapter is one of 22 Jewish Association Serving the Aging centers, with a daily attendance of approximately 100 seniors for the various events every weekday,
according to Partnow.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun. It’s a labor of love,” she said. “I do it because the people are great, and we really
respect each other.”

Partnow believes the center provides seniors with valuable structure and allows people opportunities to engage with one another.

“JASA keeps people as an integral part of the community, and gives them somewhere to go when their children grow up,” she said. “Staying home is the worst thing in the world, so we keep people active and staying
involved.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577.
Honored: District Attorney Eric Gonzalez presents a certificate to Program Director Sue Ann Partnow to commemorate the anniversary.
Photo By Steve Solomonson

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