By Stephen Post, Executive Director, Jack Satter House
The Jewish High Holidays are a chance to reflect on the past and look forward to new challenges and experiences in the New Year. For as long as I’ve been the Executive Director of Jack Satter House in Revere, the High Holidays have been a time of affirmation and self-examination for Jewish residents within our community.
Jack Satter House, a Hebrew SeniorLife community, provides independent and supportive housing for 300 residents age 62 and older.
In 1973, a small group of Satter House residents formed Congregation 420 and would pray together each day. The congregation is named after the Satter House address; 420 Revere Beach Boulevard in Revere, Massachusetts. Congregation 420 has been engrained in the fabric of Satter House for 46 years, with services continuing to be led by our Jewish residents and interfaith chaplain.
Norma Siegel, who moved to Satter House from Chelsea, is an integral part of our community, particularly around the Jewish holidays. She became president of Congregation 420 in 2002 and started leading services in Hebrew and English. Now, there are nearly 20 residents who meet weekly, praying together and immersing themselves in Jewish culture.
“It gives me a positive attitude and something to believe in and to share with others,” said Siegel. “It’s my spiritual home and I’m so proud of our community.”
Today, Congregation 420 is not just for Jewish residents. People of all faiths often attend services. “People who belong to Congregation 420 use the community as a special means of socialization,” said Siegel. “We have similar values, and it gives us a reason to come together.”
This year, Satter House will continue to honor our Jewish heritage throughout the High Holidays. We will hold Rosh Hashanah services on the first and second day with a dinner provided by the Jack Satter Foundation, a private foundation that funds high impact programs that primarily serve Massachusetts communities. A rabbinical student will lead our Yom Kippur services, followed by a ‘break-fast’ in our dining hall.
“Being Jewish is an integral part of my life,” Siegel said. “The High Holidays are special no matter where observed; however, having the holidays in my home at Jack Satter House is meaningful in so many ways.”