Paul Weinstein
Paul Weinstein

Like our revered patron, it’s time to say farewell

Jewish Choice had a family atmosphere
Jewish Choice had a family atmosphere

Jewish Choice, the highly-regarded Wembley-based elderly care home, is shortly to close its doors for the last time. 

Its enviable legacy will be the extraordinary care the independent charity has delivered over the years and how the extraordinarily empathetic and expert team have consistently delivered that care with true compassion. 

The recent messages of thanks from those relatives whose loved ones have now moved on to new care homes is clearly testament to that higher level of care. 

The charity’s origins began in the Mile End Road some 274 years ago and in each of our identities as we developed our care – from Beth Holim to maternity care, from
the elderly care of Edinburgh House to the present-day Jewish Choice – the
consistency of that care has not wavered, and so the journey has been all the more remarkable. 

When Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone to our building in December 1977, following the move from the East End, little did we know that, for close to five decades, hundreds of people would choose to live with us. Neither did we know that the sustainability of our home would be so challenged and rocked to its very core by the financial impact of a pandemic this past year and that, so shortly after the Duke’s passing, we would be closing a chapter on our family too. 

While the charity’s future is yet to be decided, in its long history, it has consistently responded to the communities’ needs and in the future it may well re-emerge as an entity that is as relevant in the future as it has been in the past. 

So, for now, we have succumbed to the most heartbreaking of decisions that began with the returning of our beloved baby grand to the family from which it was donated, to the now rehousing of all our residents in the most suitable accommodation for their ongoing needs and aspirations.  

Everyone’s journey is different and, over the years, we’ve had residents from all walks of life and having had all sorts of experiences. From Bletchley girls to showgirls, from rabbis to teachers, from artists to scientists.  Yet, it is a measure of the quality of the extraordinary care from the long-time employed team at Jewish Choice that all settled so well into our home, that they believed it to be their forever home. Sadly, that is not to be and, as we’ve recently experienced, they and their relatives have not wanted to leave us. 

In our service, our high regard in the sector and indeed with local authorities our opinion has regularly been sought. So it is all the more galling to have to call time on the dedication and dignity with which we’ve carried out our duty of care. 

It’s often said that the care provided at Jewish Choice is both unwavering and unmatched. And that’s been very evident of late as alternative homes have been explored for our residents. We regularly heard: “How are we going to find somewhere that has the same family feel?”, “How are we going to find somewhere that pays such close attention to our parents’ needs?” “How are we going to
find somewhere with the same compassion?” 

And so we can justifiably be proud of Jewish Choice. We take comfort from the care we’ve given to residents that is so woven into the lives of their relatives, that the plaudits we’re receiving from our last crop of relatives is extraordinary in its own right. And, like our late revered patron, Prince Philip, it’s not until the end we realise just how much we’ve been appreciated and how much we will be missed.

About the Author
Paul Weinstein is head of Marketing and Communications for Jewish Choice, a social care home in London